Saturday, April 29, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Bret Stephens' skepticism will spread from NYT to other mainstream sources

Bill Z. has sent me a link to the New York Times op-ed

Climate of Complete Certainty
by Bret Stephens, recently taken away from WSJ. The New York Times have promoted this first op-ed by the new guy as a "top story" and lots of readers have reacted.

The content of the op-ed is simple. Stephens – who looks like a classic lukewarmer to me here, not too much skeptical than Andy Revkin – says that it's wrong to expect that one is 100% certain. Only fanatics do so, sane people know that they're 65% right if they're really good, and the climate alarmists claiming certainty should be ashamed.

OK, that's a simple message. Everything else are redundant decorations and fancy language. I do see that Stephens' writing resembles that of some true masters of literature as an art but I am not quite sure whether I am the kind of guy who fully appreciates this aspect of someone's writing. Clarity, efficiency, and especially accuracy of the content are way more important for me.

Friday, April 28, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Our guru Bill Nye, the science and arts guy, revolutionized the evolution theory

Guest blog by April Horgan, the CEO of the Ivy League World Salvation

I am grateful to comrade Motl for the opportunity to speak to readers of this wonderful progressive website. You may know Bill Nye as one of the most brilliant and famous scientists of all times – and the best dancer at Dancing with the Stars. But what you don't know is that he is also the best musician and musical host ever.



In his new Netflix show appropriately named Bill Nye Saves the World, he introduced a very special guest, the best non-male pansexual singer of the world, Rachel Bloom. Ze is absolutely brilliant, everyone talks about zer all the time, zer singing isn't out-of-tune at all, and ze has so much breath left.

Thursday, April 27, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Like James Bond, Nature loves to walk a micron from the cliff

Inconsistencies, like the death of 007, are often avoided by microns or "almost" miracles. Nature abhors arbitrary bans on "potentially dangerous" things.

If you are a realist and you watch a movie about James Bond or a similar film, you may be annoyed by some scenes that seem very unlikely. In the real world, you may argue, the hero would have died about 20 times throughout the movie. It's implausible that the hero could have survived so many lethal challenges. And if he has survived them, it would be much more likely that he escaped them an hour, and not a second, before the last moment.



These movies may be said to be "unrealistic" and you could rephrase the adjective as "unnatural". James Bond's survival is "unnatural", some people could say. The word "unnatural" indicates that this is not how Nature normally behaves. And when you apply this reasoning to the laws of physics, you may be led to think that Nature actually avoids this last-minute and last-micron salvation, all the miracles that keep the likes of James Bond alive – and that allow him to beat the foes. Nature is insured and many layers of insurance policies are protecting Her from being fatally hurt – from being inconsistent.

But you would be completely wrong. Nature loves to survive – and Her laws are consistent – but She doesn't have numerous levels of insurance. She actually is and loves to be similar to James Bond. Her goal is to survive, not to "safely" survive, and She does it, often walking an infinitesimal distance away from a cataclysm.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Google Translate made a stunning AI quantum leap

Translators will have nothing to eat. Soon.

As I learned from Technet.cz, Google Translate was switched to a revolutionary new version of itself on the night between April 18th and April 19th. It's rather likely that you may already see the improvements now. The new software should result from the September 2016 scholarly work submitted to arXiv.org.

Up to that moment, Google Translate was exploiting more or less old-fashioned computer algorithms. However, it uses deep neural networks now. Google had to create its own processing units, the TPUs. Those "tensor processing units" are counterparts of GPUs, "graphics processing units", and they are capable of performing the tasks effectively. These TPUs have trained themselves by looking at millions of texts, including the corpus available through Google Books. They can "automatically", in an emulation of the human brain, learn some patterns and rules how to work not only with individual words and groups of words but even very complex sentences.

Marine Le Pen's victory is unlikely but not very unlikely

Many of us were carefully following the first round of the 2017 French presidential elections.



Dark blue Le Pen won much of the East or Northeast, yellow Macron won much of the West or Southwest, red Mélenchon was #1 on some islands and two spots near Spain, and light blue Fillon scored a victory in a spot West from Paris and in the French "Middle East" – although he was predicted to take Paris.

At the end, the results almost exactly agreed with the predictions – which has been unusual in recent times. Centrist Macron (24%) and patriot Le Pen (21.30%) made it to the second round while mainstream post-Sarkozy Republican Fillon (20%) and the holographic green Bolshevik Mélenchon (19.5%) had comparably good results. Socialist Hamon (6%) was the winner among the losers.

Because of the lack of surprises, the euro jumped by 2% relatively to the dollar and the European markets added some 3% on top of that on Monday. It's generally believed that Macron will beat Le Pen roughly by 60-to-40 percent in the second round on May 8th.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Berkeley pop scientist denies the orbital cause of ice ages

Thankfully, the March For Science was a dud. A couple of extremists showed their childish banners such as this one by computer scientist Scott Aaronson. Indeed, the two claims on the banner are as unrelated as two sentences in a typical leftist demagogic rant. Moreover, I think it is strategically misguided for a Jewish scholar to claim that a non-Jewish man "stinks", or vice versa. It can backfire easily because the numbers aren't on your side, Mr Aaronson.

On the same day, "the Earth Day", someone attempted to assassinate climate skeptic John Christy in his office (Roy, WUWT). Seven shots were fired on Lenin's birthday against a climate skeptic who recently testified in the U.S. Congress and who issued an inconvenient press release just days before the shots. While it's rather self-evident that a foe of the "deniers" wanted to turn The Earth Day to a Night of Broken Glass, the local police investigation decided that these seven shots in the same window of the skeptic were just "random shooting, nothing to see here". A gun randomly quantum tunneled, jumped in front of the climate scientists' office, and then the trigger quantum tunneled and shot at the same window of Christy seven times. That's the most likely explanation that the cops were capable of producing.

For years, I have stressed that the climate alarmist groups were dangerous terrorist organizations but I am afraid that lots of people will have to die before the society will realize this obvious point, outlaw them, execute their leaders, and treat them on par with the likes of Al Qaeda.

Monday, April 24, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

How and why strings generalize geometry

Erwin reminded us how excited he was by the fact that string theory provides us with a quantum generalization of the rules of geometry. What does it mean and how does it work?

Well, all previous theories in physics have used the classical manifold geometry (whose definition will be sketched momentarily) as one of the basic prerequisites that the theories had to accept and elaborate upon. This made the classical manifold geometry and its calculations directly relevant for all these theories and the rules of the geometry were therefore rigid dogmas.

In other words, the theories followed the template:

Dear theory, listen, here you have a classical manifold with some shape.

What can you achieve with this pre-existing shape?
And the theories just couldn't do anything else. They were dependent on the geometry of a classical manifold. If there were no manifold, there was no physical theory. And if two manifolds were geometrically different, the physical theories on them had to be distinguishable, too.

Before the discovery of special relativity, physics was also dividing spacetime to the absolute time and the space that exists with it. That meant that the "spacetime" as we understood it today had to be basically factorized to \(\RR \times M^3\) where \(\RR\) was the real axis representing time and \(M^3\) was a purely spatial manifold (OK, some time-dependent fibration with a different \(M^3(t)\) at each moment time was sometimes allowed, too). At most, you could have picked time-dependent coordinates on that \(M^3\) in order to celebrate the Galilean relativity.

Saturday, April 22, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Einstein's job in 1911: he liked the city of Prague, not so much the people of Prague

The new series about Einstein will start to be aired (in CZ) tomorrow

Two years ago when I switched my Internet provider and cable TV to UPC, the European (much more beloved) counterpart of Comcast, I could pick a bunch of bonus channels for free. Most people pick the sports channels, unless the fans of the erotica channels obfuscate what they have chosen ;-), and you could predict that I chose the science documentary channels which include National Geographic, among many others.

Well, I must admit that I have spent virtually 0 minutes in these two years by watching them – and I would have watched the sports channel much more than that (even though I am in no way a sports junkie). But things could change tomorrow. At 9 pm, the "Genius" TV series about Einstein starts at my National Geographic #89 channel. I hope that I won't forget to watch it because I am sort of looking forward to it. The serial was filmed almost entirely in Czechia, including my hometown of Pilsen (mostly in Prague – several schools, two ministries, galleries etc. but also: the Elbow/Loket castle area, campuses in Pilsen and Brno, the town of hops Saaz/Žatec, Northern Bohemia Reichenberg/Liberec and the Warm/Teplá Monastery). Meeting Einstein in Pilsen is an offer I can't refuse – much like meeting Richard Lindzen (and his wife) in Pilsen in early May 2017.



Metro.cz, a daily sold in the Prague subway, just published a fun interview of journalist Pavel Urban with one of my undergraduate instructors of general relativity, Dr Jiří Podolský:

Einstein liked Prague
Even though I have previously written about Einstein in Prague, let me translate it because it's pretty insightful.

March For Science is deeply misguided, unethical

Comrade Vladimir Lenin celebrates his birthday in his mausoleum today (I have been there) – congratulations to all left-wing readers. Some activists have chosen this date associated with a man who believed he had a "scientific thinking" (although he believed that each electron is an inexhaustible galaxy with small electrons inside, and then smaller ones inside, like in a Matryoshka) but made a huge impact on the world of politics as the date for the "March For Science".



The rally in D.C. should be decent; the accompanying 500 rallies across the world are pretty much guaranteed to be tiny. See a live report from Asia. For example, the picture above is the full group photo of the participants in Tokyo: it includes 50-60 people depending on how many babies in the carriage you count.


The march in Busan, the second largest city of South Korea, is similar: this is the picture of participants 20 minutes before the march began. ;-) Despite their diversity, none of the four cute scientists looks Korean to me, by the way.

Friday, April 21, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Physicists, smart folks use same symbols for Lie groups, algebras for good reasons

I have always been amazed by the sheer stupidity and tastelessness of the people who aren't ashamed of the likes of Peter Woit. He is obviously a mediocre man with no talents, no achievements, no ethics, and no charisma but because of the existence of many people who have no taste and who want to have a leader in their jihad against modern physics, he was allowed to talk about physics as if his opinions mattered.

Woit is a typical failing-grade student who simply isn't and has never been the right material for college. His inability to learn string theory is a well-known aspect of this fact. But most people in the world – and maybe even most of the physics students – misunderstand string theory. But his low math-related intelligence is often manifested in things that are comprehensible to all average or better students of physics.

Two years ago, Woit argued that

the West Coast metric is the wrong one.
Now, unless you are a complete idiot, you must understand that the choice of the metric tensor – either \(({+}{-}{-}{-})\) or \(({-}{+}{+}{+})\) – is a pure convention. The metric tensor \(g^E_{\mu\nu}\) of the first culture is simply equal to minus the metric tensor of the second culture \(g^W_{\mu\nu}\), i.e. \(g^E_{\mu\nu} = - g^W_{\mu\nu}\), and every statement or formula written with one set of conventions may obviously be translated to a statement written in the other, and vice versa. The equations or statements basically differ just by some signs. The translation from one convention to another is always possible and is no more mysterious than the translation from British to U.S. English or vice versa.

How stupid do you have to be to misunderstand this point, that there can't be any "wrong" convention for the sign? And how many people are willing to believe that someone's inability to get this simple point is compatible with the credibility of his comments about string theory?

Thursday, April 20, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The O'Reilly Factor was the #1 news program in history

Fox News has fired the veteran journalist Bill O'Reilly. He was supposed to return from vacations in Italy on April 24th but "according to an agreement" of both sides, he won't. The agreement clearly wasn't as symmetric as the Fox News P.R. demagogues paint it because O'Reilly said he was "disheartened" by the decision.

The O'Reilly Factor was renamed to The Factor and Tucker Carlson will be taking the slot, anyway. This is weird because just weeks ago, Tucker Carlson was announced to take the slot from Megyn Kelly. Megyn Kelly could have worsened the situation of Bill O'Reilly. Nevertheless, Fox will have neither O'Reilly nor Kelly and this may be a detectable loss, indeed. However, if you want me to predict whether these changes will lead to the bankruptcy of Fox News, I don't think so. But you know, Carlson is a good journalist and I praised him in several recent blog posts. But the experience of watching him isn't in the O'Reilly category.

O'Reilly's program – called The Report in the first two years – began in 1996 when Fox News was a relatively newborn TV channel itself which focused on some of the widely discussed topics of the (first and only) Clinton presidency. I believe that he has contributed to the growth of Fox News. You shouldn't imagine that I am a regular viewer of The O'Reilly Factor – it's hard and far, especially from Central Europe. But there was a period of my life, in the first half of 2000, when I actually was a regular viewer of O'Reilly's show at least for several months.

I was in Santa Cruz, California, and the channel with the O'Reilly show was just conveniently located on a TV I found in my room, and I loved it, despite the fact that – with hindsight – I must say that I always disagreed on some issues with him. In my eyes, O'Reilly is at most a global warming lukewarmer. And I also count him as one of the knee-jerk Russophobes.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

All of string theory's power, beauty depends on quantum mechanics

Wednesday papers: Arkani-Hamed et al. show that the amplituhedron is all about sign flips. Maldacena et al. study the double-trace deformations that make a wormhole traversable. Among other things, they argue that the cloning is avoided because the extraction (by "Bob") eliminates the interior copy of the quantum information.
String/M-theory is the most beautiful, powerful, and predictive theory we know – and, most likely, the #1 with these adjectives among those that are mathematically possible – but the degree of one's appreciation for its exceptional credentials depends on one's general knowledge of physics, especially quantum mechanics.



Click to see an animation (info).

Quantum mechanics was basically discovered at one point in the mid 1920s and forced physics to make a one-time quantum jump. On the other hand, it also defines a trend because the novelties of quantum mechanics may be taken more or less seriously, exploited more or less cleverly and completely, and as physics was evolving towards more advanced, stringy theories and explanations of things, the role of the quantum mechanical thinking was undoubtedly increasing.

When we say "classical string theory", it is a slightly ambiguous term. We can take various classical limits of various theories that emerge from string theory, e.g. the classical field theory limit of some effective field theories in the spacetime. But the most typical representation of "classical string theory" is given by the dull yellow animation above. A classical string is literally a curve in a pre-existing spacetime that oscillates according to a wave equation of a sort.

LHCb insists on tension with lepton universality in \(1\)-\(6\GeV^2\)

The number of references to B-mesons on this blog significantly exceeds my degree of excitement about these bound states of quarks and antiquarks but what can I do? They are among the leaders of the revolt against the Standard Model.


Various physicists have mentioned a new announcement by the LHCb collaboration which is smaller than ATLAS and CMS but at least equally assertive.

Another physicist has embedded the key graph where you should notice that the black crosses sit well below the dotted line where they're predicted to sit


and we were told about the LHCb PowerPoint presentation where this graph was taken from.

Monday, April 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Climate whackos abandon NYT because it hired a skeptic

The Gray Lady is a left-leaning daily which is immensely unpopular with many of you and with a big part of the Republican base.

But I must admit that I have always considered The New York Times a mostly credible, conventional daily which has sometimes joined the left-wing witch hunts but which always kept more decency than most of the truly ideological counterparts. Maybe their article about me in 2001 has contributed to this relative respect of me, maybe Dennis Overbye's articles about physics did so many times afterwards, who knows. But I am convinced that even their pieces about politics are more tolerable in average – although I have seen a lot of the very bad ones, too.

But despite the superficial similarity, I have grown a significantly different attitude to The New York Times and The Washington Post, to pick the most obvious benchmark for a comparison.

Well, there's another reason not to abandon The New York Times now. It has hired a new op-ed writer, Bret Stephens, who is still in the Wall Street Journal now but will join The New York Times since the early May. Stephens is a Pulitzer prize winner (for commentary in 2013), he is a conservative opponent of Donald Trump. But what is more important now is that he is a climate change skeptic. And that makes quite some difference.

Sunday, April 16, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czechia absorbed 12 out of 1600 proposed refugees, that's it

The Czech politicians would prefer to pay fines

Czech minister of interior Mr Milan Chovanec (formerly a vegetable clerk, local politician here in Pilsen, and a fast alumnus of the notorious local law school here) gave an interview to a leading news server Novinky.cz (and the associated printed daily Právo):

Chovanec: Out of the quota for 1,591 (which arose after the first agreed upon quota for 1,100 was raised once), we took 12 refugees, we won't increase that number anymore
He talks about terrorism, the results of the quota program, and the Czech plans to deal with it in the future.

What I find remarkable is that the only reports about this development in the English language seem to be written in the Russian sources: RT, Sputnik, and TASS. It really looks like the Anglo-Saxon and Western European media are playing a dirty propaganda game of hiding all facts that are inconvenient for the grand plan to Islamize Europe. They just don't want to show calm, rational nations that nevertheless think it's common sense to fight against mass migration.

So much for the claims that the press freedom in Russia is worse than in the traditional Western countries.

Saturday, April 15, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

My Windows Creators Update froze at 82%

Every year, Microsoft is upgrading its "last" operating system for PC, Windows 10. Sometimes there are two medium-size upgrades a year. The first upgrade was the Anniversary Update and the coming one is the Creators Update.

They are gradually offering the update via Windows Update to selected subgroups of users across the world – to be sure that the Microsoft servers aren't overloaded and to hire the first users of the new update as guinea pigs. I was moderately looking forward to have the update – with things like the 3D paint and other things for creators and gamers. My upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 10 as well as the upgrade to Windows 10 Anniversary Edition were straightforward and free of visible problems – but still very time-consuming, eating some two hours per update "away from the desktop screen".

Unfortunately, I was among the selected ones who were offered the Creators Update this week. First of all, the download ended up with errors on two previous days. I haven't gotten Windows Update errors for a long time – maybe never with Windows 10 – but the Creators Update download and preparation ended up with an error 5 times – with at least 3 different error codes.

Friday, April 14, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

John Preskill's strange anti-quantum zeal

On his blog, I've had some exchanges with John Preskill concerned with the black hole information puzzle. He knows a lot about these matters and he has done some nontrivial research as well so much of the time, you're inclined to think that he agrees with the general rules of the game – the postulates of quantum mechanics and things like that.

But at some places, you get some suggestive evidence that it isn't the case. The first time I noticed some anti-quantum zeal inside John Preskill was in late 2014 when he hysterically celebrated John Bell. As far as I can say, John Bell hasn't done any important thing in the foundations of quantum mechanics in his life. He has just proposed another experimental setup in which classical physics and quantum mechanics gave different predictions. Well, classical and quantum physics give differing predictions at almost all times. The difference between classical and quantum physics is absolutely obvious and has been absolutely realized by everybody since the first moment when quantum mechanics was formulated. You don't need – or you shouldn't need – another example of that phenomenon every day to appreciate the difference.

His theorem was an inequality that only worked with the classical side of this comparison. So John Bell has never really applied the laws of quantum mechanics to calculate or explain anything. And if you look carefully, you will easily convince yourself that John Bell didn't believe quantum mechanics; and he didn't understand quantum mechanics. So while his theorem about the local classical theories was correct, he had no understanding of the laws of Nature beyond classical physics. He always assumed the world to be classical which is why he – absolutely incorrectly – interpreted his theorem as evidence of nonlocality in Nature.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

When black hole remnant nonsense is sold as science

One of the things I simply couldn't stand – and still cannot stand – about the university environment was its complete inability to do something about 100% self-evident fraudsters that live as parasites on the system. Competent people want to be "nice" which means that much of the environment is controlled by filth like Lee Smolin that has nothing whatever to do with the professional science.

Genius: Off-topic, there is a new cool 2-minute excerpt from Genius showing how Einstein met Mileva Marić, his first wife, after she trumped him in a physics exam and some ancient Greek physical philosophy. ;-)
In early 2009, Smolin and another crackpot often mentioned on this blog wrote a paper promoting hippie non-solutions to the black hole information paradox which they laughably called "conservative solutions". More or less every aspect of that paper was completely wrong and ludicrously wrong – Smolin's co-author recently admitted (bragged, I would say) that she realizes that every paper she has ever written on quantum gravity has been worthless garbage but she wrote them, anyway, because she was able to actually get money for this garbage.

I think that fraudulent scumbags like that should be spending years in prison or minutes on a rope. The reality is different: actual physicists can't even shout at this scum. In fact, they are even afraid of publishing their name while overly politely criticizing them, as we will see momentarily.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nature Magazine applauds Hitler's occupation of a part of Czechoslovakia

Willie Soon sent me the PDF file with the original layout of a Nature Magazine article applauding the Munich Treaty, the September 30th 1938 agreement between the four main powers of Europe. Here you have a HTML version of the one-page text:

The Promotion of Peace (Editorial, Nature, vol. 142, No. 3597, October 8, 1938)
I didn't know about that text. It is a great example showing how bad idea it may be for magazines such as Nature to write about things they don't really understand – especially politics. Willie also sent me three articles published in Nature between 1939 and 1940 – those were significantly more pro-Czech and anti-Nazi. But let me discuss The Promotion of Peace.
The agreement arrived at by the four-power conference, which met at Munich on September 30 to find a peaceful solution of the conflicting rights of Czechs and Germans to territory assigned to Czechoslovakia by peace treaties which followed the Great War, ...
This half-sentence tries to sound as a neutral, matter-of-fact historical proposition but it's very far from it. Since 1918, both Czechs and Germans who lived in the Sudetenland were citizens of Czechoslovakia and they only had "rights to territory" that are expected for individual citizens. And the laws of Czechoslovakia guaranteed that these rights simply couldn't be conflicting.

Collectively, only Czechoslovakia as a whole had a right to the territory. Czechs and Slovaks were a majority in Czechoslovakia which meant that they had the upper hand – but this asymmetry was nothing else than the mirror image of the role of German-speaking folks and others within Austria-Hungary up to 1918.

The sentence above is also highly misleading because it indicates that the Prague control over the Sudetenland was invented after the First World War. While the loss of Germany and Austria in the Great War implied their reduced political power after 1918, it is simply not true that the Sudetenland belonged under Prague because of peace conferences after the First World War. The Sudetenland had had a local capital in Prague for the previous 900 years or so. Bohemia was never split into pieces in that period.

Sometimes, Prague was just an autonomous local capital while the main capital was the imperial one in Vienna. Sometimes, Czechia was independent. Twice, Prague was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. And the Bohemian Kingdom sometimes lived in the personal union with the Poles or the Hungarians and it sometimes controlled territories up to the Baltic or Adriatic Sea. During the late 19th century, Austria-Hungary respected many autonomous rights of the nation states within the empire so many bureaus were located and many decisions affecting the Czech lands were made in Prague, anyway.

Marshall plan for North Korea

Russia and Iran have issued a joint statement that they will attack the United States if the superpower repeats something like the – ineffective – raid against the Syrian government airbase. Under some circumstances, the Third World War may really be just a tweet away.

I want to believe that the U.S. won't do it. In fact, I want to believe that Trump has made the exercise – which has alienated his numerous supporters – in order to get rid of the criticisms that he is a puppet of Putin's if not Assad's. While many of us are disappointed by what Trump has done, most of the people who have said that Trump was a Russian agent look like idiots now. Well, they have always looked like idiots (because they really are idiots, after all) but a much larger number of people may see this trivial point now.

North Korea may ultimately be more dangerous and the tensions have risen, too. The official TV of the crazy country has threatened a nuclear attack once again. If the U.S. warships don't behave, the North Korean nukes can show their muscles.

I would find the occupation and normalization of North Korea very intriguing. South Korea doesn't seem to be too enthusiastic about doing anything about their Northern brothers. It could be up to others. Well, North Korea might be an example in which I would recommend the politics of carrot to be tried first. Has it been tried at all?

Monday, April 10, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Bill Nye not wanted at "March For Science": a wrong race, sex

Extremist lunatics behind the farce want to outlaw white males

On April 22nd i.e. the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, radical left-wing activists plan to organize the March For Science where they want to reiterate Lenin's opinion that Marxism-Leninism-Progressivism is one (and perhaps the only) scientific world view. Willis Eschenbach at Anthony Watts' blog and William Briggs at Stream.org have had lots of fun with some developments that have turned the event into a truly ludicrous farce.

The most amusing development is that numerous enthusiastic and important organizers have attacked the idea that Bill Nye should be a leader of the parade – for a funny reason.

Just to be sure, the reason is not that Bill Nye is just a "clown the scientist" who starred as a cool scientist on a TV show for kids two decades ago – rather than a real scientist. No one behind the March For Science cares whether the leaders of the parade know something or nothing about science as long as their ideology is sufficiently left-wing.

The trouble with Bill Nye is that he is a white male! Your parents have just doubly screwed it, Bill, or triply if I count Bill Nye himself as the third screw-up.

Saturday, April 08, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Science works even when it is not trusted

There have been some topics in which Sabine Hossenfelder wrote sensible things recently – the Universe as a simulation is a top example – but she can't live without her anti-science whining which is why she wrote the diatribe titled

Science needs reason to be trusted.
As long as you have a vagina and you claim to be a scientist, PC journals like Nature will publish literally anything you submit, as this disturbing example shows. I don't want to discuss – or read – every sentence in this diatribe but it makes sense to pick a representative subcollection.

First, the title says "Science needs reason to be trusted". The title is ambiguous. She may have meant that science needs reason or reasoning – rational thinking – if science wants to be trustworthy. That would be a meaningless tautology because science itself is a refined type of reason. Instead, as the third sentence beneath the subtitle indicates, she apparently meant "The public needs a reason if the public wants to trust science".

Is it true? Is it false? It's probably mostly true but it's absolutely irrelevant for any discussion about science itself – for a simple reason:
Science doesn't need any public
So it's up to everyone – individually or collectively – whether he thinks scientifically or whether he uses scientific results. Those who do have a certain advantage. Those who don't have other advantages – for example, they may be applauded in communities that hate science.

Now, statements claimed to reflect science may be right or wrong – but science itself is mostly about the process that decides which statements are trustworthy and which aren't. As long as you believe that the scientific method works, the only thing that science needs to produce conclusions that are trustworthy is that the method is respected and pursued carefully. You can't construct any true sentence similar to the title that would be much more than a meaningless tautological cliché.

Friday, April 07, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

It was wrong for America to bomb Syrian airfields

Mentioning an apparent chemical attack in Syria that has killed dozens, the U.S. has launched an air strike against some Syrian government airfields near Homs. There are reports that ISIS launched an offensive near Homs soon afterwards – and Christians are likely to be the targets. If true, it means that the Pentagon has basically provided Daesh with an air force.

So much for Trump's promises to focus on Daesh as the main enemy. (See these 2013 Trump tweets against a U.S. attack against Syria.)

These developments are terribly disappointing and indicate that Donald Trump is very unlikely to bring rationality to the U.S. approach to the Middle East. We shouldn't hope that he will stop the string of U.S. interventions in the region in recent years that have basically led to bad outcomes only. And indeed, there may be reasons to be worried that these matters will become even worse.

Thursday, April 06, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech currency liberated

After the Velvet Revolution and Velvet Divorce, we experienced the Velvet Unpegging

I was doing lots of things online. Suddenly, I looked at a window with the exchange rates and... the euro was below 27 for the first time since the 2013 anniversary of the Great October Revolution. The central bankers removed the controversial policy on April 6th, half an hour after the noon, after a "regular" meeting of that 7-member board. Thankfully, they only announced their evaporation minutes later – otherwise traders would have bought trillions of crowns within seconds.

It could have been much earlier but some of them were tempted to do the step much later, too. I really expected that event for almost a week – and was watching the rates by peripheral vision, while multi-tasking, for many many hours.



A watch with a 50-crown coin in it. CZK 50 should soon be over $2 again

As I already said, sorry for that, the moment of the liberation was unannounced – the Czech National Bank has only confirmed to have evaporated minutes later, via Twitter and other resources. The motion of the exchange rate was rather smooth, going from the cap level 27.02 to 26.80 or so, and returning back to 27.11 during the first backlash when the hottest investors were closing their positions. So the rate stayed within 1% from the cap level for an hour.

A billion of dollars or two went into the crown in recent days, being satisfied with a 10-heller if not smaller profit. Those are different strategies. Instead of "different", the word might be "stupid", too. For a few days, the crown may stay above 26.60 because lots of traders have bought the crowns who are satisfied with a 40-heller profit. But this hot cash is eventually depleted and the supply of crowns at these rates disappears – the remaining holders are medium- or long-term holders who really want to see the rate 26 if not 25 before they consider selling CZK.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Manbearpig lectured by a third-world leader

Willie Soon sent me a wonderful conversation from the Davos 2017 meeting.



A story is here, too

A former vice-president of a highly developed country tried to offer his "wisdom" – that coal power plants shouldn't be built, not even in countries like Bangladesh. Instead, they should double the amount of cash they waste for the uneconomic sources of energy. This junk would be okayed at many places of the degenerated Western civilization.

Fortunately, Ms Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, thought differently.

Causality and cloning by black holes

On his and his junior colleagues' blog, John Preskill describes a recent Stanford workshop where black hole information puzzle big shots met with quantum information folks:

Here’s one way to get out of a black hole!
If a black hole wants to hire you, I recommend you to treat the pledge above as oversimplified hype in order to avoid a bad career move. ;-)

We're promised that Maldacena, Stanford (coincidence, I hope: Leland Stanford only had one son, Leland Jr), and Yang will soon release a paper that should be related to the recent double-trace paper by Gao, Jafferis, and Wall. Various people were trying to make the wormholes in ER=EPR traversable etc. One can "almost" get there but something stops you from fully completing the task.

A big potential paradox that is being addressed by these thoughts is the cloning of information in quantum mechanics – which, under a certain scenario and with a certain interpretation, seems to materialize in the presence of black holes. Preskill talks about his and Patrick Hayden's paper that argued that after the Page time, the information can be extracted from the radiation quickly, and he seems most excited by the idea that a black hole entangled with a quantum computer is equivalent to a (short) wormhole.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

ATLAS: locally 3.3-sigma \(ZH\) evidence for a new \(3\TeV\) boson

About two dozens of new ATLAS and CMS papers seem absolutely well-behaved. It's hard to find even a glimpse of an emerging deviation from the Standard Model. A week ago, I mentioned an outstanding B-meson anomaly which is 4.9-sigma strong.



Here I want to mention this Figure 3 upper-left on Page 12 of ATLAS'

Search for Heavy Resonances Decaying to a \(W\) or \(Z\) Boson and a Higgs Boson in the \(q\bar q^{(\prime)} b\bar b\) Final State in \(pp\) Collisions at \(\sqrt s = 13\TeV\) with the ATLAS Detector
You may also look at Page 14 of the paper, Figure 4, where the Brazilian bands show a wide 3-sigmaish excess near \(m_{Z'}\sim 3\TeV\).

Monday, April 03, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Who is evil and who is nice?

By Václav Klaus Jr, a son of the ex-president and a Czech shadow minister of education, from Czech

Schools should primarily teach. Their purpose is to transfer knowledge. They may try to cultivate as well [the English word "education" unfortunately covers both meanings, the Czech language tends to differentiate, LM] but it shouldn't be done within standard subjects or in campaigns. However, to indoctrinate the children in topics where one half of the nation disagrees with the other half – please, don't do that. NO.
It is normal that people have different opinions about the government/state and the public affairs. Even Plato and Aristotle saw the society differently. However, schools should transfer knowledge. They may teach what Aristotle or Plato were writing. To hope that several top pupils read the original essays in Greek would probably be too much to ask (even though the students at gymnasiums 130 years ago were often able to do it) but it shouldn't be taught that Aristotle was a cretin who didn't understand the interests of the whole while Plato was progressive.

Saturday, April 01, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Location, timing of mental processes is irrelevant for foundations of quantum mechanics

In the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory, S10E19, Leonard felt left (eftl ftle) out while Penny was getting closer to Rajesh.

Meanwhile, Sheldon and Amy began their natural and thought-provoking collaboration. Sheldon has the same background as I do so it's natural for him to think about foundations of quantum mechanics. And Amy is a neuroscientist – much like the actress Mayim Bialik PhD. At some moment, they decided to cooperate. During the cooperation, they found out that fights make their thinking sharper so they fought about the way how to use this discovery.



The interdisciplinary topic they investigated is very natural and many people have asked similar questions. Amy knows a lot about processes in the brain and building blocks of the brain, Sheldon knows a lot about the foundations of quantum mechanics. Can or should these two self-evidently scientific topics be combined? Does the neuroscience actually tell us where and when the collapse of the wave function associated with the measurement – with the perception of its results – takes place?