Friday, December 20, 2019

Aaronson defends quantum supremacy term

Computer complexity theory professor Scott Aaronson is freaked out about his leftist colleagues calling him a "quantum supremacist" in Nature and elsewhere. He is, quite literally, a quantum supremacist. He has staked his whole career on the concept, he has written one book on it and is writing another, he often talks it up to the news media, and he aggressively promoted Google's work as proof of quantum supremacy.

He defends his views:
The same half of me thinks: do we really want to fight racism and sexism? Then let’s work together to assemble a broad coalition that can defeat Trump. And Jair Bolsonaro, and Viktor Orbán, and all the other ghastly manifestations of humanity’s collective lizard-brain. Then, if we’re really fantasizing, we could liberalize the drug laws, and get contraception and loans and education to women in the Third World, and stop the systematic disenfranchisement of black voters, and open up the world’s richer, whiter, and higher-elevation countries to climate refugees, and protect the world’s remaining indigenous lands (those that didn’t burn to the ground this year).

In this context, the trouble with obsessing over terms like “quantum supremacy” is not merely that it diverts attention, while contributing nothing to fighting the world’s actual racism and sexism. The trouble is that the obsessions are actually harmful. For they make academics — along with progressive activists — look silly. They make people think that we must not have meant it when we talked about the existential urgency of climate change and the world’s other crises. They pump oxygen into right-wing echo chambers.
As this makes clear, he is a Jewish supremacist, and not a White supremacist. He, along with most other secular academic Jews, favors policies that replace Whites with non-whites. He even refers to non-Jews as sub-human ("lizard-brain").

I don't want to discuss impeachment politics here, but Aaronson is saying that his commonplace arrogant Jewish leftist Trump-hating politics should somehow excuse him being an avowed quantum supremacist. No, it is just the opposite. He shows the same sort of illogical thinking in both arguments.

Until Google's recent announcement, Aaronson often conceded that quantum supremacy was just a conjecture, and we did not know whether it could be achieved or not. Now he is fully on board with arguing that quantum supremacy has now been proved. "Quantum Supremacist" could be his epitaph.

After writing this, I see that Aaronson responds to a comment:
Regarding your “provocative bit,” I confess that being Jewish never once crossed my mind when I wrote about “reclaiming” the word supremacy.

(Having said that: if, according to the Official Regulations of Wokeness, being Jewish, a member of one of humanity’s longest-persecuted identity groups, grants my voice and perspective some sort of special consideration from my opponents in these discussions, I hereby wish to claim the special consideration now. 😀 )

By “reclaiming” I simply meant: reclaiming the word “supremacy” from the racists, for and on behalf of all decent human beings, for the latter to use as a common inheritance.
This is just more confirmation that he is a Leftist Jewish Supremacist.

First, he was obviously conscious of his Jewishness because he talks about Whites as people different from himself.

Second, Jews are humanity's most privileged group, not its most persecuted.

Third, he explicitly claims Jewish privilege, as if that makes him superior to non-Jews.

Fourth, the word "supremacy" is not a word used by the "racists" he decries. There are a few people who call themselves white nationalists or white advocates, but I have never heard any call himself a white supremacist. It is entirely a term used by leftist anti-white organizations like the SPLC or NY Times. He is not reclaiming it from racists.

Fifth, the word supremacy is used all the time in contexts that have nothing to do with race.

Update: Aaronson brings in his fellow professor (and evolutionist/atheist/leftist/psychologist/linguist) Steve Pinker to argue:
To state what should be obvious: nip is not a sexual word. ... Men have nipples too, and women’s nipples evolved as organs of nursing, not sexual gratification. Indeed, many feminists have argued that it’s sexist to conceptualize women’s bodies from the point of view of male sexuality.
This is way out of my expertise, but it is not obvious to me. Men don't breastfeed, so nursing is plainly sexual, and most moms enjoy doing it. Humans would have died out a long time ago otherwise. It seems plausible to me that women's nipples evolved for sexual gratification.

I wanted to agree with Pinker's larger point, but his reasoning doesn't make much sense.

Aaronson also reiterated his disavowal of this comment:
5. I believe there still exist men who think women are inferior, that they have no business in science, that they’re good only for sandwich-making and sex. Though I don’t consider it legally practicable, as a moral matter I’d be fine if every such man were thrown in prison for life.
Okay, I am sure he never meant this comment to be taken literally, but it shows his leftist mindset that he even wants to punish men for their opinions. Classical liberals believed that everyone should be entitled to their opinions. Today's leftists very much want to punish men for their opinions. When they guys denounce Pres. Trump, it seems to me that their own bigotry is at work.


  1. I have an incredibly straightforward approach:

    If a person WISHES to be offended, I sincerely hope they get their hearts desire. There is simply no way to have a civil conversation with someone who takes offense at any opinion other than their own.

    If another person's opinion is a threat to your very identity, you need help.

  2. "This is just more confirmation that he is a Leftist Jewish Supremacist."

    He is leftist, Jewish, but definitely not a Jewish Supremacist, which is a terminology invented by antisemites. Just like all leftist Jews, he sees himself as a "universal man" who happens to be of Jewish descent.

    "Second, Jews are humanity's most privileged group, not its most persecuted."

    If one looks at history, Jews have been the most persecuted group in the history of the world. If Jews were humanity's most privileged group, everyone would convert to Judaism in order to gain its privileges.

  3. Converting to Judaism is not so easy. There are lots of Palestinian Arabs who would like to live in Israel, and yet they do not convert to Judaism.