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The “Australian actresses are plagiarizing my quantum mechanics lecture” dilemma

MIT professor Scott Aaronson, in his blog, describes his interesting dilemma. It concerns the video shown below:

Australian actresses are plagiarizing my quantum mechanics lecture to sell printers

I tried to think of a witty, ironic title for this post, but in the end, I simply couldn’t. The above title is a literal statement of fact.

A reader named Warren Smith informs me of an Australian TV commercial (which you can watch on YouTube), in which two fashion models have the following conversation:

Model 1: But if quantum mechanics isn’t physics in the usual sense — if it’s not about matter, or energy, or waves — then what is it about?

Model 2: Well, from my perspective, it’s about information, probabilities, and observables, and how they relate to each other.

Model 1: That’s interesting!

The commercial then flashes the tagline “A more intelligent model,” followed by a picture of a Ricoh printer.

More intelligent, or simply more shameless? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, allow me to quote from Lecture 9 of my Quantum Computing Since Democritus notes:

But if quantum mechanics isn’t physics in the usual sense — if it’s not about matter, or energy, or waves, or particles — then what is it about? From my perspective, it’s about information and probabilities and observables, and how they relate to each other.

For almost the first time in my life, I’m at a loss for words. I don’t know how to respond. I don’t know which of 500,000 possible jokes to make. Help me, readers. Should I be flattered? Should I be calling a lawyer?

(via @Pickover)

UPDATE: “Australian educators are using my $5,000 plagiarism settlement to sell schoolkids (on science)

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