Science in the Fiction: Quantum Computers, Encryption, and Synaesthetic Code Landscapes

At the height of my hacker years, I attended a Damien Conway talk on his Perl module quantum-superpositions. He described how quantum computers work, and exactly what the capacity to perform virtually infinite simultaneous calculations at once could mean for encryption. Nutshell: the best encryption we’ve got = LOL

Around this time, I was talking with a bunch of fellow hackers, and we were bitching about how we hate management interrupting us while coding.

“Yeah, the worst is when I have all my code landscapes lined up, and the colors in the right place, and I’m just about to start moving them around, and ka-pow! Some manager-type comes up behind me and I lose it all,” I moaned.

They, uh, stared blankly.

“You know how you see your code all around you, and you’re about to move it around? Like it’s all set up in your visual field?” Surely they understood?

Alas, this was the moment I discovered that no, not everyone sees their math in synaesthetic landscapes. Oops. The silver lining of which became: I can use the way I “see” (and feel, too) programming in stories, and everyone will think it’s fiction. Bwahaha

The brain-computers used by the Operators in my stories came from a union of these two events, plus research into why we don’t yet have large-scale quantum computers–which comes down to a problem with redundancy and signal degradation. The “nearly noiseless” substance tzaddium solves the redundancy issue. But the more interesting issue to me was the encryption issue, and that is solved by using synaesthetic landscapes for programming. Every Operator’s way of sensing code is unique, and irrationally creative. Thus, not predicable or repeatable via brute force methods from a Turing machine, no matter how many calculations it can make at once.

This is why only individuals with a specific neurological constitution can operate the quantum brain-computers: only they think in synaesthetic code landscapes.

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