Monthly Archives: April 2010

QML Quantum Computer Simulator


Jonathan Grattage et al.
Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble, CNRS, France
An overview of QML with a concrete implementation in Haskell
ENTCS: Proceedings of QPL V – DCV IV, 157-165,
Reykjavik, Iceland, 2008

Found at
arxiv.org/abs/0806.2735

Description
An introduction to the functional quantum programming language QML. This is one of several attempts to model quantum computers on existing technology.

Supramap Project


Daniel A. Janies et al.
The Supramap project: linking pathogen genomes with geography to fight emergent infectious diseases
Cladistics 26 (2010) 1–6

Found at
www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123345005/abstract

Description
A new web application to study the etiology (geographic origin in this case) of epidemics. Uses the same Keyhole Markup Language as Google Earth.

Evolutionary Emergence


Alastair Channon
Evolutionary Emergence
The Struggle for Existence in Artificial Biota

PhD Thesis, University of Southampton
2001

Found at
www.channon.net/alastair/geb/phdthesis/channon_ad_phdthesis.pdf

Description
An exploration of the requirements for generation of evolutionary systems, focused on emergent beneficial behavior.

Digital Evolution of Quorum Sensing


Benjamin E. Beckman and Philip K. McKinley
Digital Evolution of Quorum Sensing and its Applications
Online Proceedings of the Complex Systems Advanced Academic Workshop Spring 2009 Conference

Found at
www.cscs.umich.edu/CSAAW/long_abstracts/beckmann.pdf

Description
Use of a computational system to study emergent, self-organizing behaviors.

Is the Thrill Gone?


Sanjeev Arora and Bernard Chazelle
“Is the Thrill Gone?”
Communications of ACM August 2005/Vol. 48, No. 8

Found at
www.cs.princeton.edu/~chazelle/pubs/cacm05.pdf

Description
An argument for more and better introductory education in computer science to reinvigorate youth and popular interest.

Book – Brave New World


by Aldous Huxley
1932

Many consider the best two modern examples of  ‘dystopia’  literature to be George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (written in 1948) and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (written in 1931). For a time, Orwell’s explicitly brutal vision dominated as its warnings were echoed in several political regimes. However, Huxley’s may ultimately prove to be the more accurate (and frightening). One of the best analyses of these two differing visions of the future is in the foreword to Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death.

The title is a sardonic usage of an expression from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This new world, six centuries into the future from its writing, is anything but beautiful (as ‘brave’ meant in Shakespeare’s time).

Stability and predictability are the main goals in this world. It’s a future of zero population growth, unquestioned homogeneity, engineered lives from birth to death, a mindless, enthusiastic embrace of technology, and a drug-dependant, brain-washed, consumer society. There is no longing for freedom because people truly believe they are happy. It is enslavement by pleasure rather than by fear. The family is absolutely and entirely abolished in favor of the state. Romance and emotional bonds are seen as obscenities. Even death is not feared as lives are seen only as drops in an endless societal soup.

This work was not received well by contemporaries for various reasons, not the least of which was its disturbing message — that in the end, it isn’t any external government we need to fear most — it’s our own weakness.