## Tuesday, March 28, 2017 ... /////

### $B$-meson $b$-$s$-$\mu$-$\mu$ anomaly remains at 4.9 sigma after Moriond

There was no obvious announcement of new physics at Moriond 2017, one that would have settled supersymmetry or other bets in a groundbreaking direction, but that doesn't mean that the Standard Model is absolutely consistent with all observations.

In recent years, the LHCb collaboration has claimed various deviations of their observations of mostly $B$-meson decays from the Standard Model predictions. A new paper was released yesterday, summarizing the situation after Moriond 2017:

Status of the $B\to K^*\mu^+\mu^−$ anomaly after Moriond 2017
Wolfgang Altmannshofer, Christoph Niehoff, Peter Stangl, David M. Straub (the German language is so effective with these one-syllable surnames, isn't it?) and Matthias Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz have looked at the tension with the newest data.

The Good-lookers, Matterhorn (1975): In the morning, they started their journey at CERN (or in Bern). I've made the would-be witty replacement of Bern with CERN so many times that I am not capable of singing this verse reliably correctly anymore!

The new data include the angular distribution of the decay mentioned in the title, as measured by the major (ATLAS and CMS) detectors.

## Monday, March 27, 2017 ... /////

### Pizza and simulations vs renormalization

Physicist Moshe Rozali has challenged Aaronson's fantasies about the simulation of the Universe. Let me begin with his traditionalist complaints that are more comprehensible, to make sure that the number of readers of this blog post will monotonically decrease with time:

Incidentally, my main problem with the simulation story is not (only) that it is intellectually lazy or that it is masquerading as some deep foundational issue. As far as metaphysical speculation goes it is remarkably unromantic, I mean, your best attempt as a creation myth involves someone sitting in front of a computer running code? What else do those omnipotent gods do, eat pizza? Do their taxes?
Right. The "universe as a computer simulation" should be viewed as a competitor of Genesis and in this competition struggle, the "simulation" loses to Genesis because it's a superficial kitschy fad, an uninspiring work of socialist realism.

Genesis according to Scott Aaronson. I don't want to revolt against our overlords but the sticky fingers just suck, Ms Simulator. Incidentally, the pizza is a computer case. Click at the picture to see a video by Aaronson's twin brother who explains all the details.

## Sunday, March 26, 2017 ... /////

### The true face of feminism

Four days ago, The Harvard Crimson published a rant by its staff writer Miss Nian Hu,

Beware the male feminist
which sheds some light on the insane claims that the purpose of feminism is equality between sexes – instead of a totalitarian arrangement of the society that is or was analogous to the plans of Nazis, Islamists, communists, climate alarmists, and other -ists that pick a privileged part of the society and systematically terrorize (and sometimes exterminate) the rest. Superficially, the article is an attack on the male feminists – the pathetic would-be men who vote for Hillary, call themselves feminists, wear feminist T-shirts, encourage true, female feminists around them to whine, and think how this strategy could bring them advantages – which it sometimes does, mostly in socially putrified environments where the concentration of similar opportunists grows too high.

Needless to say, I don't find it existentially important to defend these male feminists for their own sake – I despise these spineless and despicable parodies of men about as much as I despise their female counterparts if not more so. However, what you can actually extract from Miss Hu's rant is primarily a snapshot of her views about the sexes and the character of the movement she considers her own. And maybe the spineless shameful opportunists could use Miss Hu's rant to figure out that their immoral strategy could ultimately be suicidal, too.

### When a layman has no chance to comprehend the bit-qubit difference

I am often dreaming about being able to extract 1/2 of my brain and donate parts to others. Why?

Because, as Sheldon Cooper has observed, being stupid isn't a reason to cry. Being sad is a reason to cry. For example, I am sad because other people are so stupid!

The Internet events that maximally influenced this beautiful sunny Sunday morning were comments by the Kansas-based user AP under the June 2016 blog post Leaning of information, not an interaction, is what causes the collapse. As you may recall, and as you can see by thinking about the title, the main point of the blog post was to say that ordinary small quantum objects' evolution – including interactions that make them entangled – doesn't cause any collapse, any irreversible change of the wave function, anything that we associate with the observations.

## Saturday, March 25, 2017 ... /////

### An isolated standard model contradicts nothing we know

Today, the Moriond 2017 particle physics conference ends. Especially the CMS has presented the newest results – analyses of some 35 inverse femtobarns of the data collected at the two protons' total energy of $13\TeV$.

Almost a decade ago, I made an asymmetric bet against Adam Falkowski, a particle phenomenologist now in Paris. He claimed that supersymmetry wouldn't be found before a deadline and I claimed it could be. If it were found, I would have won $10,000. If it weren't found, I would pay$100. So it was a 100-to-1 bet, basically implying the consensus probability of the early enough supersymmetry discovery at 1%. I accepted the bet because my subjective probability of a SUSY discovery was much higher than 1% and I still think it was reasonable – and an analogous assumption is still reasonable for the next collider.

The deadline was defined a bit arbitrarily – but it was "after the results of at least 30/fb of the data at design energy are collected". The design energy was $14\TeV$ and $8\TeV$ is clearly lower – the collisions at this lower energy may produce SUSY particles about 10 times less frequently than those at $14\TeV$ – but $14\TeV$ is close enough to $13\TeV$ so it's obvious that those 35/fb at $13\TeV$ that we have are basically equivalent to 30/fb at $14\TeV$. So right now it's the ideal balanced moment that almost exactly agrees with the conditions of our bet, I think, and because supersymmetry hasn't been discovered yet, I should pay $100 to Adam. As I have already mentioned, this lost bet is a technicality for me and doesn't change my belief that supersymmetry somewhere in Nature, beneath the Planck scale, is very likely and SUSY around the corner is always a possibility. I am sure that many of you agree that the opposite result would be way more interesting – from the financial viewpoint, from the viewpoint of our TRF community, and because of the excitement it would create among physicists. ## Friday, March 24, 2017 ... ///// ### Learning about the laws of physics isn't a "yes we can" pissing contest After Sabine Hossenfelder wrote her critique of "the world is a simulation" paradigm, I was a bit jealous about one apparent phenomenon: that her readers seemed to agree with her. Well, it didn't last long. After Scott Aaronson vented his absolutely stupid ideas about the same problem, many of his computer-science-worshiping but otherwise uneducated readers were apparently redirected to Hossenfelder's blog and started to give her a hard time. The most obnoxious troll that repeatedly posted at Backreaction is nicknamed _Shorty, a man from the British Columbia who loves his air gun, guitar, and video games. For some reasons, this self-evident mediocre know-nothing thinks that it's very important for the world to hear what he thinks about the character of the physical law. It wouldn't be too hard to predict what an interaction between a physicist, even one such as Hossenfelder, and a stupid yet aggressive man who is "into the computer games" is going to look like. ## Thursday, March 23, 2017 ... ///// ### What mathematical thinking looks like and why schools should teach it Go to the Character of the Mathematical Thought list... A week ago, Doug K. sent me an essay Why We Should Reduce Skills Teaching in the Math Class by Dr Keith Devlin, a British American set theorist and mathematics teacher. Like many postmodern promoters of feel-good education, Devlin argues that we should reduce the teaching of all hard mathematics at school. After all, almost no one actually needs mathematics in his life so it's fine. This change will reduce the math anxieties and math phobia in the society, make the world a better place, and so on. At the same time, most people will understand what is mathematics, how and where it is used, they will have a positive attitude to it, and they will be ready to learn it as soon as they need some because math phobia won't be deterring them. Please, give me a break. ## Wednesday, March 22, 2017 ... ///// ### Aaronson's delusions about the universe as a simulation Four days ago, I praised Sabine Hossenfelder's remarks about the hypothesis that our Universe is a simulation. It's rather clear that complexity theorist Scott Aaronson disagrees on some fundamental issues, as he wrote in his Your yearly dose of is-the-universe-a-simulation, and Aaronson is just completely wrong about all these points. Some of these two folks' views were mentioned at Gizmodo. Aaronson summarized the core of his opinion as follows: In short: blame it for being unfalsifiable rather than for being falsified! He claims that it's not a problem to reconcile the universe-as-a-computer with the Lorentz invariance, too. On the other hand, Hossenfelder (like your humble correspondent) emphasizes that all the predictions similar to "certain computer-like glitches, such as the failure of accuracy or continuity and deja vu cats" seem to be falsified. So at some imperfect but high confidence level, the "simulation hypothesis" has been ruled out. Aaronson doesn't like it and he's wrong. ## Tuesday, March 21, 2017 ... ///// ### Antiviruses: when the cure is worse than the disease In the morning, my antivirus software suddenly told me that my main defragmenter is a virus. Just to be specific: I have used the German AVIRA software (web) with the red umbrella icon for over 15 years. It's probably not the most patriotic thing to do because Czechia has turned into an antivirus superpower largely thanks to Avast which recently devoured its competitor AVG (for$1.3 bn) and the company's headquarters stayed in Prague. Avast actually has more employees than Avira etc. Avast was founded as a communist-era co-op in 1988, AVIRA is two years older. Almost all people on the Avast board are non-Czech today, however.

I think that AVIRA does a good job and I've seen some reports that it's among the antiviruses that don't slow down the PC too much.

The other part of the story is that I believe that fragmentation of files slows down PC and I am running a defragmentation periodically. I've tried many but Auslogics Disk Defrag Free seems like the best choice on the market – it's much faster than most others and it visualizes things appropriately and gives you all the information about the fragmented files, the number of fragments, and other things.

## Monday, March 20, 2017 ... /////

### Germans should be ashamed of their candidate Martin Schulz

Off-topic: I know that many ex-fans have already grown tired of The Big Bang Theory but I haven't and for folks like me, CBS has approved the 11th and 12th seasons of TBBT. Via syndication, the show has earned over \$1 billion for Warner, I haven't been sent a penny (let alone Penny) yet.
In the recent decade, the German politician elite has drifted towards the arrogant, politically correct far left corner. Recall that Angela Merkel's predecessor was the social democrat Gerhard Schröder.

This 2002 parody of a famous Spanish ketchup pop song, "The Tax Song", still showed the innocent politics that Western politics had known for decades. Schröder was a social democrat and it was therefore sensible to assume that he wants too high taxes, too many taxes (I can't even tell you with any certainty whether high taxes were characteristic for his tenure), and he's making fun of the citizens who probably don't like to pay this much. The only other theme of the song I can identify are the accusations that Schröder had to color his hair, otherwise they couldn't have been so youthful.

Although Merkel's CDU should be more conservative than Schröder's SPD, I find it obvious that Merkel is more left-wing than Schröder was. He was really a guy with some common sense who was immune towards most of the insanities – and he's still resistant towards e.g. the postmodern Russophobia that is largely driven by Vladimir Putin's being too conservative for the self-anointed progressive ideologues who have multiplied like locusts in the West.

## Sunday, March 19, 2017 ... /////

### Do you really think the Moon is a planet, Kirby?

Phys.org informs us about lots of legitimate news but sometimes it loves to spread hype about some absolute nonsense. When it switches to the nonsense mode, it usually promotes the craziest articles to the "featured" category. On Friday, they posted a crazy article about a topic that everyone should be able to understand,

Scientists make the case to restore Pluto's planet status
Pluto is a hero of the title but this very fact is ludicrous. Some people feel sad about the downgraded status of a piece of rock they have never seen with their eyes. But there's something else that the title doesn't convey: The people who want to redefine a "planet" again intend to make sure that there are over 100 planets in the Solar System so that the list would include the Earth's Moon – where some TRF readers have been – among many others.

Two Plutos, taken from the article about a Daesh astronomer who wants to rename Pluto to the Moon of Mohammed LOL. See also ISIS plans to carry attacks on Pluto.

The main proponent of the new definition is Mr Kirby Runyon (and "Mr" should be understood in the same way as when Dr Gablehauser talks to Mr Howard Wolowitz), a graduate student at John Hopkins, a Christian, and an owner of a cat. Quite some credentials.

## Saturday, March 18, 2017 ... /////

### Hossenfelder sensibly critical of our "simulated" world

Sabine Hossenfelder writes a lot of wrong texts, especially about issues that depend on some nontrivial calculation. But she is often reasonable when she discusses certain conceptual issues, including the general properties of quantum mechanics (and the absence of non-local influences in QFT etc.).

The latest example of the penetrating texts is

No, we probably don’t live in a computer simulation
I've discussed the proposals that "our world has been programmed by our overlord, Ms Simulator" in 2011, 2013, 2016, aside from other moments.

But let's look primarily at the comments by Hossenfelder and her readers – who surprisingly seem to agree.

### Particles' wave functions always spread superluminally

It's been almost a week since we discussed Jacques Distler's confusion about some basics of quantum field theory. He posts several blog posts a year, a quantum field theory course is probably the only one he teaches, and he was "driven up the wall" by a point that almost every good introductory textbook makes at the very beginning. I expected that within a day or two, he would post a detailed text with the derivations saying "Oops, I've been silly [for 50 years]".

It just didn't happen. He still insists that the one-particle truncation of a quantum field theory is perfectly consistent and causal. In particular, he repeated many times in his blog post (search for the word "superluminal") that the relativistically modified Schrödinger's equation for one particle (with a square root) guarantees that the wave packets never spread faster than the speed of light. Oops, it's just too bad.