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Thank you God DA Morgan, but you are not the judge of such things, and not a very thoughtful judge at that. Though I am ignorant (it is called humility), I am not embarrassed. I am far more embarrassed by your lack of a broad education, and your willing to be combative on any and every subject.

From a philosophical point of view, many here use science the same way others use religion, and I am not talking about tithing. Your ability to dismiss any subject with a single comment reminds me more of fundamental Christians and Moslems.

Life is not black and white; it is many shades of grey. And science is interesting because there is still so much unknown. If you can?t deal with that I know a few religions you might be interested in that have all the answers. Otherwise get back to teaching and learning and drop the nasty part.


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Sparky: "1. Scientists are a few, elite people who take the trouble to try to understand the very difficult. Hence you should not expect the masses to understand what you understand."

Besides the fact that scientists are not as few as you say, you are right. Many people do not understand what scientist do, or what they discovered. But this begs another question: why do they accept blindly religious tenets, and do not accept as blindly scientific tenets? It is basically the same "process": some "guru"(priest or scientist), tells them something is true.

Sparky: "2. Many people here are highly competive, tearing into any other people's ideas with the shout "defend yourself". Might work well in the scientific community, doesn't work well in the rest of the world."

Oh, come on Sparky, get real. Have you ever tried to apply for a loan at a bank? How about applying to get into college? Have you been to a job interview in the real world? In all cases you have to prove yourself, to defend your intentions in front of other people. So why treat science differently?

Sparky: "Hence: you turn off the masses with your people skills."

So does your internet provider, or your bank, or even your university administration if your questions become uncomfortable to them. And yet, you still subscribe for internet services, and still apply for a loan, and still pay inflated tuitions in college.

Sparky:"Calling others idiots will never market an idea."

Science is not, and has never been a bargaining matter, you know?

What is equally interesting is that the analogous religious situation (the "calling ione an idiot" situation) is slightly different. If a priest tells someone in his congregation that he has sinned, instead for that someone to flip the priest a birdie, in most cases he/she takes the path of repentence, at least formally. Which is very interesting, since the church(es) have an even worse set of bedside manners than science!

Sparky:"3. I would postulate that science alone does not fill the needs of most people. Here in the US, to a lesser extent in Europe, but also to a great extend in third world countries, religion fills a need in many people's lives."

You may be right, science may be not as fulfilling as science. But the question is why?And it is rather easy to make an argument pointing towards human egocentrism. Which would be a rather sad conclusion in the 21st (and a a half) century!

Sparky:"4. I would futher suggest that for some of you, your strict adherance to an only science belief resembles a form of religion, much as Communisum, though without a god, likewise used many of the forms of religion including hymns."

For those who choose to see it like this, it might indeed resemble a form of religion. But that would be a poor oppinion, since science can prove the claims it makes, mathematically in the very least, and observationally in most cases. Which is more than I can say, or that anyone can say about religion. And one major characteristic that differentiates science from religion and communism is its flexibility, dictated ultimately by observation. Any theory, no matter how compelling or how on fashion, will be dismissed once it does not agree with observation. Nothing like this happens in religion, nor has happened (spontaneously) in the communist regiomes.

However, religion gives something that science doesn't. Prosmises of a clean slate. In life, and after. Which seems to be much more agreeable to people than what science can offer.

Sparky:"Religion is a way of looking at life, a pholosiphy, a way of living. There are many religions in the world that do not believe in a supreme god."

It is indeed a philosophy of life, or at least, it was a philosophy of life, very long ago. Now it doesn't seem to be that anymore. Many tenets of religion have become anachronistic, and in certain cases, even antisecular. Very many use religion as a front, and in many cases, religion itself has become (not that it has not been) a more subtle front for a power structure (many know who the Pope is, but how many know that there is actually a Vatican Bank, which does business as cut-throat as any other bank today - nothing like love thy neighbor precept, and which has been involved in scandals like the BCI or the Banca Ambrosiano).

Sparky:"Some of you guys are way too stressed out. Now if you have already made your great contribution by age 30, go ahead and kick the bucket."

Well, some may choose not to follow your advice. But it would be nice if you would send this piece of advice to your congressman too.

Sparky:"Otherwise hang cool, teach and learn. It takes a long time for new ideas to be accepted and understood."

In other words, mind your own business, no matter what, and stop making the others who don't (want to) understand what you say uncomfortable for one reason or another. Well, that would be a possibility. But some may choose differently.

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"Scientists are a few, elite people who take the trouble to try to understand the very difficult. Hence you should not expect the masses to understand what you understand."
They are a relatively small group. I don't think that everyone can understand everything, but I'm pretty sure that MOST people (who are not retarded) are capable of understanding MOST things. Moreover, for a democracy to work ... for an advanced technical society to work ... science MUST be imparted.

My feeling is that people tend to do what is easiest, taking the path of least resistance in most cases.


"2. Many people here are highly competive, tearing into any other people's ideas with the shout "defend yourself". Might work well in the scientific community, doesn't work well in the rest of the world. Hence: you turn off the masses with your people skills. Calling others idiots will never market an idea."

Well, you're kinda right here. "You're an idiot" is not an argument. Not surprisingly, talking about science is a lot easier than practicing it. I highly recommend a book to you - by Daniel Boorstin called "The Discoverers." Most people - including some practicing 'scientists' and many of science's vocal proponents have a sort of comic-book understanding of it. One thing a person can do to get a quick label of dunce is make a firm statement of something in an area where he clearly hasn't done his homework. Unfortunatley, it's not obvious that there are many people on gogo who could make such a determination.

"3. I would postulate that science alone does not fill the needs of most people. Here in the US, to a lesser extent in Europe, but also to a great extend in third world countries, religion fills a need in many people's lives."

I agree with you. This is a HUGE cry from saying that religion is true. I've always considered that the question "is religion necessary" is the wrong question posed by exremist atheists who are more interested in making their opinions sound scientific than in solving problems. Science alone is unfulfilling to most people. But it's not just the fault of scientists. Understanding science takes some effort and focus - a lot more than which most people are willing to submit themselves. I've realized that for a long time, but it's only been in the last few years that I've come to undrestand exactly how dire the consequences might be.


"4. I would futher suggest that for some of you, your strict adherance to an only science belief resembles a form of religion, much as Communisum, though without a god, likewise used many of the forms of religion including hymns. Religion is a way of looking at life, a pholosiphy, a way of living. There are many religions in the world that do not believe in a supreme god."

I ALMOST agree with this. For some people, science is like a religion. This is nothing new. Many people who followed science in history were convinced that they were "in the know" and rationally justified, but were dismally mistaken.
Science doesn't say anything about god. Science CAN'T say anything about any supernatural god. I personally consider the idea of god to be asinine - but that's a philosophical opinion, not a scientific one. I think one area where scientists have really failed is in conveying a serious appreciation of it to the masses. Again, I strongly encourage you to slowly and carefully read "The Discoverers." But this is a far cry from saying that science is on the wrong track or that science should consider explanations other than natural for phenomena.

If there are supernatural explanations for natural phenomena, science is incapable of addressing them.

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Pasti: 3 technical papers published, many magazine articals published, frequent lecturer- I know what it is to be challenged. In one presentation, the accepted expert in the world told me I was wrong. I invited him to look at my data, and he came around to my point of view. But we did it in a friendly way, and with mutual respect.

To TheFallibleFiend. Thanks for your comments. I think humility and awe are two things that science and religion should have in common. This universe is much greater and more beautiful than anyone can imagine.

I was educated as a Metallurgical Engineer, but my school taught the subject as if it were solid state physics. Hence my interest in science. I have also done graduate work in Computer Science and Business Management. I have been Quality Control manager, Quality Assurance manager, and did a short stent filling in as Purchasing Manager. Then I went into business myself and have developed a thermal analysis instrument for the industry that keeps food on the table. That has made me a kind of expert in the field of thermal analysis for foundry alloys (grey iron, ductile iron, and aluminum alloys mostly).

Most of the people I know do have some knowledge of science, but they wouldn't think of wanting to become a scientist as a profession or as a hobby, or even sitting down and reading a scientific article. So with the title of this thread, what is the objective? To intrest more people in careers in science? To incourage more hobbiests? To incourage more readers? To incourage people to abandon religion and adopt one of many changing scientific views on the universe? I will settle for just interesting people in science and being open minded.


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"Most of the people I know do have some knowledge of science, but they wouldn't think of wanting to become a scientist as a profession or as a hobby, or even sitting down and reading a scientific article. So with the title of this thread, what is the objective? To intrest more people in careers in science? To incourage more hobbiests? To incourage more readers? To incourage people to abandon religion and adopt one of many changing scientific views on the universe? I will settle for just interesting people in science and being open minded."

I didn't start the thread, so I don't know what the objective is. I have a tendency to digress and it could be I have hijacked the thread to beat the dead horse I'm riding.

But maybe not. The question was "have scientists failed humanity." It's a provocative statement, but I'll take it at face value. Science has done a great deal for humanity - and could do more. There are some areas that need work - and some that need a lot of work.

There are some areas where scientists are failing, but it's not clear that it's entirely their fault. But I'm not really interested in ascribing fault. For now I'm content to try to define the problem better.

If I agree that scientists in some sense have failed humanity, I mean this in a different sense than the OP. If I understand correctly, he is lamenting the fact that science hasn't been emotionally or spiritually fulfilling to people.

I think that's true, but I don't think it's a failure of scientists. It isn't the purpose of science to give people purpose in their lives. Science describes the physical world and provides us with clues to how we might make use of these descriptions to change our environment favorably.
It doesn't tell us how we ought to behave or what we should value. It can give us insights, but not answers. Wrong tool for the job. Jackhammers are great tools, but they're not useful for performing surgery. Neither is a scalpel of much use for knocking out concrete.

Science doesn't say "this is all there is." It says, "This is all I'm able to tell you." Some people feel that is not enough. First, some religious types feel threatened by science. They want to believe - and they want potential acolytes to believe - that their religious beliefs deserve to be held in the same position in society as scientifically derived beliefs. They want the prestige, but they don't want to play by the rules. Second, people often have a deep desire to invent answers in situations where there aren't any to be had. Some are like children who just can't take "I don't know" for an answer.

In any event, these fellows, just as the OP, feel that science is inherently unfulfilling because it doesn't give them the answers they're looking for.
But the sense in which I mean it is this:
Life is pretty easy for us moderns living in the first world. We have luxuries that most people in the world can't even imagine - and I'm not talking about television sets and walkmen. I'm talking about choices. We can actually DECIDE our careers - how we want to make money and get along in the world. And a lot of us -- to many of us -- are doing things that look like fun - and are a lot easier and often more profitable than a career in science. It's ironic that the scientific and technological penchant that produced this environment has, in so doing, created the means and the will among people to prefer study in other areas - which, if it continues, could be the start of an extended period of technological decline for us. (not decline in the sense that we are forgetting stuff, but in the sense that we are developing at a slower pace.) The economies of the first world countries depends on technological expertise.

To answer your last questions, yes.

1. I think the government and industry needs to step in an encourage young citizens to take up technical careers.

2. I also think that encouraging hobbyists is a good thing. Amateurs have made phenomenal contributions to science over the centuries.

3. Okay, in my heart of hearts, I kinda want people to abandon religion. But I don't think that's actually necessary - and maybe not even desirable. But we can't go around giving out the label of "science" to every idea just because a lot of people believe it. I'm all in favor of some kind of compromise, but it shouldn't involve changing the definition of science.

A MASSIVE part of the problem is that children are raised in such a way as to believe that they JUST HAVE TO KNOW certain things and BELIEVE certain things. The scientist is limited in this case. It's not very scientific to just make up any old explanation, so he resorts to "I don't know."
But these adults hearing that answer were brainwashed from very early ages that they have to have a purpose in life and they have to know it. They're emotionally incapabler of admitting they don't know some things for certain.

4. I think it's great to interest people in science. It's an admirable thing, it's doable, it's practical, it's economical - you don't have to have a committee figure it out, you just jump right in and do it. It's sufficient for you to do this, if that is your community service. But it's not sufficient for society or humanity. Human societies that have any hope of maintaining their current standards need to accept the responsibility to educate their citizens in the methods and results of science. To some extent this has happened. The school boards I know about have pretty high standards for science education in their districts. Looks good on paper anyway - and in fact is reasonably good in practice.

In reality, we have places like KS, though, where the most intellectually lazy people get to decide the science curriculum for everyone else. And we have declining interest in the sciences among the youth. (And as I said in the previous post, we're not the only ones suffering through this.)

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Amen. I would add:

Amateurs and hobbyists teach their children to respect science, and some of their children become scientists.

I do also think that there are changes going on in Religion as well caused by the outbreak of science. There are the anti-science religions, the diluted down religions that tired of the conflict, and I predict there will be if not already, religions that embrace science and fuse the two together to one level or another with varing degrees of success.


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I don't think there has to be a conflict between science and religion, but the way religion works, it seems like a dangerous combination. As long as religion gets the idea of "demarcation" and doesn't try to use science as a tool for proving religious doctrine, I think there's room for compromise.

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Ok here's a perfect example of what I was talking about in the openning post of this thread, on the growing inarticulateness of the scientific community and their inability to express knowledge in terms understandable and meaningful to the general public:

Below is the first few paragraphs of the wikipedia entry for "Quantum Computer". This entry is the product of no less than 4 years of constant updating and editing by hundreds of supposed "experts" in the field (a non-expert would dare not try to make an entry or would very quickly be corrected and edited out by an expert). Now obviously people write these wikipedia articles with the lay masses in mind, since what expert would rely on a wikipedia page for their knowledge. Here it is

Wiki QComputer
Quote:

A quantum computer is any device for computation that makes direct use of distinctively quantum mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. In a classical (or conventional) computer, the amount of data is measured by bits; in a quantum computer, it is measured by qubits. The basic principle of quantum computation is that the quantum properties of particles can be used to represent and structure data, and that devised quantum mechanisms can be used to perform operations with these data. For a generally accessible overview of quantum computing, see Quantum Computing with Molecules, an article in Scientific American by Neil Gershenfeld and Isaac L. Chuang.
Overall the first paragraph is not bad, but here already in the first sentence we are asked to go learn about the not-insignificant quantum properties of superposition and entaglement before we can understand anything about what sets a quantum computer apart from a conventional computer. Some unanswered questions a typical lay person might have after reading this first paragraph:

* What the hell is an "operation on data" (1st and
4th sentences)?
* When and how did "particles" (4th sentence) come
into this?
* What is meant by "structuring data" (4th
sentence) and how the hell do you
"represent data" (4th sentence) in a computer in
the first place, I thought computers just
"stored data"?

The first paragraph ends with an obviously self-conscious instruction to read another article about quantum computers in Scientific American which supposedly is "more accessible" than this one (but which is in fact just as poor), all but admitting its own failure before even getting started. The entry continues:

Quote:

Experiments have already been carried out in which quantum computational operations were executed on a very small number of qubits. Research in both theoretical and practical areas continues at a frantic pace; see Quantum Information Science and Technology Roadmap for a sense of where the research is heading.
A link to a highly technical page which contrary to the stated objective provides NO SENSE to the lay person but serves instead to further alienate him.

Quote:

Many national government and military funding agencies support quantum computing research, to develop quantum computers for both civilian and national security purposes, such as cryptanalysis.
Great. I guess this was supposed to make the lay person feel better and more trusting of the technology??

Quote:

See the Nature article in the references below reporting on work at IBM Almaden Research Center, where scientists implemented a seven qubit computing device that ran Shor's factorization algorithm.
Oh great, they ran Shor's algorithm. What the F*ck is factorization and what the F*ck is an algorithm? But it was done at IBM so I guess that means that I should trust and believe it. Maybe I'll pray to IBM.

And THAT WAS JUST THE PREFACE. Here's the first paragraph of the first entry listed as chapter one in the contents of this wikipedia page:

Quote:

The basis of quantum computing.
In quantum mechanics, the state of a physical system (such as an electron or a photon) is described by an element of a mathematical object called a Hilbert space. The realization of the Hilbert space depends on the particular system. For instance, in the case of a single particle system, the state can be described by a complex-valued function defined on R3 (three-dimensional space) called a wave function. As described in the article on quantum mechanics, this function has a probabilistic interpretation; of particular significance is that quantum states have a property called superposition. A similar realization of the Hilbert space exists for systems of interacting particles. The time evolution of the system state is given by a family {Ut} (with t denoting time) of unitary transformations of H. Thus if ? is the state at time 0, then Ut ? is the state at time t. Note that this is true only if the system is isolated and the phenomenon of decoherence does not occur.
I rest my case with that one!

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I don't believe the politically correct nonsense that imputes equally abilities to all people; however, what I do believe is that in the spectrum of human knowledge, most people are able to understand most things.

I loathe teachers who make subjects more complicated than they need to be. The purpose of instruction is to assist in the process of education, not to be an impediment. OTOH, there are some areas of human inquiry that do require a rather large ante just to get into the game. While most people's opacity is due not to the subject material, but to their own intellectual sloth, some of them - and QC in particular - really does require a substantial intellectual investment.

I've read several articles on the subject and can't claim to know any more now than I did before I started. It doesn't seem appropriate, though, for me to blame the authors for my own ignorance. If I *really* wanted or needed to learn this stuff, I'd make time to sit down for extended pperiods till I had soaked it up. It's not their fault that I haven't set QC as a priority.

Most people, I think, or many people, at any rate, want education the way couch potatoes want a million dollars. This is to say, they want a million dollars if someone just hands it to them, but they aren't necessarily willing to hoist their carcasses, stroll down to the paper stand, and scour the want ads - or sit down with pencil and paper and work their the details of a specific plan. Life isn't only about what you want, though. It's mostly about what you're willing to struggle for.

I think scientists have failed in communicating some important aspects of science. But I don't think yours is a good example of that. Some subjects are just hard.

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As for your questions, I'm not sure if you meant for them to be answered, but I'll give it a whack:


"operation on data"
This is a vague term. In traditional computing an "operation" is something like loading a value (data) from memory into the processor (or a register in the processor). Another operation would be adding the contents of another memory location to register and another still would be storing those contents in another memory location.

At a higher level, a single operation might consist of a long string of these machine code operations. Something like:
Let a = b + c
might be 3 (or even more) machine code instructions. QC operations might be substantially different. I recall one article I read was saying that it was still an open question whether, for example, QCs might solve NP-Complete problems in polynomial time (effectively instantaneously). It's not clear to me what "operation" means in that context. If I weren't busy at the moment, I'd make time to review some current literature on the subject.

"When and how did "particles" (4th sentence) come
into this?"

Current computers represent bits of data via the states of transistors. QCs go smaller than that - to particles. I have too vague an understanding to explain any details on this.

My job requires me to go into areas where I essentially know nothing and - within a few months or years - to gain a sufficient understanding of the subject to explain it in simple terms to people who - in general - are a lot smarter and knowledgeable than I am. It's always a frustrating thing, because most of what is written presumes I know a lot more than I actually do. All I can say is that if you really want to understand something, you have to be willing to make the investment. I just sit down and start reading papers, doing net searches, writing equations, organizing thoughts. I sit down and resolve that I'm going to not get up till I understand this little sub-part. I don't learn much with each sitting, but you do this several hundred times over the course of a few months and pretty soon you almost know something important.

It would be nice if PhDs could write well. In their defense, they're usually writing to other PhDs and they tend to write (and speak) in a sort of jargonated shorthand. That just makes the value of people who can jump in, figure it out, and translate it into terms that other technical people can understand more tangible.


"What is meant by "structuring data" (4th
sentence) and how the hell do you
"represent data" (4th sentence) in a computer in
the first place, I thought computers just
"stored data"?"

Computers do more than store data. Structure means organize. You realize that data in digital computers is represented by 0s and 1s. But it's a little more complicated than that. Let's say we have a 4 bit (nibble) Imaginary Computer. There is an LED display on this computer that allows you to see the binary numeric contents of any memory location in our computer. We look and it says, "1111" and we ask "What does it mean?" Well, it means nothing - or rather, it could mean almost anything - it could be an opcode telling the processor to stop. It could be a 4 bit two-s complement integer, or it could be an unsigned integer, or it could signify an address. How can one know? How does the computer know? The only way to tell is by context. Even though I don't recall any specifics on this in regards to QCs, I get the gist of what they're saying.

The problem is not that they haven't explained well, but that they (the authors) have assumed a certain level of understanding for their readers. I don't know whether it is justified, but it seems that they have to start somewhere - do they assume that the reader doesn't know English and begin each article with a development of grammar?

I don't know that the assumptions they make are the best ones, but it seems to me that they are not unreasonable.

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page 4 seems to have vanished.

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well, now, and here it back again.

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the example of quantum computing is perfect!!!

It is a pure hoax, and they write about it as it were reality.
Talking about religion being not reliable!

e laugh s

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Well, I believe Planko's example is perfect for illustrating the "consumer" approach to science The Fiend was talking about a few posts earlier (the couch-potato approach to understanding scince).

I do not believe that it is reasonable to expect that science "should happen" onto you with no effort, nor do I think that by reading some internet blog (no matter that it's called Wikipedia or else) should one instantly become an expert in a field or have a complete understanding of an issue.

In Planko's example, Wikipedia offers a starting point for understanding what a quantum computer is in an elementary form, and I think it offers enough information for the interested person to continue the learning process. Those who want to understand more, will keep reading; those who don't want to understand more, will claim that it was not well explained to them and they could not understand the concepts.

Most people expect to be spoon-fed information at no matter what level of (lack of) knowledge they are without any effort from their part. As I said before, this is an unreasonable expectation. But somehow, "someone" failed to teach them that you need to invest effort, and sometimes large amounts of it before you can say you have some understanding of an issue. And it is not the scientists who failed to teach them this aspect.

And furthermore, there is a wide-spread belief that any issue in science can be brought down to any level, including highschool and below. Which in fact is not true. And worse, by insisting that it is true, kids are taught things that are incorrect. And even worse, those who teach the kids such incorrect things don't know themselves that what they teachis incorrect, nor do they want to know.

But it is always easy to throw the blame on the scientists for the general lack of knowledge. God forbid to tell someone that instead of watching wrestling, or Oprah, they'd better open a book and heresy!, read it.

For those having kids, have you noticed that at the PT meetings the issue is more often how to make the learning process "more interesting for the kids" and not how to make the kids (and the corresponding parents) more concerned about learning? And that if it is not the parents proposing such a politically correct approach, they are the first to buy it?

I think these are root causes why science does and did not have too much "success" with the large public.

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Quote:
Below is the first few paragraphs of the wikipedia entry for "Quantum Computer". This entry is the product of no less than 4 years of constant updating and editing by hundreds of supposed "experts" in the field (a non-expert would dare not try to make an entry or would very quickly be corrected and edited out by an expert). Now obviously people write these wikipedia articles with the lay masses in mind, since what expert would rely on a wikipedia page for their knowledge.
Absolute nonsense. The writers have done an excellent job here. Terms like superposition, quantum mechanics, etc. etc. are all explained. All you have to do is click on the link and you go to the page where that is explained. This is really a very good way of explaining complicated things from basic principles.

Not all wiki articles are well written, but this one apperantly is, see discussion page:

Quote:
Quantum computer is a featured article, which means it has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. If you see a way this page can be updated or improved without compromising previous work, please feel free to contribute.
And I have to say that I agree 100% with that. Also note that people who are editing are mostly students and interested lay people.
People who professionally work in science are usually too busy to spend much time on these things.

Quote:
Overall the first paragraph is not bad, but here already in the first sentence we are asked to go learn about the not-insignificant quantum properties of superposition and entaglement before we can understand anything about what sets a quantum computer apart from a conventional computer. Some unanswered questions a typical lay person might have after reading this first paragraph:

* What the hell is an "operation on data" (1st and
4th sentences)?
* When and how did "particles" (4th sentence) come
into this?
* What is meant by "structuring data" (4th
sentence) and how the hell do you
"represent data" (4th sentence) in a computer in
the first place, I thought computers just
"stored data"?
You either have further questions or you don't have them. If you don't understand what superposition is then go to the relevant page. It is explained in a way that even a five year old can understand it. As for your other comments, these things do not stand in the way of getting a basic picture of what a quantum computer is. So you either ignore them or you click on ''computer'', ''computation'', ''integer factorization'' or whatever.

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Quote:
And furthermore, there is a wide-spread belief that any issue in science can be brought down to any level, including highschool and below. Which in fact is not true. And worse, by insisting that it is true, kids are taught things that are incorrect. And even worse, those who teach the kids such incorrect things don't know themselves that what they teachis incorrect, nor do they want to know.
Kids can be taught a lot more than they are now, but you have to avoid dumbing thing down. What is wrong in today's educational system is that children aren't taught mathematics at all.


You ask a 17 year old student why -1 times -1 equals 1 and you won't get the correct answer. Is it then too complicated to teach this to students? Obviously not. Many 17 year olds write complicated computer programs which involves a lot more logical reasoning than the proofs of most maths theorems that students learn at university.


Prof. 't Hooft has started an initiative to teach children the basics of modern physics. Instead of dumbing down the physics you dumb down the mathematics a bit (instead of avoiding it altogether). A lot can be achieved this way.


If you compare science education with language education then you can see the point of this. Foreign language teachers don't wait with teaching literature until students have mastered grammar, spelling etc. perfectly.


't Hooft's concern is that student in high school waste a lot of time solving irrelevant artificial problems instead of learning the real stuff. This gives students the wrong impression of what physics is all about. Today, when students go to university they start at the beginning anyway, because as far as the Profs are concerned, they know nothing.

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Count Ibis wrote:
"Kids can be taught a lot more than they are now, but you have to avoid dumbing thing down. What is wrong in today's educational system is that children aren't taught mathematics at all."

Exactly.

Children should be learning Boolean logic, algebra, and second languages in grades 1-6. Our education system holds mind-expaning concepts back often until it is too late for the student to actually "get" them.


DA Morgan
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The governments, federal, state, local, want masses of uneducated citizens. If everyone were shown how to amass and apply critical thinking skills, and to acquire knowledge (that would lead them to seek a higher education in order to further their chances for a better job and better income) then you would not have a mass of maladroit idiots who will not take the menial jobs. The U.S. has a service economy driven by consumer debt. The government wants a small percentage of unemployment. Not everyone should be "educated" or have a job. My understanding of the inception of modern American schooling was a means of keeping children out of the workforce and from taking jobs away from adults, at much less pay. While I agree that children are not challenged by material (although some Russians I know took calculus in the sixth grade, but that's Russia) there should be more emphasis, at an early age, for a broader and also deeper education.
However,I disagree DA, the world Does need many "idiots". (insert your caustic comment here wink )

p.s. what are your favorite single malts?
Sincerely,


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Here is one page refutation of Quantum Computing:

http://groups.google.com/group/freeviews...3f09c5c89b6d70b

For those who know something about science laugh


ES

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Quote:
Originally posted by extrasense:
Here is one page refutation of Quantum Computing:

http://groups.google.com/group/freeviews...3f09c5c89b6d70b

For those who know something about science laugh


ES
That's a refutation of quantum computing in a Universe which operates according to ''ES'' laws. laugh

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