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On retracting publications


So, I just read that my ex-employer, Microsoft, retracted a publication (news). I already said to some of my friends in the past that while I find quantum computing fascinating, I also still think it's quite hard (I haven't spent much time studying it yet though). We are not very far yet in really understanding physics well and so this happens.

You might think I am downplaying it, because I am a researcher or I am playing nice with my ex-employer (really no), as I have publications and someone one day might find a big mistake in one of my publications. Again - no. I would put my hand in fire for all my publications. (One publication is with 3 co-authors and for that particular publication I would put my hand in fire only for the last two geometrical theorems at the end as those are the theorems I worked on).

The point I would like to make (get ready - twist) is privilege, which famous companies and universities have in comparison with me, who is publishing mostly on his own time without any affiliation and with email addresses like yahoo.com, gmail.com, and now mail.com. While someone has the privilege to rush the publication and later retract it, for example for my linear regression paper, which I spent one year working on by myself and double (probably more than 4 times...) checking it, this paper is under review for 4+ years as of now... Sure, I don't have to write more papers by myself. I got the message, copyrights are plenty for me, I don't even have to try to properly write it down so free styling really wildly :) ... [I don't have to ever polish it either]

Just a tiny story. For the linear regression paper, I already even gave a presentation, gave up theorem 1 to the public and there is theorem 2 and 3. Theorem 2 is trivial and is just mathematical technicality. "Funny" story, theorem 3 which I figured out in late 2019 while walking around in San Jose where I used to live was so beautiful that I told myself I don't have to write it down - there is no way I will forget it (but I also said I will never study for Ph.D. - hah). "Funny" story continues, it's 2021 and I have no clue what theorem 3 was. Oh well, maybe one day it will come back. Or maybe it's meant for someone else. Or maybe it's just another fault in our stars. I did love that movie (some of you might know)...

And only as a side-note, before we catch Schrödinger's cat (make quantum computing really useful - entanglement), I think we will use other properties of light to make better processors than what we currently have. On this one, I wouldn't mind being wrong :).



Update 08/17/2021: "linear regression paper" was accepted and the link is updated from pre-print on researchgate to journal.