In spring 2019, a mysterious account called Quantum Bullshit Detector emerged on Twitter, which started commenting on all kinds of news in the quantum scene. Announcements of breakthroughs, industry forecasts and lectures by top-tier universities all received one word of commentary: “Bullshit.”
On rare occasions, the response was slightly more robust: “Not bullshit.”
Despite its cheeky nature, the account didn’t seem to be purely a joke. Experts and journalists alike speculated on who was behind it. The poster seemed to be someone who was very familiar with the jargon, which meant it was almost definitely someone from inside the community. As people involved with quantum technology are almost exclusively scientists who, per their job description, love debating ideas, the account’s laconic style and unwillingness to debate made this mystery even more puzzling.
After several months of voicing opinions in its unapologetic style, computer science professor David J. Bruton, alias Scott Aaronson, revealed himself as the brain behind the bullshit detector. The quantum community, while supportive of the account’s underlying principle, didn’t like the fact that it was a one-man show, however well-executed. Thus, the Democratic Quantum Bullshit Detector was launched. This account determined whether something was “Bullshit” or “Not Bullshit” via Twitter polls.
Somewhat surprisingly, a budding quantum company acquired the original detector in early…