Nature Magazine Jumps the Shark

It is not secret that the wokerati are making steady inroads into the domain of the hard sciences (physics, chemistry, engineering, etc). But Nature magazine, although left of center, might have been thought immune from the sillier aspects of the PC culture.

Not so. After publishing an article recently about the coming “supremacy” of quantum computing over conventional supercomputers, Nature has published this letter, signed by 13 scientists, which I reprint here in its totality, because you have to read it, not to believe it:

We take issue with the use of ‘supremacy’ when referring to quantum computers that can out-calculate even the fastest supercomputers (F. Arute et al. Nature 574, 505–510; 2019). We consider it irresponsible to override the historical context of this descriptor, which risks sustaining divisions in race, gender and class. We call for the community to use ‘quantum advantage’ instead.

The community claims that quantum supremacy is a technical term with a specified meaning. However, any technical justification for this descriptor could get swamped as it enters the public arena after the intense media coverage of the past few months.

In our view, ‘supremacy’ has overtones of violence, neocolonialism and racism through its association with ‘white supremacy’. Inherently violent language has crept into other branches of science as well — in human and robotic spaceflight, for example, terms such as ‘conquest’, ‘colonization’ and ‘settlement’ evoke the terra nullius arguments of settler colonialism and must be contextualized against ongoing issues of neocolonialism.

Instead, quantum computing should be an open arena and an inspiration for a new generation of scientists.

I’ll say it: this is supreme idiocy.

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