But we cannot depend on success any more than buying a lottery ticket to feed a family.
No one is saying that we should "depend" on it. And there are serious physicists and mathematicians who do doubt that these systems will ever work, but most of that concern is practical: that the fundamental difficulties involved are just too big to ever scale to practical sizes.
Because my career isn't in theoretical physics, I can get away with making controversial statements that at least should be considered.
That you can "get away" with something isn't a reason to do it. And if your career isn't in theoretical physics, computer science, math, or particle physics, then that's all the more reason you shouldn't throw out controversial statements as gospel when they likely are wrong. There's a massive difference between "We should consider if maybe X is true" and "X is true."
The underpinning of quantum computing is the idea that a qubit has the ability to be in more than one state simultaneously. This is simply illogical. Don't shrug it off and say "things work counter-intuitively at the subatomic level"; that's a philosophical cop out and is not science.
Actually, if anything, this is a biological/psychological statement. You are confusing logic with intuition. Humans evolved on the medium scale, where things aren't very large or very small, not very hot and not very cold, etc. So we have good physical intuition there. You shouldn't expect your intuition to be more than a rough guide outside that range. When math and empirical experiments contradict intuition, the thing that needs to be adjusted is almost invariably intuition, not math.
Quantum superposition is a useful statistical tool and that is all
So, whether or not some deep weird thing is happening, if you agree that these statistics do describe accurately what results to get, then you should expect a quantum computer work. But it may be worth noting that this is a common response to things people don't like. When the Copernican system arose, people tried to argue that it should be seen as only a calculational tool, rather than an actual description of the solar system, and that got extended even to Kepler's system. Similarly, in the 19th century, people suggested that one should view atoms as a convenient fiction. In general, arguing that some state of nature implied by a model is fictitious even while you think that the model gives near perfect descriptions has a bad track record. The only times this turns out to be the case is when it turns out something is genuinely wrong with the model itself, such as the plum-pudding model of the atom. But in fact this is part of why physicists are interested in quantum computers- they provide a novel way of testing how quantum mechanics functions. If in fact it turns out that they don't do what we expect them to do, then that will mean basic aspects of physics as we understand them are wrong, and so we'll learn from that.
The second they perfect this, they will be able to try all the keys at once and the right one will be solved instantly. All of our current generation of encryption relies on n-p complete algorithms and will become worthless
There is a lot wrong with this.
First of all, quantum computers cannot as far as we know solve NP-complete problems efficiently. There's no known way for that to happen, and most experts expect they cannot. What they can do, is solve specific classes of problems more efficiently than classical computers. The most obvious example of this is factoring integers, which seems to be very difficult for a classical machine, but which can be done quickly by a quantum computer using Shor's algorithm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shor's_algorithm
Second, none of these algorithms are instantaneous or even remotely so, but rather scale wit the size of the input, generally with a polynomial.
Third, while many forms of crypto would be vulnerable, including RSA and elliptic curve cryptography, not all forms of cryptography have known vulnerabilities. This connects with the earlier issue of NP completeness. No form of crypto relies at this point on an NP complete problem. Factoring for example is in NP (which means roughly that one can easily convince someone that one actually has the factorization), but it is likely not NP complete. A problem is NP complete if (roughly speaking) it lives in NP, and if you have access to a black box that solves the problem then you can solve all NP problems. At this point, factoring is strongly suspected not to be NP complete, because that would lead to the collapse of the polynomial hierarchy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynomial_hierarchy, which is strongly conjectured to occur.
Quantum computers will likely have real world consequences if we ever get them to work on a large scale, and some of those consequences will be cryptographic. But thinking that they'll somehow blow up all cryptography is just hype. If you want to read a good book, without hype, that does a good job of explaining how quantum computing actually works, I recommend "Quantum Computing Since Democritus" by Scott Aaaronson. The book does assume some slight comfort with linear algebra, a very tiny amount of group theory, and some calculus, but that's it. It is aimed at people in technical fields other than quantum computing to understand what it is about. It is highly readable, and I strongly recommend it.
Somalia is the result of a failed state, what was formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic, which was governed under a single-party, Socialist rule. The resulting mayhem has nothing to do with libertarian or anarchist principles,
What does it even mean to talk about a "failed state" if you don't even want state actors with police power?
In any case, what actually gives you a functional civilization is a large number of individuals trading voluntarily amongst themselves to better their own situations; profit is not merely the transfer of wealth, but rather the creation of wealth.
Which utterly ignores the basic issues of public goods and externalities that have already been brought up. Yes, markets and trade is important. But we have theorems and empirical data about when markets work and when they don't. High transaction costs with large externalities (either positive or negative) or with public goods aren't those circumstances. There's no way to do large-scale medical research in a way that doesn't benefit everyone. This is stuff you'd learn if you took an actual intro econ class at any university.
Ah yes, the old fire and police argument. Guess who runs those? Hint: unless you live on a military base or in DC, it's not the federal government.
The response about police, and fire was in regards to mfwitten's essentially anarchist claim, not a general defense of a federal government (different government systems work). But you'll note that my comment listed three things, police, fire and military. Moreover, the federal government is heavily involved in police activities: the FBI is one of many examples that functions doing what amounts to police work. Whether the specific matter discussed by TFA is a good idea or not is a *distinct* issue which could be discussed and an actual discussion of that might be interesting, but it has nothing to do with mfwitten's points or my own.