July 22, 2017

Saturday Learning Series - Quantum computing's quantum leap.

Normally Saturday Learning Series items diverge somewhat from normal political topics into other realms such as science, geography and philosophy.  In each case those topics can trace a path back to politics because they have political implications to some degree.  Today's topic however affects everything, and the politics of it, need to be addressed.  I will not be doing so here however.  The purpose of this particular entry is simply to introduce the topic and lay the groundwork for everyone to start considering what it might mean for not just America, but for all of humanity.

Quantum computing is not just the advent of a better computer.  It's more akin to a leap from the harnessing fire to manned space flight.  It is represents the advent of a powerful paradigm shift for humanity, with the potential to impact everything from artificial intelligence to opening portals to a multiverse. It's not just change on a massive scale it's potentially the most revolutionary change in human history.
We are now faced with something that goes beyond science and begins to touch on ethics, morality, safety, security, and spirituality. That's just to mention a few of the considerations that are not exactly being considered enough, given the rapid pace of quantum computing development.  That's not to say that quantum computing is a bad thing, rather that the pace of discovery is simply outpacing the thinking about the implications of the development. We should be thinking about these things.  No generation is immune to the type of changes this might bring about.

First, here's a primer on quantum computing. It's pretty basic and is about 30 minutes long. However it's worth viewing if quantum computing is a new concept to you.

That video was produced in 2014.   So where are we at now?  The D Wave computer, one iteration of the quantum computer already exists.

And where is this going?  Watch this explanation in layman's terms covering the basics of how it works and what can be done with it. 

And what of the dangers of quantum computing? Many have not been considered, but here's one very tangible one.

More dangers will come, I am sure. But so too will more benefits.  Like all technologies from fire to splitting the atom, this new technology will prove to be a double edged sword - albeit this time, the biggest sword ever.

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