The Full (Four-Card) Monty (or Changing the Quantum Q-ommunity)

Continuing our Quantum Computing Crash (Collision?) Course to get you ready for our upcoming performance of BOUNDED IN A NUTSHELL (help us BUILD A NUTSHELL HERE) –

Wadler_quantum_3_Another installment of our CRASH (COLLISION?) COURSE for Quantum Computing 101 in preparation for our workshop performance of BOUNDED IN A NUTSHELL coming in December.

Just finished reading this fantastic piece by Dylan Wadler writing for the All About Circuits website (with adjacent image of the Bloch Sphere courtesy of IBM) about a 5 Q-bit cloud quantum computer! What I found most intriguing about this online, interactive exercise provided by IBM (utilizing four-card Monty as one of its equation illustrations) is the idea that they are looking to foster and strengthen a quantum community. As if to say they want to help people “think in a more quantum manner.” Recent science has shown that our technology often changes the way that our minds work. We think differently working on computers than we did when we worked with ledgers. Or with an abacus. It shows the immense adaptability that the human mind has. Remarkable.

But it also begs some of the same questions asked in previous posts.

Does our technology alter us for good AND FOR ILL?

Many studies suggest that our subconscious minds work in a sphere we could call a “quantum realm” (certainly, if we wanted to be a little twee). The subconscious mind is constantly working. Constantly looking for solutions to problems the conscious mind feeds it. I read somewhere that the conscious mind has no memory. It is the subconscious mind that stores input and processes it into memory. Into dreams. Into our personal history. Again, remarkable.

But what would happen to us if we found ourselves working with more advanced quantum technology that more resembles our subconscious mind than our conscious mind? The subconscious mind is this huge, swirling mystery to us the majority of the time. Like quantum physics, we understand it more academically than we can truly internalize it.

If we started working on technology that resembled that swirling undertow, is it possible we could somehow get lost in it? In the script of NUTSHELL one of the characters describes working on sub-atomic science as if he’s looking into the face of God. Of course, no human can do that (according to legend) without being obliterated.

Maybe it wouldn’t be complete annihilation. Maybe you would fall into some deep chasm or wormhole. Maybe the face of God is some strange sort of canyon that is seemingly endless. And maybe that would all drive you mad.

Just keep that in mind as you play with IBM’s Four-Card Monty.

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