Monday, July 03, 2017

What we have here is failure to communicate

Back in high school, it was physics in which I was most interested.  It was that common interest, especially in all things quantum, that brought this guy and me together.

But, as I grew older, the humanity around me interested me even more than physics did.  It became more and more a puzzle to me that it was possible for humans to send a few humans to the moon and bring them back, but were were/are unable to solve basic problems here on earth.  I started traveling a different road.

Turns out that the problems of humanity are not at all easy to solve.  In fact, we are hell bent on making things worse.

It does not mean that my interest in physics has died out either.  Which is why when Brian Greene came to campus, I was not going to miss that opportunity.  Which is why when Scientific American has an essay about quantum communication, well, I had to read it.

I am not going to comment on the physics there.  Because, well, I have no expertise to say anything meaningful.  I am not even sure if I understood the nuances being discussed there.

But, there is something else that I want to comment about.

Consider the following names mentioned in that essay:
Hatim Salih
Jian-Wei Pan
Yuan Cao
Yu-Huai Li
Tae-Gon Noh

Consider this excerpt from that Scientific American essay:
While living in England in 2009, a young man named Hatim Salih read Noh’s paper and asked himself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” He had a degree in electronics but had taught himself quantum physics after reading a few popular books by Roger Penrose and attending seminars in York . A year later Salih returned to his native Sudan, where he marketed solar panels, and a friend invited him to be a visiting researcher at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. He did not have a PhD, but with a colleague there and two other theorists at Texas A&M University, he took “the logic of counterfactual communication to its natural conclusion.”
Salih then founded a company, called Qubet Research, to monetize the idea.
Take a look at this photograph from that same piece:

Now, consider this photograph:

Photo at the Fifth Solvay Conference, in 1927

If only this current president and his minions understood that 2017 is not 1927.


Ramesh said...

Yup; we live in a globalised world. If you take any field - science, medicine, business, whatever and get together the whos who in the world, it would be a lot different from that photo from 1927.

One of the great gains from the last 40-50 years.

Sriram Khé said...

Yes, these gains are what pisses off trump and his 63 million voters, who want America First!!!

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