Quantum Bayesian Networks

October 19, 2013

Google, a Mecca for proponents of The Multi-verse Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:46 pm

I just watched a lowest-of-the-low-brow video, produced by Google, about quantum computers. Nothing but clichés stitched together illogically. The thing must have been produced by someone with the IQ of a potted plant. Its goal seems to be to explain, I know not to whom, maybe to another plant, what is quantum mechanics. To explain how Google will use quantum computers to solve AI, solve global warming, and decide for certain whether we are alone or not in the universe. So this is how plants communicate with each other!

Oh wait! according to this blog post, the producer of this video is Spiros’ talented and handsomely paid female friend. And she and her cohorts are planning to make a video game that uses vague metaphors to confuse the hell out of little kids trying to understand quantum mechanics.

It’s clear from the video that Google, the company that runs the world (or is trying to, in collaboration with the NSA), is convinced that the multi-verse interpretation of quantum mechanics is the only true interpretation, the only true religion, for clearly, as David Deutsch says, the other interpretations totally fail to explain why quantum computers work. After watching the video, I came home with the impression that Google is planning to use its D-Wave quantum computers like a Ouija board to consult the multi-verse and make company decisions based on what the multi-verse tells them.

I’m not an avid fan of the multi-verse interpretation of QM. I expounded on my views about this in a previous blog post:

Don’t Shut Up and Don’t Calculate

Not being a fan of the interpretation, I’m ill informed about its subtleties. (Steve Hsu, a real expert on it, is invited to chime in). But it seems to me that Google’s resident quantum mechanics expert, Hartmut Neven, made a mistake in his slides, which he presented in Spiros’s girlfriend’s video. Hartmut presented the following slide:
hartmut-multi-verse
It seems to me that this slide is misleading, because if the multi-verse is going to predict anything but noise, a preponderance of universes must agree and predict what we are now seeing. In Hartmut’s slide, all possibilities are clearly not true, especially the one about Hartmut The Physicist. The lobster one is the only one that comes close, as Hartmut seems to spend too much time outdoors and his coloration definitely tends towards the reddish.

I have amended Hartmut’s slide to better represent the multi-verse interpretation.
hartmut-multi-verse-better
In my slide you can see that 3 out of the 4 universes agree amongst each other and with what we, in this universe, are observing, and the fourth universe is not too far off.

By the way, my slide was inspired by a famous portrait of Lee Smolin, painted by the artist Lubos Motl. A portrait which has been burned into our collective consciousness. After having seen it just once, it’s hard for anyone to think of Lee Smolin without seeing his face surrounded by a clay pot. Lee Smolin, in case you don’t know, is a role model and poster child of PI (Perimeter Institute) and iQC (Institute for Quantum Computing).

5 Comments »

  1. Oh my! And they haven’t even met Scaramangas yet!

    Comment by Elagnel Exterminador — October 21, 2013 @ 7:17 am

  2. Don’t make fun of Hartmut. He’s the world recognized expert on the Hindenburg uncertainty principle.

    Comment by Max Born — October 21, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

  3. >> the Hindenburg uncertainty principle
    is this the guy who cooks the blue meth?
    Btw if the quantum mechanics turned *you* into a lobster then you better call Saul!

    Comment by Saul Goodman — October 21, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

  4. I should explain that Hartmut is actually a very accomplished guy. It’s just that satirizing vulnerable people like someone with cancer is not much fun. Germany is a nation of engineers so Hartmut has very high scientific standards to meet. I don’t think he is meeting them by advocating the multiverse

    Comment by rrtucci — October 21, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

  5. I think the Multiverse will go the way of the local Megaplex. Fun for a while, but then people get tired of sitting on coke-stained seats with the crunch of stale popcorn under feet.

    There are simpler ways to understand the D-Wave computation than to invoke a Multiverse. For those of us who were around at the beginning of quantum information theory (moi) it has been a journey towards the most complicated possible theories, from which there is no return but to simplicity (which is possible).

    In the meantime, I am quite partial to Lobster so I am happy to live in that Universe where Harmut the Lobster lives.

    I like this guy’s sense of humor and taste for the absurd.

    You cannot invoke the Multiverse without a sense of the Absurd.

    Comment by lambda2013 — October 21, 2013 @ 11:39 pm


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