"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
6 Tools for thought must be developed while doing serious work. The aspiration to canonical content8 Tools for thought must be developed while doing serious work. The aspiration to canonical contentTools for thought must be developed while doing serious work. The aspiration to canonical contentHow can we develop transformative tools for thought？2020-10-18Journal
Many people have asked why we wrote our first mnemonic essay about quantum computing. If we'd chosen an easier subject we could have attracted a much larger audience. But we also wanted the essay to be authentic, to be about problems we wanted to solve. One of us (MN) has done a lot of original research work on quantum computing. The essay reflects that thinking. Indeed, the framing of the essay is about answering a question MN personally wanted to answer: if humans ever discovered aliens, would they have computers, and if so, what types of computer would they have? This perhaps sounds like a contrived question, but it's quite serious, and turns out to be a deep question with a nontrivial answer: writing the essay helped MN substantially improve his understanding of the question.