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Monday, August 19, 2019

The quantum computing revolution and China

Reporting from WaPo:

"Beijing is pouring billions into research and development and is offering Chinese scientists big perks to return home from Western labs."
Seriously recommend you read the entire article (a fairly long read).  Major props to my wife for the heads-up.
The quantum revolution is coming, and Chinese scientists are at the forefront
China’s drive to dominate a field with big economic and military applications outpaces some U.S. strides

SHANGHAI — More than a decade ago, Chinese physicist Pan Jian-Wei returned home from Europe to help oversee research into some of the most important technology of the 21st century.

At a conference in Shanghai this summer, Pan and his team offered a rare peek at the work he described as a “revolution.”

They spoke of the hacking-resistant communications networks they are building across China, the sensors they are designing to see through smog and around corners, and the prototype computers that may someday smash the computational power of any existing machine.

All the gear is based on quantum technology — an emerging field that could transform information processing and confer big economic and national-security advantages to countries that dominate it. To the dismay of some scientists and officials in the United States, China’s formidable investment is helping it catch up with Western research in the field and, in a few areas, pull ahead…
"A fully functioning quantum computer has the potential to be transformative. The exponentially greater calculation power could help identify new chemical compounds to treat intractable diseases, and eliminate traffic snarls by predicting and managing the flow of vehicles."
The confluence of AI / machine learning, fiber optics, and quantum computing, yeah. But,
"[T]he possibility that the machines could eventually crack all existing forms of encryption is a major worry for militaries, governments and businesses that handle sensitive data."
Meanwhile, Acting President Donald Trump seems content to brag about how he's made us all "rich."
We're doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut, and they're loaded up with money. And they're buying -- I saw the Walmart numbers, they were through the roof just two days ago. That's better than any poll. That's better than any economist.

And we're not going to have a recession. But the rest of the world is not doing well as we're doing. The rest of the world, if you look at Germany, if you look at the European Union, frankly, look at the U.K., you have a lot of countries that are not doing well.

China's doing poorly. Parts of Asia are doing poorly. We are doing better than any country or even area anywhere in the world. We're doing great. And our consumer is really, really strong. It looks like they're going to be for a long time…

Speaking of China, let us not forget "China Rx."

apropos of the economy, I'm about 2/3rds finished with this excellent book:

Got onto to this one by way of Naked Capitalism. Are we headed for a recession (or another related FIRE Sector Custerfluck)? Read Richard's book, and you tell me? Indicators may be mixed. But, this 73-yr-old ailing pensioner doesn't have time to recover from another one.

UPDATE: Finished the book. Simply excellent. Way worth your time and money.

More to come...

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