The Rogue Scholar

By Jbschirtzinger | clarion | 26 Dec 2023

Chapter 13 Part 1

Sal glanced at his interface as he attempted to place the deception. Felicia had tasked him. All he had to do was make a pencil appear in a glass of water as it would naturally, along with the apparent bending of light that would make the pencil look like it was broken in two. Normally, this would be a simple task, but after having chatted with Felicia, he knew it wouldn't be.

Sal, was, in a sense, fighting for his very survival with this deception. What he had learned from Felicia had shocked him. If what she had told him proved to be correct, and it looked like it probably was, it would mean a radical shaking of reality as he had understood it was was about to take place.

Felicia had been working with Telray for about five years on quantum algorithms that used Bayesian inference. Bayesian inference had been largely ignored in many purist communities where statistics were used, mostly because the mathematicians liked the supposition made by the frequentists far more than the inelegant assumptions that the Reverend Bayes had made in what was now nearly ancient history.

The frequentists liked to look at reality as though it were a pure statistical curve--or a frequency diagram of probabilities. This allowed them to state that something could happen with a certain probability. Bayes had turned that thinking on its head, instead, he said that prior information had a bearing on future information. If reality was a curve, then if one had a prior hypothesis that prior hypothesis was somewhere on the curve. If one kept making hypotheses, then eventually one would arrive at the "correct" one with a certain probability. What probability was was influenced by the previous probability.

The frequentists had strength when it came to matters that involved purely mathematical problems free from the real world. However, in a world without full availability of information, Bayes had more applicability. 

The easiest way to think of it was to consider the Old World internet. The Old World internet was like a great-great-great-great-great grandfather to the holonosphere. It was more akin to the postal service in the now than anything else. On the Old World internet, people would often receive spam or unwanted commercial messages. The problem with a frequentist approach to spam is that one cannot easily assign a probability to a given message in a vacuum. You need a little more information. Who is the message from? What form does it take? What does it look like compared to other spam messages? What sorts of words does it use? If you can then draw on a database of previous spam messages, it becomes possible to conclude to a small degree of error utilizing Bayesian statistics whether or not the current message is spam. The prior messages matter. They act to prime the information--they inform the distribution. Without them, one cannot begin to assign any meaningful probability--especially not one that helps significantly reduce spam.

With the advent of the quantum computing, it became possible to traverse multiple universe and their respective curves. In other words, in addition to being able to calculate whether THIS message was spam, it was also possible to calculate at the same time if in another universe the spam assumed some other form than the one here what the probability of THAT was too. When taken all together, one could compare the given message to a "universal curve" or "curve of all curves" in all possible universes, and so one could say with a very, very high degree of accuracy whether a given message was spam.

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