Friday, April 25, 2014 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

John Kerry vs freedom of press, Russia Today

John Kerry spoke about Ukraine and reserved some "verbal bullets" for the Kremlin-funded TV network, Russia Today.

The full speech is available.

I think that such an overall attack by a top politician against an important media outlet (which has surpassed 1 billion total views on YouTube, for example) is pretty incredible in a free country. Needless to say, I remember pretty much the same attacks against the "seditious transmitters of the imperialists" (including Radio Free Europe) we would hear during communism. (RFE/RL stopped its direct broadcast from Russian transmitters in 2012 when the new Russian bill outlawed the broadcasting of content paid for by foreign owners.)

It would be OK if Kerry – and/or the media that consider him a good politician who is right on important issues – had presented evidence against particular wrong claims and misinterpretations. But for a Secretary of State to try to sling mud on a whole network is beyond the pale.

Just for you to have a realistic idea, I think that about 1/5 of my exposure to politics is coming from Russia Today, usually their YouTube channel (and much more rarely, from the RT Chrome extension). The percentage has jumped considerably when the chaos in Ukraine began because I consider the coverage by the Western media – especially the U.S. media, but to a lesser extent, even e.g. Czech media – completely inadequate.

Russia Today has offered pretty good stories on events in science, and so on. You shouldn't imagine that I am an uncritical consumer of everything they present. For example, their incorporation of the hardcore left-wing financial terrorist Max Keiser – who would propose a "don't drink, short the stocks" algorithm to destroy the CocaCola company a decade ago, seems counterproductive to me. He is a loon; check e.g. this high-pitch pro-Bitcoin meltdown of Max Keiser (OK, it was a staged event but he is still a loon). And there are some other hardcore Marxists working for Russia Today, too. I try to avoid them because they make me upset but I may often tolerate them, too (e.g. this Comrade Pepe Escobar who is a clear commie but he's sometimes right about things, too).

On the other hand, the high-quality news and programs offered by RT paint a different story and in the context of the Ukrainian chaos, I think that RT is the world's most informative yet balanced source of news. For example, Peter Lavelle's CrossTalk is the best political debate program that is alive in the current world. And correct me if I am wrong but in all controversies between the official Western press and RT that I experienced in the recent months, RT turned out to be right.

For example, there was this uncritical report that the anti-Semitic "register or be chased away" rant in Donetsk was written by the actual leaders of the pro-Russian resistance. I think it's agreed by now that the stamps were counterfeited and the document was written by someone else – well, probably by the pro-Maidan forces that 1) have the interest to discredit the pro-Russians and 2) that often want the Jews to disappear from Ukraine, anyway.

Also, some photographs were supposed to show that particular Russian bearded men operate in Ukraine. It was pointed out by the author of the photograph that the photographs were used without his permission and, more importantly, all pictures of the bearded men were taken in Ukraine so there is no evidence that the men are Putin's employees of any sort (or Russian citizens). The New York Times apologized for the untrue story – but the correction was posted on Page 9 so that almost no one reads it.

There have been many other examples like that.

But even if Russia Today were less accurate or correct than the "mainstream" Western outlets in some cases, they have the right to operate and they are bringing important information or viewpoints for viewers like me. Thank you.

Kerry's effort to "discredit" Russia Today by pointing out that it is funded by Vladimir Putin and pals seems bizarre to me. Every media outlet is funded in some way and that doesn't imply that the outlet is accurate or inaccurate. All combinations of funding strategies and accuracy are possible. After all, before the fall of communism, my most important source of the big-picture political information about Czechoslovakia was Radio Free Europe that has always been funded by the U.S. Congress. I didn't have a problem with that. It seems natural to me that many such important projects are funded by governments or parliaments. They may still be very good and important and be sure that Radio Free Europe was bringing us more faithful information about communism (vs prospective democracy) in Czechoslovakia than the official Czechoslovak press.

Within some tolerance window, the journalists employed by someone enjoy partial or complete freedom. I think that the RT journalists have more actual freedom than e.g. MSNBC's employees.

Ironically enough, the current headquarters of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty is the building that has belonged to the communist federal parliament in Prague. My point is that it is just silly to automatically indicate that some network is bad because it is funded by someone who should be "disliked". While I am no hardcore fan, I don't dislike Putin in any way, either. He is an excellent strategist who is serving his nation. I don't like his past. Those things would pose a problem for me if I were supposed to vote for him. But there would be tons of positives, too. I have no idea what the outcome would be if I were a Russian man who would be deciding if he is "my president".

At any rate, the analogy between Kerry's remarks and the censorship in communism looks accurate and therefore scary to me.

Why don't you turn on the jammers to prevent the viewers from seeing Russia Today, comrade Kerry? Why doesn't your administration start to dismiss children of parents who watch Russia Today from good schools? To arrest folks? Your beyond-the-pale criticism of Russia Today surely indicates that you're pretty close to these policies. In the real world, Russia Today offers some "different than the nearly omnipresent politically correct" coverage of many topics. It is not regulated by various taboos. It doesn't think that the "minorities with special rights" such as the women, Muslims, gays, and people of color are uncriticizable holy cows. It doesn't pretend that people who mindlessly devour everything coming from the official Western media are intelligent. It doesn't mask the hypocrisy and double standards of many people, including people like John Kerry. These people may find the existence of Russia Today uncomfortable but you know, it is not the task of the media to maximize the comfort of politicians like John Kerry.

And this is how Kerry's spokesman answers questions:

OK, I apologize for the politically incorrect term "spokesman" – I meant a spokeslut. I hope it's better. This arrogant reply just drives me up the wall. It's so disgusting. The cute RT correspondent Gayane Chichikyan just points out a certain repeated coincidence (Kiev has sent troops to the East twice, always after a major U.S. official's visit) and asks whether it is due to pure chance or whether the obvious explanation of these coincidences is right. One may answer in one way or another. Someone could lie, too. Jep Psaki's "reply" is that the correspondent only restates "Lavrov's ludicrous claim from yesterday". Except that it doesn't matter. If the observation is first made by Lavrov, it doesn't mean that it doesn't need a genuine answer. After all, Lavrov seems extremely profound and hot to the cute granddaughter of his Soviet predecessor Shevarnadze. ;-)

At any rate, it is very clear that people like Kerry enjoy the life in the environment of brainwashed and intellectually degenerated masses who can be fed all kinds of official junk – including the global warming orthodoxy, to mention a truly atrocious example – and who never question anything. I understand that people who owe everything to the dwindling quality-of-information standards of many people in the West must be annoyed by inconvenient questions and by media outlets who point out that the emperor has no clothes if he or she has no clothes. But their inconvenience doesn't change anything about the fact that they are those who are on the wrong side of the history.

(An hour after I posted this text, RT posted a fun video of a very lucky Czech man under a train in Rájec-Jestřebí, Czechia. It's the first time I see this one-week-old Czech police video. This guy must be guarded by an angel, indeed.)

Add to Digg this Add to reddit

snail feedback (43) :

reader BobSykes said...

You're entirely right, especially about Russia Today and Crosstalk, which I discovered at Vinyard of the Saker. That blog is run by an expatriate Russian living (apparently) in the US. He assiduously collects all sort of non-MSM stories about the situation in Eastern Europe and helps put the jingoistic warmongering by the US establishment in perspective.

reader Giotis said...

It seems to me that the absence of a wormhole is considered as self evident by the authors and so there is no need to elaborate or to explain something more.

reader Maznak said...

I am not sure that Putin is brilliant strategist - he is a good tactician at best. By the Crimea anschluss under false pretext he has really crossed the Rubicon - Russia will from now on have close to zero credibility when signing treaties etc - everybody, from now on, must think - is this worth more than the paper it is written on?
Also he has basically forced Europe to start looking hard elsewhere for hydracarbons and energy solutions - this is surely not in the long term interest of Russia.
If he invades the rest of Ukraine (and I am almost sure he will, there is pretext enough already), Russia will be eventually hurt very badly by sanctions and ostracism - and he has known that all along and I think he miscalculated. His problem is that he is looking at the world through KGB lenses.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, and OIC - I didn't know it was a Russian American, so to say.

reader Giotis said...

LOL :-)

reader Uncle Al said...

John Kerry is a smartless bag of flesh smoothed with Botox. He is emblematic of Obama's "dictatorial rule by faith" in which sham promised good feelings and debauched Chicago politics supersede empirical reality. Putin is a very good corporal (strategy and tactics). It remains to be seen if he is a competent general (logistics).

reader Gene Day said...

By your use of the word “anschluss” you are drawing an transparent parallel between Putin and Hitler. That is simply grotesque. I suggest that you ask any of the members of the jewish (by marriage) side of my family, who’s forebears fled Austria before Hitler marched in.
When Putin hosted Netanyahu at the Kremlin he wore a yarmulka out of respect for the jewish people and their traditions.

reader Swine flu said...

//But their inconvenience doesn't change anything about the fact that they are those who are on the wrong side of the history.//

Being on the wrong side of history can either mean predicting future events incorrectly, or making the morally wrong choice of which side to support. I have trouble seeing why it is morally OK for Russia to invade Ukraine, and I am not talking about Crimea.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Swine Flu, I just wrote that according to 59% of respondent in a Czech poll, it is right for Russia to invade Ukraine if its de facto government continues to use weapons against its own citizens:

It is sort of common sense for me, too. Similar interventions occurred at many other places where a rogue regime started to physically harm its own population for political reasons. Russia clearly has the greatest interest to protect the innocent citizens so it's natural for Russia to do the work.

reader Swine flu said...

Oh, I don't find Kerry interesting enough to care what he says, and not just on this issue. Angela Merkel is a much more substantial person, and from what I can glean from the media reports so far, she seems quite concerned with Putin's actions.

Interventions to prevent genocide are allowed, but I am not sure we are seeing anything on the scale that justifies an invasion, and some of the instability has been helped along by the annexation of the Crimea, so one could say that to some degree - not 100 percent, but to some degree - Russia is stirring the pot and then uses the resulting instability as an excuse for an invasion.

Actually, Russia's security interests would be a more substantive justification for its involvement in Ukraine, but how much this is about Russia's legitimate security concerns versus simply wanting to have a sphere of influence is not entirely clear to me.

reader MoptopTheConservative said...

Kerry's bona fides as an idiot were well cemented long before this.

Google "seared, seared"

reader Swine flu said...

Given that this involves the Russians and the Ukranians, his wearing yarmulka is entirely irrelevant here.

The analogy with the Anschluss and the sentiments that had led to it has to do with Hitler's desire for all German-speaking lands to be with Germany, and for Germany to be their protector. Putin has expressed related sentiment about the relationship between Russia and ethnic Russians living in other countries, so German history is entirely to study for possible insights. This does not mean that things have to end the same way as they did with Germany, or that Putin is just another Hitler.

Here is Putin-Hitler (or Russia-Germany) comparison from someone who has been on Putin's side in this dispute:

reader Rami Niemi said...

reader lukelea said...

What we are seeing in the U.S. in my opinion are the actions of a poorly educated, poorly informed establishment. It all goes back to the gutting of the liberal arts curriculum especially the study of history, in our elite colleges and universities beginning in the late 1960's. Believe it or nor these people's knowledge of European history is practically nil.

reader RAF III said...

Hear! Hear!

reader Maznak said...

Dear Lumo,

this is really rather a matter of point of view. My reply was mainly about whether Putin is a good strategist or not (I share some reservations against the Western moves, but far less than you do). I believe he has done his country more harm than good. It looks to me that he is on an empire- building mission, while inside Russia there is still a very shitty situation, economically speaking, with standards of living that are still very low compared to the West etc, and he is going to hurt those people further. I understand that for him, this looks like the "small price he is willing to pay". But in the end, the economy decides practically everything - even his personal situation might deteriorate very fast, because authoritarian regimes are fragile (as we have seen recently in quite a few cases).
I think we will know better five years from now.

reader Swine flu said...

This is one of those rare situations when the reactions of the West European establishment do not seem all that different from those of the American one. They must have either gutted the liberal arts curriculum in Europe as well, or your comments, while generally true, do not shed much light on this particular situation.

reader Maznak said...

Dear Gene,

If you knew my personal background, you would see that I may have quite the same empathy for the Jewish ordeal like you do. Nevertheless, the Anschluss was not a manifestation of Hitler´s hate towards the Jews. It was an Empire building excercise concerned with the unification of ethnic Germans. The Austrian Jews were just innocent bystanders who had a very bad luck of suddenly waking up in a foreign and very hostile country. I do not think that Putin is an anti-semite. I think that he is a very shameless opportunist.

reader Curious George said...

I remember how in 1968 good Czechoslovak communists and government officials have been murdered by fascists and other imperialist agents - in Soviet press. Finally Soviets were have been forced, reluctantly, to help. (And I was forced, reluctantly, to flee).

Some things never change. KGB is one of them.

reader mesocyclone said...

John Kerry is not someone to be taken seriously. This is the same guy who fronted for the Communists during the Vietnam War. He met with them in Paris, and then touted their exact propaganda line in the US - harming the US war effort. He's the guy whose first trip as Senator was to Nicaragua to adore the communist Daniel Ortega. Kerry has no judgement, and is happy siding with autocrats. Putin would be his natural ally, except that Kerry prefers communists, and Putin has his fascist face on.

That Kerry is Secretary of State says a lot about the judgement of the Obama Administration.

reader Clint said...

An interesting response.However, neither the German public nor the German business community seems to favour Angela Merkel's confrontational and pro -American response to event's in the Ukraine. Has anyone any thoughts on why she is following a line that seems not to follow the German (or indeed, European interests?



reader Oleg said...

This was staged by neo-cons and the news on Twitter appeared 20 min before the show. More on that :

reader Gene Day said...

Russia has outlawed the broadcast of content that is paid for by foreign interests? That is outrageous at the very least and would never be acceptable if the US government attempted to do such a thing. The Economist, Al Jazeera and many other news sources would be illegal here. So much for free speech in Russia.
I have followed Kerry’s career with considerable admiration for many years but that admiration surely has plummeted as of late. I supported his opposition to the Vietnam debacle and most of his work as chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee was productive but his waffling on Iraq was distressing. And now, his statements on the Ukraine verge on insanity and his public pronouncements regarding climate change go beyond the fringe of lunacy into full scale madness. Anyway, these things need to be viewed in the context of American politics; that is the only way to make sense of them.
It is clear that Kerry is trying to pave the way for another Presidential run. Hillary Clinton is likely unbeatable for the nomination but she could stumble or decide agains running. I think his climate views are a political mistake but I’m not so sure about the Ukraine. A vast number of Americans in both parties are stuck in a cold-war mentality. It’s very sad and potentially disastrous for the Ukraine.

reader Gene Day said...

Well, Kerry was a mediocre student at Yale, never getting a single “A”, according to Wikipedia. He was and is a powerful orator but you have to ignore what he says and just listen to how he says it. He does sound good.

reader Linda Serena said...

This is an extremely well analyzed text about the events in Ukraine, written by international law Prof. Schlachtschneider (in German)

reader Linda Serena said...

this was neither an Anschluss, and not even an annexation but a mild response to an aggression. Read this, an eye opener.

reader Gordon said...

Actually, it does change--it is the FSB :)

reader Gordon said...

That woman is really annoying. And John Kerry has been a particularly inept foreign secretary.
RT and Al Jazeera are a good way to get some balance on news to contrast with the monolithic MSM stuff from CNN, MSNBC etc.
Kerry's calling out RT would be akin to Putin complaining about Voice of America...he is not so stupid. I think Kerry is likely a good person, but his uber-privileged and wealthy upbringing and environment distances him from daily realities, and his recent performance has been embarrassing. Hilary was much better in that role.

reader Swine flu said...

I haven't followed this closely, but my impression is that she is not the only West European leader who is concerned about this, she has just been somewhat more vocal. So, I wouldn't call these concerns as "pro-American", since they have not been forced on the European leaders.

My own speculative guess about Ms. Merkel's views are: (a) she grew up in East Germany and has certain insights into Russian mentality that not everyone has, (b) she has dealt with Putin and perhaps has some specific concerns based on that knowledge, (c) is just intelligent and far-sighted enough to see potential dangers.

The business community and the public naturally prefer the status quo, but sometimes leaders have to think longer-term even when it is not popular - president Roosevelt of the US understood that war was likely ahead of his countrymen, who were quite isolationist in their mindset at the time.

It is her and other European leaders' job to concern themselves with security questions, and one has to be careful making assumptions about what a major power may or may not do once it is "on the move", so to speak. it would be irresponsible of her not to be concerned.

reader Swine flu said...

I scanned the article, balancing my very mediocre German and the available time.

His argument is heavily focused specifically on Crimea, which is a done deal anyway. Nevertheless, specifically with regard to Crimea, his observations about the strategic importance of the Black Sea to Russia are valid, as are his remarks about it being potentially challenging for Russia to hold on to the port of Sevastopol without controlling all of the Crimea. He is also right in his statement that it makes sense historically for Crimea to be part of Russia.

However, his argument, that the 1994 Budapest treaty - in which Ukraine's sovereignty and borders were guaranteed in return for its giving up the nuclear weapons - was not in any way damaged or altered by Crimea's secession because it was done via a referendum, stretches credulity. Personally, I prefer Lubos' more honest view that treaties should generally be viewed as written on toilet paper that will be used as such whenenver any party decides it's time to go to the bathroom.

He doesn't discuss the speed with which the referendum was organized, or lack of any oversight over the referendum process. The final numbers were not realistic, although it is very likely that enough would have voted for secession anyway. Still, if the referendum was rigged in some fashion, which it had to be, it was a farce and one may as well call it annexation, which he objects to.

His long discourse on self-determination is, in my view, overdone, even if some parts of it are not without certain merit. Sometimes self-determiantion is a relatively simple matter, and sometimes it is anything but. I am not sure his views on this subject are sufficiently nuanced. Perhaps he's seen bad things in life and holds strong views on the matter, but strong views still don't necesssarily cover all possible situations.

And towards the end he gets a bit dreamy, "Der Weg zu einem guten Miteinander mit Rußland wäre die Einbindung
dieses europäischen Staates in die europäische Integration. Das würde
die EU grundlegend verändern, so wie das dem Grundgesetz entspricht.
Das vereinte Europa könnte ein Verbund souveräner Staaten werden, der
mit Demokratie und Rechtsstaat die Freiheit der Bürger wahrt, ein
L´Europe des Etats."

I say have Russia join the EU now, there's nothing more Putin would love than to see real democracy flourish in Russia, so it will definitely work. Well, if not more democracy, at least the EU would then finally have an army.

reader Linda Serena said...

We are all wondering what is going on in Germany. We have never experienced such a uniformity in media and in politics.

On the other side, almosst every retired top politician and top veteran journalists (ex chancellors Schmidt, Kohl, Schroeder and many others) show sympathy for Russia.

Well, it is actually not really new.

It appears as if something has switched into a different mode after the financial crisis in 2008. Media and politicians do no longer really discuss sensitive issues regarding the Euro and so on, they either distort or much more just don't talk about it. This ongoing crisis is even totally excluded from the EU election campaign of all major parties.

Actors appear to have switched to end game mode. This is when you stop being nice and cooperative but instead just go for your own advantage. You lie, distort, conceal, because there will be no negative payback any more in the future.

The best assumption in my view is, that since 2008, the political class is afraid of the people. They know that they have ruined the Western economies and the future of the middel class and they know what happened after such catastrophic failure 70 years ago.

Now Merkel has never shown any sort prudence in her career. During communism, she was conformal with the regime and in government she either followed mainstream media opinion or external pressure.

The external pressure must be immense.

Our former Secrety of State, Westerwelle, had a single great moment in his office, when he abstained in the UN vote against Libya. Probably everyone agrees today, that the outcome of the attack on Libya was a catastrophic desaster. But after that vote, everyone in media and politics harrassed Westerwelle, and he never recovered, even with embarrassing obidience afterwards such as the huge support for the coup in Ukraine. He was just finished. And his party as well.

For the first time, there are now people in the White House, who have absolutely no cultural relationship relationship with Germans, and some of them probably even do not like us.

Hence, thanks to Snowden, we know now that we are treated like any other banana republic by the NSA. And this goes far beyond controlling internet and telephones, influence also comes through powerful networks which include politicains of all major parties and top journalists. On a bizzarre note, it is the Green party, which appears to be most conformal with that external pressure, probably because they love to see Germany goverened from outside.

There are now very few allies around for poltics which would focus on Europe's own interest and against the radicals in the White House (Nuland etc., but not Obama and Kerry). And Merkel just does not have the courage to hold up against these.

reader Oleg said...

As to the broadcasting rights in Russia, the situation is more subtle. Certainly, one gets most of the Western channels including BBC, CNBC, etc. So, 'Radio Svoboda' and alike fall into a special category, whose definition is not quite clear to me.

reader Giotis said...

I read chapter 5 again and the whole argumentation is still not clear to me.

Is it possible that they have constructed some trivial?

To me it seems that the two CFTs are not just entangled but they are interacting too and the two thermal AdS spaces are connected in a topologically trivial manner.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Giotis, I am not understanding that, either.

Even for mixed/thermal states, any correlation or entanglement is "some kind of a geometric connection", according to ER=EPR.

Well, strictly speaking, this wormhole-like connection might exist between regions of the AdS bulk(s). The boundary CFT is not a gravitational theory so it is much more legitimate to say that it allows you think that there are no wormholes in it. Alternatively, you might think that in the CFT(s), the wormholes are infinitely thin because Planckian proper distances near the boundary within the AdS bulk correspond to infinitesimal distances in the CFT, and that's the "thickness" of the minimal wormholes. Sort of if they don't exist. But the wormholes are completely specific and "finite"- at least "Planckian" - in the AdS bulk. They may be complicated, Planckian, excited etc. but ER=EPR implies that they are there and I think that Micha et al.'s only counter-argument is their sentence that "it is manifest that there cannot be any".

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Gene, I don't know exactly the Russian law, of course, but I am nevertheless surprised by your surprise. First, it's Russia - it has never really been a Western country so one can't expect the same focus on the freedom of press as in the West.

Second, this is about airwaves only (for those who deny relativity, "through the aether"), do you realize and agree with it?

Are you sure that in the U.S., I would be allowed to air a radio station on AM frequencies as a Czech citizen? I doubt it. In Czechia, all airwave broadcasters have to have licenses etc. I am not sure but I guess that they must have at least some superficial appearance of "Czech persons", too.

reader Luboš Motl said...

BTW I am just watching the 5th final match of the Gagarin Cup, Russian ice-hockey, between Lev Prague and Magnitogorsk

Lev (Lion) Prague - a 3-year-old team - has already set new records for big audiences (17,000), would be the first non-Russian team to win the league (they're already the first one in the finals), and the Russian commentators seem totally professional to me - although I don't speak 100% Russian...

reader Giotis said...

Well as I understand it they are referring to large smooth classical wormholes in the context of GR and not Planckian ones. Whenever there is a strong entanglement between the two *uncoupled* copies of the CFT of the AdS black hole (measured via the two-sided correlator) we expect a large classical wormhole connecting the two black holes.

At low temperatures (below the Hawking –Page phase transition) we no longer have AdS black holes but a thermal gas of gravitons in the two AdS spaces. They argue that manifestly there is no classical wormhole connecting the two thermal AdS spaces. This is understandable purely on GR grounds. The problem is that the two CFTs remain strongly entangled and thus we would expect a large classical wormhole even in this case according to EP=EPR.

This seems to contradict EP=EPR.

But as I said in my previous comment it seems to me that what they have constructed is trivial. They don’t see a wormhole because the two thermal AdS spaces are connected in a topological trivial manner and the two CFTs are not decoupled but interact dynamically.

In other words what I’m saying is that the two thermal (trivially connected) AdS spaces do not correspond to the double thermofield state like the AdS black hole does. So their whole argument is wrong.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Giotis, thanks for your review of their statements. I've never believed that any pair with a large entanglement entropy looks like a (classical?) wormhole, and I think that neither did Maldacena and Susskind. Gas is too diluted a thing so even if the entanglement is high, it is a collection of lots of complicated thin knitted wormholes of a sort, not an empty space with a classical wormhole.

reader Swine flu said...

When European leaders act under pressure from the US, there is usually noticeable discord in their ranks. One could see it, for example, when the US decided to attack Iraq. There are no signs of such discord, so the pressure is likely not the deciding factor either. In this case, Ms. Merkel probably actually believes in the policies she has been advocating.

reader Ivan said...

thank God media in Mother Russia is so free and protected from such irresponsible attacks by politicians...

reader Giotis said...

You are completely right of course and sorry for the bad wording. What I meant is not a single large black hole but a large number of ER bridges as (semi)classical and as large as they can be (since we still have very strong entanglement). At least this is how I can interpret it; I’m not at all sure if this is what they have in mind.

reader Giotis said...

Nope I correct myself again; what I say earlier is the correct interpretation of their claims.

Specifically they don’t say that a vast number of wormholes (as (semi) classical and as large as they could be) are manifestly excluded. From their text it is clear that a large single Lorentzian wormhole is manifestly not present. Which is true of course and that’s why they don’t bother to explain something more.

They haven’t even considered the picture of a large number of thin wormholes (but with the largest possible cross-section area) i.e. something along the cloud picture of Maldacena-Susskind present in chapter 3.5; check especially figure 11-12 and test and accompanying text on pages 19, 20.

This cloud picture is not manifestly excluded by their construction. Of course I assume they have read the Maldacena-Susskind paper so the question is why they ignore the cloud picture?

My explanation is that this chapter was not meant to be an anti EP=EPR argument but something else.

Lubos have you thought sending them a clarification mail about this?

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Giotis, I don't plan to start an interaction with the authors on these things because I find it unlikely that they would be constructive and we would learn anything out of them.