The Future is here

Sometimes, modern, up-to-date folks feel like they are at least keeping even with new technologies and new ways of doing things. There’s a bit of hubris in telling Alexa what to do – as if one actually is in charge of the technology and its consequences. Do not be deceived. Computer technology has leaped into the future at the speed of light – literally. has an article about a computer that can foresee the future – all 16 possibilities![1] What staggers mariner’s mind is that data is stored on qubits – a subatomic particle. A quick reference: in the beginning, data was stored by carving into stone; then data was stored on paper by printing presses; then data was stored on tape; then data was stored on disks, all this time leveraging the computer base 2 language of zero and one; then data was stored on magnetic switches; now data is stored on subatomic particles that can be divided and manipulated to predict future events. There is no way mariner can convey how tiny a qubit is.

Without confusing things by discussing quantum mechanics – a valid science that has nothing to do with our sense of reality – mariner will fall back onto Schroeder’s cat. Imagine a cat in a sealed box. Is the cat alive? Yes. Is the cat dead? Yes. As a state of factual reality, alive and dead are both equally true at the same time. It isn’t until one opens the box and measures the situation that alive or dead – it could be either – is true.

If one is truly careful and can open the box with different versions of historical evidence, one can predetermine whether the cat is alive or dead. Hence, foretelling the future. The computer scientists in the article are able to present four variables to the qubit that modify its responses for future processing into sixteen different futures.

Forget history class; take future class.

Ancient Mariner


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