August 12th, 2009


mrw42 and I went to Anticipation last weekend. It was a lot of fun and I definitely think I will enjoy going to Worldcon in the future if I make it. We attended a Heather Dale, a really excellent folk singer. Margaret and I stumbled into the end of a concert she gave at Arisia a couple of years ago, and it was some of the best music I've heard. So, I was really excited to see she was at Worldcon.

We also attended an excellent Neil Gaiman reading. I think that Gaiman can write Jack Vance stories perhaps a bit better than Vance himself. He read a short story he contributed to Songs of Dieing Earth. He also read a love letter that was quite amazing.

I attended a panel on economics in SF. I didn't notice that it was opposite another panel on economics in SF with Niven as a panelist, oops. However at the one I did attend, Charles Stross made an interesting comment about quantum computing. He expressed a theory of a physicist friend that the computational model behind a quantum computer might be powerful enough to make solving the central planning problem possible. That in of itself would be interesting. However his phrasing suggested that it was a question of computability not of complexity—and I'd guess he would understand the difference. I asked, but he didn't really answer whether that is what he meant. I had thought that at least so far we expected QP to be a subset of NP. I had fun discussing what this all really meant with some folks from Cambridge university at a party later in the evening.

There's a very interesting discussion to be had about the interactions between the computability of consciousness, the separation between complexity classes like P and NP, the computability model of quantum computing, and the complexity model of quantum computing. It's been running around in my head since the weekend, but I'm having trouble articulating it all. Perhaps after the singularity, it will all become clear:-)