In my previous blog post, a commenter advised me not to do an April Fools post, because they can be dangerous. I’ve chosen to follow that sound advice and play it safe. So, instead of a joke, I’m posting below, verbatim and in its entirety, a news article about quantum computing that I came across recently while reading http://english.pravda.ru/, a website in English published by Pravda.
A funny quote from Wikipedia’s article on Pravda:
As the names of the main Communist newspaper and the main Soviet newspaper, Pravda and Izvestia, meant “the truth” and “the news” respectively, a popular Russian saying was “v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy” (In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth).
Warning: The views expressed by Pravda in the article below are not necessarily my own. With the festering Ukrainian crisis and Pravda’s communist history, it should come as no surprise to Americans that Pravda is currently very anti-American.
Coming Soon: The Sputnik Quantum Computer And The Pravda-Arxiv
Moscow, April 1, 2015— Pravda has learned from confidential sources that President Vladimir Putin will soon announce a bold new plan to build a Russian quantum computer before the end of the decade and also a Russian version of arXiv. arXiv is the leading website on the Internet for publishing the scientific research of all countries.
Russian Quantum Computer
On October 4, 1957, the USSR was the first nation to put a man-made satellite, the Sputnik 1, in orbit around the earth. This started a Space Race between the USA and the USSR.
On May 25, 1961, American president John F. Kennedy announced before a special session of Congress an ambitious goal for his nation. He said “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
On Jun 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon and was safely back on earth 4 days later. This meant America had won the Space Race.
President Putin believes strongly that Russia can beat the USA this time, in the Quantum Space Race.
After close consultations with Alexei Kitaev and Yuri Milner, President Putin, our Vovochka, has decided to take the QC plunge shirtless (in a figurative sense).
President Putin has persuaded Kitaev to leave his post as professor at Caltech, a prestigious American university, and to return to the motherland to direct the construction of a topological quantum computer (QC), a type of computer which Kitaev invented while working at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, near Moscow. Kitaev has received many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship and a Milner prize of 3 million US dollars, for his invention of the topological QC and related work.
Great advances have been made by Microsoft and others in building a topological QC, and it is now thought that all the ingredients for building such a computer are already in place and it’s only a matter of time and engineering before it’s built. President Putin’s advisers estimate that a topological QC can be built for 100 to 200 million dollars, which is pocket change for a large country like Russia, and the ROI for such an investment would be enormous.
Yuri Milner, a billionaire venture capitalist, has agreed to start an international company that will commercialize the device produced by Kitaev’s team. Milner is a Russian living in Santa Clara, California. He is best known for having established and endowed the “Milner Prize” for fundamental physics research.
Milner has already signed a deal with the start-up Canadian QC software company Artiste to write the software for the Sputnik QC. A new language, PyQMeld, will be used for this purpose.
Russian Version of arXiv Sorely Needed
President Putin will also soon announce another bombshell which will take many naive Americans by surprise, but which Russian scientists have been predicting for a long time.
President Putin is very displeased with what he considers American imperialism and interventionism in the Ukraine. And, according to Putin, American imperialism extends far beyond the Ukraine, into the very heart and soul of worldwide scientific research.
If a country were to have a total monopoly over the means of dissemination of scientific research for the whole world, such a country would wield tremendous power over all other countries. Scientific research is, after all, the goose that lays the golden eggs. President Putin believes that the USA has such a monopoly through arXiv.
Virtually 99.9% of the physics and mathematics research papers from the whole world are disseminated via a website called arXiv. On the surface, arXiv appears to be headed by someone called Paul Ginsparg, but KGB investigators have presented President Putin with clear evidence that arXiv is ultimately controlled by the American government.
According to a report prepared by the KGB, this Paul Ginsparg is a J.Edgar Hoover-like government official who rules arXiv with an iron fist. The Internet is full of stories of people who were banned or censored by arXiv, a cruel and needless action by arXiv (after all, electronic publishing costs are almost nothing compared with paper publishing costs). Such a ban often means the professional death of its victims. The KGB has presented President Putin with clear evidence that such actions were routinely undertaken by arXiv as a form of reprisal for unpopular political views, or for crossing Ginsparg or his cronies, although one cannot tell for sure what the reasons were, because there is no transparency in the so called arXiv appeal process. Some at the KGB refer to Paul Ginsparg as the Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, because he decides which scientific papers and theories are heretical and which are not, and sends mercilessly those he doesn’t like to their professional death. Galileo would have never been allowed to publish in arXiv.
President Putin believes that the American government, which is by no means powerless to curb arXiv, is ultimately responsible for all this mind-control, and repressive, vindictive arXiv behavior—the same American government that likes to portray itself as a paragon of virtue, democracy and freedom.
In a rare concerted effort, the Russian, Chinese and UK delegates to the United Nations will soon propose to that international body that it establish a UN organization to take charge of arXiv. They will argue that there is a pressing need for an international body to which those being persecuted by arXiv can appeal in a transparent and fair manner. If that move does not succeed, President Putin is prepared to ask the Russian Academy of Sciences to build a Russian arXiv website that espouses freedom and democracy, unlike the current American one. He also intends to ban Russian scientists from using the American arXiv.