Friday, April 22, 2016

Being Jewish in contemporary America

Scott Aaronson is not yet 35 years old:
"I’m gratified that many people have described me as warm and friendly and helpful (“surprisingly so,” one can almost hear them add, for such a socially-inept, self-obsessed nerd!).  But there’s a reason for that.

"If I meet a new person, and they aren’t weird in the same ways I’m weird, my brain’s first questions tend to be: would this person be happy to rid the earth of me and everyone like me, regarding me as genetically defective?  Is he or she merely temporarily prevented from doing so?  In 1942, would he or she have smiled (as so much of Europe did smile) as I was loaded onto a cattle car?

"So then, if the person turns out—as most often they do—to be perfectly nice and decent, I’m so relieved and grateful that it’s like, how can I be anything but friendly and helpful in return?"
Read the whole of his extraordinary interview with Scientific American here.


I reviewed Scott Aaronson's book, 'Quantum Computing Since Democritus' back in 2013.

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