This is the third and last post giving a timeline and some non technical highlights from my debate with Aram Harrow.
Where were we
After Aram Harrow and I got in touch in June 2011, and decided to have a blog debate towards the end of 2011, the first post in our debate describing my point of view was launched on January, 2012 and was followed by three posts by Aram. The discussion was intensive and interesting. Here is a link to my 2011 paper that initiated the debate and to a recent post-debate presentation at MIT.
Back to the debate: Conjecture C is shot down!
In addition to his three posts, Aram and Steve Flammia wrote a paper refuting one of my Conjectures (Conjecture C). We decided to devote a post to this conjecture.
Quantum refutations and reproofs
Post 5, May 12, 2012. One of Gil Kalai’s conjectures refuted but refurbished
Niels Henrik Abel was the patron saint this time
The first version of the post started with this heartbreaking eulogy for Conjecture C. At the end most of it was cut away. But the part about Aram’s grandchildren was left in the post.
Eulogy for Conjecture C
(Gil; old version:) When Aram wrote to me, inn June 2011, and expressed willingness to publicly discuss my paper, my first reaction was to decline and propose having just private discussions. Even without knowing Aram’s superb track record in debates, I knew that I put my beloved conjectures on the line. Some of them, perhaps even all of them, will not last. Later, last December, I changed my mind and Aram and I started planning our debate. My conjectures and I were fully aware of the risks. And it was Conjecture C that did not make it.
A few words about Conjecture C
Conjecture C, while rooted in quantum computers skepticism, was a uniter and not a divider! It expressed our united aim to find a dividing line between the pre- and post- universal quantum computer eras.
Aram’s grandchildren and the world before quantum computers
When Aram’s grandchildren will ask him: “Grandpa, how was the world before quantum computers?” he could have replied: “I hardly remember, but thanks to Gil we have some conjectures recording the old days, and then he will state to the grandchildren Conjectures 1-4 and the clear dividing line in terms of Conjecture C, and the grandchildren will burst in laughter about the old days of difficult entanglements.” Continue reading