Quantum Bayesian Networks

February 19, 2012

What to do if you are a country that feels “left out” of the Facebook IPO

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 6:02 am

We will not name names here.

Suppose you are a country that puts harmless Falun Gong practitioners in jail, sides with evil tyrants like Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and hates super-peaceful vegetarian Tibetan Buddhists like the Dalai Lama.

Suppose you own most of the major corporations in your country, and would like to create a new corporation, a real kick-ass one, one that could kick USA’s ass.

Suppose that you are sitting on a mountain of cash right now, and can’t wait to spend it on the investment opportunity of a lifetime, “a sure thing”. An investment that promises a bonanza of technological progress for your country, and that has the seal of approval of the egg heads (backed even by a $100,000 bet from an MIT computer science professor).

Suppose that Facebook’s $100 billion IPO makes you green with envy because you feel left out. Why? because (1) The US government would never allow you to own a large piece of Facebook (2) Social networking isn’t exactly your cup of tea—the possibility of social networking being used by the citizens of your country scares the bejesus out of you. (3) You already have all the latest Facebook (and Google) source code anyway (wink).

Suppose you have a flair for cyberspying and would like an investment that would reinforce this little hobby of yours. An investment that would take some of the drudge-work out of cracking codes.

Then have I got an investment opportunity for you!

No, not buying swamplands in Hunan province. That’s not high-tech.

One word. Well no, not plastics. You already control that.

Okay. Two words:
(Well, 2 words in English. I have not idea how many words those symbols represent in your language).



  1. Now with that attitude you will never acquire the kind of loyal audience of cyber spies that my blog can count on …

    Comment by Henning Dekant — February 21, 2012 @ 2:47 am

  2. Hi Henning,
    Once again, an attempt by me to be funny has failed miserably. Sigh. The story of my life.

    My point is that I think that the USA is overly preoccupied by social networking stuff. ($100 billion for Facebook. A tad excessive, don’t you think)

    Since social networking is not China’s cup of tea for the aforementioned reasons, whereas quantum computing has a certain affinity with their interests, and since they are very rich right now, I expect that the quantum space race between USA and China will soon heat up considerably.

    Comment by rrtucci — February 21, 2012 @ 4:42 am

  3. Actually, I think it was my attempt to be funny that failed 🙂

    I very much enjoy your satirical QC commentary.

    In all seriousness though: There is some mounting evidence that despite all their sophisticated filters and internet censorship, social networks are forcing change on China. This often happens around issues that don’t threaten the party’s rule directly such as:
    Flash mob rescues dogs destined for the frying pan..

    But nowadays if the public anger is strong enough the government is even forced to cave to direct challenges. Such as was the case with some high profile train accidents. For instance Internet outrage prompted the government to apologies over muzzling the media..

    So while Facebook is raking in the (ridiculously) big bucks I think it is actually China were social media will have the most impact. The signs that civil society will finally reassert itself are encouraging.

    Comment by Henning Dekant — February 21, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

  4. Yes. I agree. Social networking technology is very important for China.

    As a fanatical dog lover and a vegetarian, I am glad that Chinese dog lovers are asserting themselves about dog eating. My first dog was a Pekinese and I adored him. I cried for many years over his demise. (Mine was much more handsome than the one that just won the Westminster Kennel Club dog show). The Pekinese breed has a very interesting history:
    (I encourage people to adopt from dog shelters. I got my Pekinese from a friend that couldn’t keep him.)

    Comment by rrtucci — February 21, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

  5. My wife and I considered our dog a practice child i.e. if we manage to not kill the puppy we felt reasonably confident we could repeat the trick with an infant. Worked out pretty well and being a small breed (half and half Yorkshire and Tibet terrier) she is still delighting our three kids at age 12. The Tibetan terrier ostensibly was bread by Tibetan monks as a priced gift that had the added benefit of keeping your feet warm. The latter surely nothing to scoff at when living in Himalayan climate.

    I really wouldn’t give much credence to this story if it wasn’t for our dog’s odd propensity to indeed seek out feet to lie on. She is just not happy unless she is lying on something lumpy. If feet are not available anything else that looks suitably uncomfortable will do – baby toys, books, Laptop …

    BTW I just learned that social networks were invented much earlier than I thought. It remains a genuinely American invention though: The Twainnet goes back to 1898.

    Comment by Henning Dekant — February 22, 2012 @ 4:25 am

  6. About number of words in different languages – in 1986 famous Feynmann’s report about quantum computers was translated and printed in leading Russian physical journal, UFN. The problem was that word “computer” was not encouraged to use in official documents by some reason. So instead of “computer” everywhere, including title was written an abbreviation with three letters (ЭВМ) meaning “electronic computing machine”

    Comment by Alex Vlasov — February 28, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

  7. Hi Alex,
    Glad you are still following quantum computing. And thanks for telling us that funny Russian story. At least you guys don’t have to use Baidu, the lamest search engine ever. I think the search engine of my desktop computer yields a larger number of hits than Baidu for most search terms.

    Comment by rrtucci — February 28, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  8. Nice relevant article in The New Yorker

    Comment by rrtucci — May 18, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  9. Love the term “American defector” – I am a sucker for good propaganda. Have to wonder if this makes me a defector too when I moved from the US to Canada (granted I didn’t have to renounce any citizenship as I retained my boring German one).

    So if rich people flee America and poor people flee North Korea, that must mean that Fox News is right! The US is now a socialist hell-hole while the latter must be a capitalistic Ayn Rand model society. It’s all so confusing! 🙂

    Comment by Henning Dekant — May 19, 2012 @ 3:47 am

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