Dream a Little Dream: Quantum Computer Poetry for the Skeptics (Part I, mainly 2019)

Stars shining bright above you,
Night breezes seem to whisper “I love you”
Birds singing in the sycamore tree.
Dream a little dream.
(YouTube)

Greetings from NYC everybody!

Peter Shor pioneered (Nov 26, 2019) quantum poetry for the skeptics over Twitter. (We will come shortly to Peter’s poem.) On November and December 2019, there were many very nice contributions all over social media by Renan Gross, John Dowling, Nidit Nanda, ⟨dl|yonge|mallo⟩, Alfred Marcel Bruckstein, Kenneth Regan, Ehud Friedgut, Avi Wigderson, and others. Keep the quantum poems coming! Of course, the poems should be taken with humor. Let me start with a beautiful poem by Renan Gross and small a taste of poems from 2020-2021. Stay tuned for a post on classic quantum poems since the late 90’s, and for a post with the latest 2020/2021 vintage.

Renan Gross

My favorite poem is by Renan Gross.

Renan: “I can’t quite say I’m a skeptic, but I do like to play with words. Here is my contribution:”

Bit by bit as if on cue,
The beat of qubits slowly grew
To fit the neverending queue
Of them who bit more they could chew.
Yet there is hope.

For quantum queries queer with wonder
Quibbling quarrels break asunder,
Quenching squabbles, quitting squander –
Quite quaint quest for us to ponder!
Shall we not try?

Google‘s (impressive) Hebrew translate for the first stanza of Renan’s poem

,טיפה אחר טיפה כאילו נמצא בתור
פעימות הקוויטיטים גדלו לאט
כדי להתאים לתור שלא נגמר
.מתוכם שנשכו יותר (מש)הם יכלו ללעוס
.עם זאת יש תקווה

Here is Renan Gross Hebrew poem “לבחורה שיושבת מלפני בקומבינטוריקה” (“A la fille qui est assise devant moi en combinatoires“: from a grand poetry slam festival.)

Taste of 2020/2021 poems

asdf (source, 2021) (try singing it in your heart)

Detecting interference,
Cryogenics for maintaining coherence,
Birds tweeting from the Sycamore tree,
Dream of solving BQP.

More: a bosonsampling advantage poem for the skeptics by Peter Shor;  A professional excellent quantum rap for the skeptics Qubits – Baba Brinkman; a punk-rock song about BosonSampling by Mark Wilde.

Six-word stories

Ehud Friedgut

For sale: quantum computer. Never used.

Another 6-word story (mine) with a rhyme (of some sort)

Michelson and Morley weren’t Google‘s employees.

Google: Not about quantum, about life itself

If for supremacy Google chooses to cut corners 
We are all in deep shit

(Great rhyme, isn’t it)

And now, ladies and gentlemen

Shor’s pioneering poem

This wave of poems for quantum computers skeptics was pioneered by Peter Shor.

Peter’s introduction to his poem

With the Google quantum supremacy paper, the claims that quantum computers can’t possibly work keep on coming. It is becoming clear that reasoned arguments will not stop them.

I don’t think illogical poetry is going to work, either. But it’s fun to write

Peter Shor

A Poem for Quantum Computing Skeptics

Quantum computers may at first sight seem
To be impossible. How dare we dream
Of solving problems that else would take more time
Than has passed since the cosmos’s Big Bang!

But is there any reason to believe
The universe computes the way we do?
Nature is profligate with galaxies.
Why shouldn’t her extravagance hold true
For other things? Why mightn’t she achieve
Prodigious feats of computation, too?

My short response

Understanding nature and ourselves is a worthy dream
Requiring no interaction with the supreme

My long response

A poem for supreme-power dreamers of the good kind

Nature’s prodigious feats of computation enable us to dream
Dreams of  a supreme power that watch us and care 
Dreams of a supreme morality and a supreme kind of justice
Dreams of God and Heaven

Dreams of supreme kind of computation,
Of solving problems that else would take more time
Than has passed since the cosmos’s Big Bang!

Dreams of amazing shortcuts in our difficult slow quest
For understanding and meaning

Dreams that give us solace and hope
Don’t let those transform into deception, hate, and malice.

Beware of turning into a supremacy dreamer of the bad kind.

Beware of turning into a supremacy dreamer of the bad kind

Jacob Blumoff’s praise poem for Peter’s poetry vision

Quantum Twitter, said Peter Shor, needs
More poems filling our feeds.
A great proposition–
Nay a super position–
Another field owes him its seeds.

Alfred Marcel Bruckstein

There is a guy called Shor
Who knows what qc’s are for
When he encounters Gil
Who says qc’s never will
Do what they promise to do
He writes some poems too!

(source, below The Three Package-Monsters by Alfred Marcel Bruckstein.)

AMB

Limericks

Jon Dowling

A quantum computer from Google,
Turned the Church-Turing thesis to strudel.
And yet there remain,
Many doubting this claim,
And we lash all of them with wet noodles.

(source)

My response to Jon

A quantum computer from Google,
Turned the Church-Turing thesis to strudel.
And yet there remain,
Many doubting this claim:
“It’s just a stone-less stone-soup with noodles”

Jon Dowling was an eminent quantum physicist who passed away in 2020. See here for some personal memories of John.

⟨dl|yonge|mallo⟩

Claimed a skeptic named Gil
“Quantum computers can never be built!”
So we showed him a Sycamore
But that just caused him to bicker more
“That device is too noisy still!” 

(I’m just kidding @GilKalai we love you.)

(source)

My response

Claimed a skeptic named Gil
“Quantum computers can never be built!”
So we showed him a Sycamore
But that just caused him to bicker more
“That device is too noisy still!” 

(I’m not kidding.)

Vidit Nanda

Said Peter to all detractors
Naysayers, you two-bit actors
From one to sixteen
My quantum machine
Every integer it factors.

(I’m so sorry @PeterShor1)

(source)

Kenneth Regan – “My perspective”:

“It From Bit” we once proclaimed;
but now the Bit has bit the dust
from whizzing quantum chips that gamed
coherence to evade the trust
that the Word drove creation’s hour:
Mother Nature fully lexical.
Why not evolve us that same power?
It is a status most perplexical

(source)

Avi Wigderson

“There once was a quantum computer
Whose pet was a five-legged hamster …”
So Peter and Gil
Their grandchildren will
Tell “…happy they lived ever after”

I suggest a kids’ chorus saying “yeah, right” or “sure, sure”, after each line

2019 Poetic quantum slogans

Greg Kuperberg: Google’s supremacy experiment

This is quantum David vs classical Goliath, in the extreme, —

(source)

Gil Kalai: about Google’s supremacy demo

This is a very very very delicate issue

(source Supremacy panel discussion 46:54-47:00)

delicate4

David Yonge-Mallo

Peter Shor issued a challenge to the quantum computing community to write some poems. Below is my contribution.

Claimed a skeptic named Gil
“Quantum computers can never be built!”
So we showed him a Sycamore
But that just caused him to bicker more
“That device is too noisy still!”

Despite assurances evidential
Some disbelieved quantum’s potential
If to doubt you’re inclined
Please do keep in mind
Neven’s law is doubly exponential

There once were some Googlers quantum
Who made some qubits to flaunt them
But their paper got leaked
And rival IBM peeked
And wrote a blog post to taunt them

Skeptics say and doubters preach
Quantum computing is out of reach
But I know some nice folks
Who’ll convince you it’s no hoax
If you ever visit Venice Beach

Why don’t you try quantum annealing?
The promised speedups are quite appealing
But you’ve got to suppress those terrors
The Hamiltonian control errors
Or your speedups will hit a ceiling

I’m paying a huge electrical bill
To keep atoms at near zero chill
In a giant fridge with no door
And what is it all for?
I just want to impress John Preskill

Microsoft bet on fermions Majorana
Cuz it sounds cool and they wanna
But their critics sigh:
“Their hopes are too high
They might as well smoke—”

Wait, I’m stumped, what rhymes with “Majorana” and can be smoked?

(GK: I suppose that David refers to “cucumber”.)

My Anthem for the term HQCA

There is an interesting debate about the term “quantum supremacy.” I always did not like the term because of its connotations and also because supremacy refers to a large advantage over a large spectrum and here we are talking about a huge advantage for specific purposes. Since I don’t expect it to be demonstrated, the name will serve some educational purpose regarding other sort of supremacy. Anyway, I wanted to use my large influence on the QC community to propose the term HQCA (“Huge Quantum Computational Advantage”).

Here is a song in support of HQCA.

I said young friend, pick yourself from the ground
I said, young friend, ’cause you’re in a new town
There’s no need to be unhappy.

Young friend, there’s now a computer for you.
I said, young friend, when you’re short on CPU.
You can use it, and I’m sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.

Its fun to have the H-Q-C-A
Its even fun to break the R–S-A

With entanglement at will, you can compute a quantum field
You can do chemistry as much as you feel

Its fun to have the H-Q-C-A
From NISQ up all the way

You can factor huge numbers, you can build a boson-sampler
You can defeat each and every scrambler

Young friend, are you listening to me?
I said, young friend, what do you want to be?
Never mind Gil, you can make your dreams real.…
But you got to know this one thing
NP-hard problems HQCA doesn’t compute by itself
I said, young friend, put your SAT back on the shelf
And just go there, to the H-Q-C-A
I’m sure they can help you today

“Young friend” was chosen for the sake of inclusiveness and diversity.

Dream a little dream: Ozzie Nelson; Wayne KingDoris DayElla Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong; Anita HarrisRobbie Williams; JOAN CHAMORRO QUINTET & ANDREA MOTIS; FRANKIE LAINE; Lily Allen and Robbie Williams. Mama Cass Elliot.

YMCA: Village People; Just Dance 2014; Christopher on America’s Got Talent

This entry was posted in Art, Music, Poetry, Quantum and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Dream a Little Dream: Quantum Computer Poetry for the Skeptics (Part I, mainly 2019)

  1. Yuval Peres says:

    A QC at an institution
    where resources are ample,
    can generate a distribution
    that’s classically hard to sample.
    First you can’t believe your eyes,
    and think this is hot,
    until you realize-
    so does your teapot…

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