Scientific American on Quantum Encryption

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at
Thu Jan 20 08:38:47 PST 2005

Well, I think you've been a little too harsh on Scientific American. In the 
past a lot of the best articles were written by the pioneers in their 
fields. In fact, it's where I believe Wittfield and Diffie wrote a great 
piece on their work.

And don't expect anyone (not even a math major) to go grab a quantum 
mechanics textbook and be able to get anything out of it. One would really 
need to have done the classical coursework in order to understand it (or at 
least to know enough to be spurised by it). And if you don't have the math 
then forget about it. Meanwhile, it IS possible to write intelligently on 
quantum entanglement, EPR and Aharnov-Bohm, and it's been done by Sci-Am, 
Penrose, Kaku and plenty of others.


>From: Justin <justin-cypherpunks at>
>To: cypherpunks at
>Subject: Re: Scientific American on Quantum Encryption
>Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 15:23:35 +0000
>On 2005-01-20T12:16:34+0100, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> > Scientific American has little clue, as usual (see their nanotechnology
> > retraction).
>How could they possibly get clue?  Scientists don't want to write
>pop-sci articles for a living.  It's impossible to condense most current
>research down to digestible kernels that the masses can understand.
>SciAm should close down, requiring those who care about science to learn
>enough about it to read science journals.
>Professors who can teach a QM course well in a semester are rare enough.
>I doubt any one of them could write a 5000 word article on quantum
>entanglement that would be intelligible to the average cretinous
>American who wants to seem smart by reading Sci-Am.  If they want to be
>smart, they can start by picking up an undergrad-level book on QM.  But
>that requires much effort to read, unlike a glossy 5000 word article.
>Journalism should not be a college major.  Journalists in the main know
>little about how to write and interview, and less about the topics they
>write on.  They don't understand that being able to write (and in many
>cases even that ability is in serious doubt) doesn't qualify them to
>write on any topic they choose.  Many journalists aren't qualified to
>write on anything, not even journalism.
>"War is the father and king of all, and some he shows as gods, others as
>men; some he makes slaves, others free."  --Heraclitus (Kahn.83/D-K.53)

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