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BICEP2 and PRL: journalists prove that they're trash

On Wednesday, Prof Knížák, a top Czech artist, told us that the journalists are wrong about everything. Whatever they write down is guaranteed to be wrong.

He has famously said that nowadays, the state of being informed is a sign of the lack of education because people are being mass-fed by distorted, irrelevant, and bogus stories. Students at schools are no longer able to think or debate. A cacophony of meaningless monologues has superseded a thoughtful dialogue. The Internet search engines have amplified the problem because especially young people are increasingly copying whole sentences and answers verbatim. They're no longer able to build any framework in their minds that could be used as a starting point for generating conclusions, predictions, or opinions.

When he was saying these things, I would think he was exaggerating. I have seen journalists who have written deep and sometimes even true and important things before, haven't I? However, since Wednesday or so, my impression has changed. I've been totally overwhelmed and repelled by the Internet and the media. The amount and intensity of recent junk and pure lies has exceeded some episodes I vaguely remember from the past.

Of course that this feeling was partly supported by various trolls – an Italian religious nutcase called Giulio has posted about 30 offensive comments from no less than 5 sockpuppet accounts. Jo Nova would hysterically respond my blog post explaining why David Evans' "notch filter" solar model of the climate is wrong. Like most alarmists, she is simply not willing to discuss science in the calm, matter-of-fact way. Some emotions, demands for compassion, and ad hominem references always seem to be more important for her than the truth.

(I wrote a new, clear mathematical blog post explaining why the notch-filter-shaped response function can never occur as the Fourier transform of any causal function but I am trying to reduce the exposure to this stuff because Jo reacts more emotionally than some alarmists I have met.)

And I am generously overlooking the obsessed fascists who need to come here and rewrite all the facts including the history of Europe that is as old as 1,100 years – just in order to defend ethnic cleansing against Russians in Eastern Ukraine (and perhaps Slavs anywhere and in general).

But the key part of my disgust by the journalists and writers since Wednesday has been caused by the insane wave of negative reporting about the publication of the BICEP2 discovery in Physical Review Letters.

The actual story is a non-event. As expected, the important discovery claim was published in the most prestigious physics journal. The title announcing the discovery remained unchanged, and so did over 90% of the paper and 90% of the abstract. The two anonymous referees didn't allow the BICEP2 Collaboration to present some calculations of the confidence level that was based on the reverse-engineered PDF file informally released by Planck.

So this particular calculation of the "confidence level with the Planck estimate of the dust taken into account" was changed from 5.9 sigma to an undetermined number. That's really the only major enough well understandable change that has occurred. And the reason why it has occurred has pretty much nothing to do with any evidence – it has something to do with stupid bureaucratic rules (well, harassment not supported by any rules) about what kind of files may be used as the source in a scientific paper. The paper still contains lots of other methods to argue that the signal is extremely likely to be of cosmological origin.

Most of the media have turned this vindication of the BICEP2's discovery into a near-collapse of the BICEP2 claim and perhaps even the cosmic inflation or the Big Bang Theory. I am not exaggerating. The concentration of virtual reality – and truly unhinged virtual reality that the inkspillers were apparently frantically copying from each other – was absolutely insane.

Astronomers have a problem: evidence for the big bang theory is crumbling (
This junk text – probably endorsed by the maximally mainstream Czech Press Agency – summarizes most of the outrageous lies that the inkspillers across the Western world have pumped out.

In reality, the evidence is not crumbling. Moreover, it was never evidence relevant for the validity of the big bang theory. The big bang theory has been completely established for something like half a century and only 100% cranks are disputing it these days. This discovery wasn't even relevant for the validity of the cosmic inflation, a new layer on top of the big bang theory, that has been less solid than the big bang theory but pretty much certain, anyway.

The discovery was only relevant for the validity of some exciting versions of the cosmic inflation, those that produce strong gravitational waves. And the discovery is as real as it was in March, with the same uncertainty that existed in March.

Moreover, it's not even true that if there were a problem, and there is no problem, it would be "astronomers" who have this problem. Astronomers are looking at specific localized objects in the sky. The things like the primordial gravitational waves are studied by cosmologists which isn't quite the same thing as astronomers.

The outrageous Czech text also declares that BICEP2 shouldn't get a Nobel Prize now and lots of similar, absolutely indefensible speculations.

It would be way too annoying to list all problems with the text. There is no sentence in the article that would be truly kosher. You should understand that I picked a Czech story only because I am Czech. There is nothing special about the insanities published by the Czech media. You may see pretty much the same stuff in almost all the Western media.

The following list of titles hasn't been cherry-picked in any way.
Scientists hedge earlier claim of big-bang signal (The Courier-Journal)

BICEP2 Physicists Hedge Bets on Big Bang Inflation Findings (NBC News)
The BICEP2 scientists are not hedging anything. They were just not allowed by two referees to publish several specific sentences in their paper that was otherwise published almost without any changes.
Controversial Big Bang Finding May Have Been Mistaken, Scientists Acknowledge (AP/Huff Post)
They "acknowledge" it enough to reduce their risk of being eaten by unhinged wild dogs like Paul Steinhardt. In reality, there has been no new evidence of a mistake in the paper or new evidence not known in March against the validity of their discovery and the BICEP2 folks now it. They are "acknowledging" things only to the extent that they're under pressure to "recant" by bigots who are not unsimilar to the geocentrists in the Galileo epoch.
Big Bang evidence now being doubted by scientists (Tech Times)
Again, like in the Czech media, this is not even about any evidence for the big bang. The big bang theory has been settled for half a century and the idea that the evidence supporting this ordinary pillar of the modern cosmology cannot realistically be undone. Ever. Otherwise scientists always doubted everything, including the big bang theory itself (although it's mostly the stupid scientists who do so). The BICEP2 claim was already doubted by people during the press conference in March and even days before that. Nothing has changed about these things whatsoever.

The BICEP2 discovery may still turn out to be non-cosmological in character but there has been no recent event that would significantly change the odds in this direction which is why the stories are lies even in the case that the BICEP2 signal will turn out to be due to some mundane physics.

In science, what matters isn't whether some people "doubt" something. Such "doubts" may be important in religion where they can bring you to Hell. In science, "doubts" are not important by themselves. In science, what matters is the evidence. The BICEP2 team has evidence – that they have seen the primordial gravitational waves and that their observations aren't due to dust. Except for some vague arguments and spectacularly incomplete calculations, their critics only have "doubts" which is too little in science.
Big Bang scientists say they may have got it wrong (The Asian Age)
John Kovac et al. haven't really said this sentence. But more generally, I am amazed by the journalists' obsession with the theme of recanting. Even if someone recanted something, it just doesn't matter. Charles Darwin is often said to have recanted his theory of evolution – a claim that some advocates of Creation like to emphasize. But even if it were historically true, it just doesn't matter. Whether or not he recanted and whether or not he was already senile when he did so, the theory is right and we know it because of the rock-solid evidence and arguments that show that.
BICEP2 Big Bang 'Discovery' Team Urges Caution (Phys.ORG)

Big Bang Discovery Researchers Backtrack On Original Claims (Gizmodo)

Big Bang breakthrough team back-pedals on major result (Nude Socialist)
They have always urged caution but they have never urged caution to the extent of claiming that they're about equally likely to be right and wrong. They insist that they have extremely strong evidence for their discovery claim.

Again, it isn't a "big bang discovery".
Big Bang Signal Barred by Dust (Maine News)

Gravitational-wave team admits findings could amount to dust (Nature)
According to the evidence published in PRL, it is very unlikely that the discovery is barred by dust.
Cosmic inflation: Confidence lowered for Big Bang signal
There has been no particular numerically expressed measure of the confidence level that was lowered in the PRL paper relatively to the March 2014 draft. Instead, one of the numerous figures quantifying the confidence level was turned from a specific number to "undefined". But there are many other ways and figures in the paper that quantify the confidence and they haven't been changed.
Researchers claiming evidence of Big Bang foiled by dust problem (Tech Times)
It's probably not foiled by the dust problem. And independently of that, it's totally wrong to pretend that there is a "new problem" with the dust. The dust has been discussed by BICEP2 (and others) for years and a significant portion of their work has always been to decide whether their signal could be due to dust. Their answer – which was kept in the PRL paper – is "the dust explanation is very unlikely".
From Big Bang breakthrough to a damp squib: Researchers admit 'less confidence' in results of experiment to look at the birth of the universe (The Daily Mail)
The Daily Mail should be a tabloid but except for the colorfully damp wording, this is actually one of the most accurate, tolerable titles (plus the subtitle bullets are pretty OK, too) in all of media. The other newspapers have been turned into much more manipulative tabloids than the Daily Mail. This is not the first time when I "relatively praise" The Daily Mail in a similar way.

Some additional ones:
Grand Cosmological Claim Crumbles? (National Geographic)

Did the big bang happen? Scientists call theory into question (City A.M.)
I could go on for hours. Some titles are really insanely, stupidly wrong. They are more outrageous than others. But none of the titles are really OK.

Well, one could find some "potential" upward flukes but otherwise the quality of the reporting is absolutely scandalous. The situation isn't that I would be disappointed that none of the writers could get an A or a B. The problem is that all of them get an F. All of them were seemingly inspired by the PRL publication of the discovery which, according to all non-conspiracy-theory interpretations, means that the discovery has surpassed another sociological hurdle in its journey towards more or less universal acceptance.

Of course that the ambitious interpretation of the work may still turn out to be wrong. But there's been no "real story" that would make this much more likely – especially not in relation with the publication in PRL a few days ago – which is why it's dishonest to write about such a (non-existent) "story".

Instead of the truth, readers get this uniform, insane, upside down reporting of something that hasn't happened, something that is supposed to mean 50 things that it surely doesn't mean. One can't really find a journalist whom we could call "relatively reasonable". The journalists are a whole new class of dishonest demagogues, mindless copy-and-paste clipboards, sloppy non-thinkers, cowards, chimps jumping in between banana trees, and hunters for sensations who never hesitate to sacrifice the truth for a second.

I am disgusted by these people as individuals. I am disgusted and scared of these people as a mindless mob, too. You may point out that these people represent the free press. Unfortunately, as we're being reminded every day, there's no law of physics that would imply that being free guarantees that you're more than a pile of šit.

BTW Joseph S. sent me this 4-days-old article about BICEP2 by Lawrence Krauss that is so nice and reasonable relatively to virtually everything else. It may a priori be so unlikely for me to praise Lawrence Krauss – but here you have it! ;-)

Or maybe I am in a "wrong age" again, as this cutely funny song by Xindl X says. Yesterday, my age was too low, today it's too high. I haven't been in yet and I am already retro. This guy is sort of funny, I think. ;-)

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reader seoatico said...

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reader scooby said...

The BICEP2 scientists at the South Pole must feel very alone and isolated when they read the press on the Internet these past days.

reader Svik said...

Very interesring !

reader Leo Vuyk said...

In reality, the evidence for the big bang is not crumbling.

However the inflation process could be different, if we have to deal with a BB splitting new paradigm electric black hole fratal process.

reader David Nataf said...

The last I can recall seeing you this animated was a few years ago when you were arguing that 3 or 4 sigma for a ~125 GeV Higgs was enough.

reader David Nataf said...

Possibly, but they have internal access to more recent data that might be emboldening them, this might also be spurring internal loyalty and ambition within the collaboration, depending on their work culture they're either feeling emboldened or defeated.

Hopefully their funding for the near-future is secure.

reader Leo Vuyk said...

see: Proposal for an alternative origin of unexpected large B-Modes found in the BICEP2 measurements.

reader Dilaton said...

OH MY GOD ... !!!

This is like waking up in the wrong movie (in German: im falschen Film sein) or in the wrong Sliders inspired parallel universe. What the fuck is wrong with our world today that such massively disgusting things can happen?! This public trolling of brainless orcs with IQ below the absolute freezing point has now reached a global enormity that can no longer be ignored by the international physics community ...

Fundamental Physics Prize winners, the BICEPS2 team, cosmologists, and the whole physics community who cares about such topics should urgently come together and seriously discuss how this huge and threathening problem called "science journalism" can be adressed. It is probably not possible to stop the brainless chimps from writing what they want because of the press freedom of speach, but the physics community (at best represented by great physicists who have some authority among lay people too) should concordantly reject the omnipresent nonsense and declare that that rubbish has absolutely nothing to do with physics or science generally. Please please please please do something about it, if this continues it can be endangering the whole field of physics ... :-(

Thanks Lumo for this immensely important article calling the trolls out !

reader Eclectikus said...

And not only occurs in Physics, look to Geology, do not miss the stupidity about "the end" of the Holocene and the beginning of "Anthropocene"... would be to laugh if it were not to mourn first. And most worrying is that this happens at the time that there is more access to information, really sad.

reader lukelea said...

Dear Lubos, Look at it this way: in less than a year you will probably be vindicated, at which point the major media will run an opposite set of headlines. The only reason they play up the negative now is to get more clicks. Their editors demand it. The publishers demand it. If it bleeds it leads.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks for your optimism. I am often an optimist but not in the case of the gap between the reality and the way how it's covered. Quantum mechanics has been vindicated for almost 90 years - it is still getting as much negative press as the positive one if not more so. The more people know, the bigger is the gap between the truth and what they are reading.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear David, thanks for your confirmation that 99% of the time, I am the calm, loving, and lovable Sun in people's hearts that I am.

Also good to hear that the last time I was this upset, I was right.

I wasn't really arguing it was "enough" as a matter of principle. I argued that the particular question of the existence of the Higgs boson near 125 GeV had been settled (since late 2011) so that it would be extremely unwise for someone to assume that the Higgs boson wasn't there. It wasn't a matter of certainty but the formal significance of the bump was one in 10,000 or so and there was no reason for the Higgs not to be there. All the people who doubted in the sense 50-50 were effectively deniers of evidence or amateurs in basic statistics.

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reader Dilaton said...

The popular media channels are way to sensetional thee days. They should put more emphasis on providing reliable information than polemics in both, positiv and negtive reports !

At the current tabloid level "science journalism" maintains, the only advice one can honestly give to people who want to seriously learn about physics is to ignore all these crapy popular channels and read blogs and watch talks by good physicists. And by good physicists I mean people who's work is well appreciated by other experts in the corresponding field and NOT crackpots and/or agressive wannabes with blogs and books who love to pose as "experts" in front of the crapy popular media channels, just to be sure ...

reader Jacdan59 said...

OK the video was pretty funny :) Though my use was more in line with what I am familiar with in financial services circles: E.G. Investopedia which explains 'Rocket Scientist'

"If an investment firm hires a PhD student with a background in theoretical physics to create a model that prices futures and options, that person would be considered a "rocket scientist" by the traders in the investment firm because of the complexity and skill required to create these models that help traders of futures and options. "

I know David has been exposed to the investment industry and was probably used to the term from there. Or you could go for a more colloquial:

'Wiktionary' definition No.2: Someone qualified to understand or handle that which is overly complex, detailed or confusing; a genius.

Either way, no serious person thought David was claiming to have worked at NASA!

reader Jacdan59 said...

Well I guess I and others will look forward to your proofs.

reader Uncle Al said...

Management decrees how you can be safe. What affords you the right or privilege to protest its all-knowing tyranny? In no other way may you be safe (from it).

reader Jacdan59 said...

Lubos, my response was clearly to Bris Vegas and his comment. If you can't discern that, then it is no wonder your communications with others can become strained. Especially when the first thing you do is accuse that person of doing something they haven't done.

E.G. "Dear Jacdan, one who likes to talk about misrepresentation.

I have *never* discussed any ambitions of this model to produce regional predictions"

And I Ludos have never suggested you did even though you now claim I did and claim that I made a misrepresentation.

I admire people who are fluent in more than one language, I can't claim that ability. So I will assume that there is just some slight misunderstanding you have made to incorrectly assume my comment was responding to you and not Bris Vegas.

reader Giotis said...

The thing is that in most cases the actual text is much more
balanced and close to truth. The big problem is with the titles. I have the
impression that journalists are forced by their editors to write absurd titles
like that for obvious reasons. I’m not even sure that they pick the titles of
their own articles.

reader Rehbock said...

I can't speak to "most" but those I read were not good. One had Steinhardt as hero vanquishing the results. Another said that recent conference had revealed further flaws - not true... etc. .This whole controversy appears fueled by the malicious misinforming the mindless.

reader Giotis said...

I was speaking in general and not for the specific articles

reader Luboš Motl said...

I have never claimed that your response was a direct response to me and you should know that if you're not illiterate. Obviously, I see how the comments are hierarchically organized so I assure you that I know perfectly who is responding to whom.

I have only complained that your response was manipulative because you were defending Evans' model against a straw man. There has been no criticism on this page by anyone that would be targeting *regional* predictions by the model. There are no regional predictions and no one has ever suggested so, so your defense contained zero beef.

reader Dilaton said...

You are rather brave, I had not the stomach to even click at a single one ;-)

If these titles are intended to turn off all potential readors that are not completely clueless and who immediately know that they are nonsense upon the first glance, they are very successful ...

I simply have stopped reading popular news, articles, etc quite some time ago ... ;-P.
Apart from the ones Lumo points out to be annoyement free and who are written by a real good physicist :-)

reader Rehbock said...

Understood. My sample size for press is in general also limited by the same ailment that befalls Dilaton.

reader Rehbock said...

What bothers me in this case also is the omission due their failure to look into this. None of these journalists E.g. understood that BICEP2 relies on real data but the data is "uncertain"because not yet released. From there on downhill.

reader Jacdan59 said...

Wow, I didn't expect this! I guess I will deal with the last matter first. I can only find one place where I typed Ludos instead of Lubos. To ban me for an unintentional typographical error would be quite bizarre.

However, to avoid any chance, of misspelling your name in future I will refer to you as Sir.

Sir, I am sorry you decided to consider my compliment of your multi-lingual skills was a 'back stab'. But I was confused as to why you chose to respond to my comment to Bris Vegas, as if the comment had been made to you personally. It hadn't been. So for you to first state that I was being misrepresentative because you had never claimed the model would be accurate at a regional level was from left field so to speak, because I had never suggested that you had sir.

I was responding to Bris Vegas comment which was:

"A leading HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning]
engineer I know put it in very similar words. Very large bodies of air at
different temperatures and humidity levels behave chaotically and can't be
modelled precisely."

To this comment I merely responded:
"Exactly, David isn't saying this will be useful for
modelling regional areas, just global, and in the absence of any non cyclical
major outside inputs such as asteroid strikes, super volcanic activity etc."

In other words I was agreeing with Bris Vegas that large bodies of air at different temperatures and humidity levels behave chaotically and can't be
modelled precisely and therefore for instance, David is not making any claims about the capacity of the model he has built to model precise outcomes such as regional areas.

You sir, decided to take us on an entirely unnecessary journey after that comment by ascribing far much to my comment and assuming it had been directed at you.

So first you claimed I was being representative of what you had written, and making it clear you had never suggested the model could be used to predict to regional level. A claim I had not ascribed to anyone sir. All I was doing was agreeing with Bris Vegas by saying for instance that the model would be no good at regional level.

Sir, you indicated that the problem was that:

"I have only complained that your response was manipulative
because you were defending Evans' model against a straw man. There has been no
criticism on this page by anyone that would be targeting *regional* predictions
by the model. There are no regional predictions and no one has ever suggested
so, so your defense contained zero beef."

Well Sir, I would have thought it was obvious to any readers that I was responding to the comment by Bris Vegas:

" A leading HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning]
engineer I know put it in very similar words. Very large bodies of air at
different temperatures and humidity levels behave chaotically and can't be
modelled precisely."

I was agreeing with that comment by writing:

" Exactly, David isn't saying this will be useful for modelling regional areas, just global, and in the absence of any non cyclical major outside inputs such as asteroid strikes, super volcanic activity etc."

I was simply suggesting modelling of regional areas as something David isn't claiming the model will do as an example because the system is chaotic and can't be modelled precisely.

You Sir are the one who ascribed all sorts of nefarious motives to what I thought was a simple, harmful comment.

I can therefore understand how easily people who have no issues with you Sir can suddenly feel like the 'enemy' be cause you totally misread ulterior meanings or intentions in what they have written which just aren't there!

I hope Sir that I can now be seen not as an antagonistic enemy who you felt deliberately misrepresented you and who insulted you by misspelling your name once, but as someone who tried to leave what was quite an innocent comment on your blog page. Phew!

reader Eugene S said...

Giving praise where praise is due is also important. A few names of science journalists who generally do a good job come to mind:

Dennis Overbye (New York Times)
Katia Lada Moskvitch (
Alan Boyle (NBC News), see his latest article on LHC restart and Higgs boson here; I have read it carefully and cannot find any obvious mistake, even if a statistics expert might quibble with his explanation of 3.8 standard deviations...

reader TomVonk said...

I have not read the paper but there is something quite puzzling to me - if a variable F should be linked to a variable G by a transfer function then if G is (pseudo) periodic and F isn't, it is trivial and tautological that the transfer function will present one or several sharp minimums at the proper frequencies of G.
This is a necessary property of R and will happen regardless whether there is or is not a causal connection between F and G.
In other words this happens regardless of the form of F.
If one adds the hypothesis (like Lubos did) that the relation between F and G is supposed to be a convolution then this result is even easier, universal, trivial and doesn't say anything about F, G or their correlations.
Just an example ; Let's define some R such as F=R*G (* means convolution)
We will take as an arbitrary example F(t) = 1/1+t² and G(t) = cos(a.t)
By noting the Fourier transforms with ° , we have F=R*G => F° = G° . R°
Now F° = Pi.exp(-2.Pi.f) and G° = 1/2 [D(f-a) + D(f+a)] where D is the Dirac function.
We have then R° = F°/G° = [Pi.exp(-2.Pi.f)] / {1/2 [D(f-a) + D(f+a)] }
One immediately sees that R° is positively infinite everywhere and presents 2 sharp "notches" for values f=a and f = - a.
One also sees immediately that I have selected functions F and G which have really nothing in common and I would have got the same R° for almost any F.
Now this easily generalises for any G which is a finite sum of periodic functions with the result that R° will be broadly flat with some notches whose depth will be proportionnal to the weight of every periodic function in the sum (e.g if one frequency dominates G, the "notch" will be significant only at this frequency).
I realise that I am saying a similar thing that Lubos already said but I thought that giving a simple example might be useful for some readers.
I of course have no opinion about the paper because as I said, I didn't read it. I just wanted to say that a presence of notches, stability and regularity in a transfer function doesn't imply anything about causality or correlation unless one has an explict mechanism showing that F is necessarily equal to R*G.

reader Jitter said...

Hi Lubos. Can you comment on the new physics needed to stop the universe from collapsing due to the Higgs mechanism now that bicep has found gravity waves.

reader Jitter said...

also in PRL

reader simple citoyen said...

I full heartedly agree. It seems like a very strong trend and not only in science. To the point one wonders if this hasn't anything to do with automatic title scanning (like we have with algos in trading).
Or sadly with the idea that most people now just peruse titles without ever bothering to read article content when not directly familiar / impacted by a specific subject.

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reader Bris Vegas said...

David Evans called himself a "rocket scientist" in his online curriculum vitae. It is not tongue in cheek - he really believes that he is a mathematical genius.

One of my friends did the same double degree (engineering/mathematics) as David Evans and also won a University Medal (Melbourne University). He was merely extremely hard working and probably had an IQ of less than 130.

reader Jacdan59 said...

Bris Vegas, as I am sure you well know, since you checked Dr Evan's CV, it reads: "Rocket scientist for hire. If you have a problem involving mathematics or computing, maybe we could help? "

If you think that is a literal claim to being a rocket scientist, then you probably don't know what an idiom is.

Having looked at his CV you should also know that Evans has earned far more than simply a double degree, something which even I have. His CV lists the following degrees: "a PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering (digital signal processing): PhD. (E.E), M.S. (E.E.), M.S. (Stats) from Stanford University, B.E. (Hons, University Medal), M.A. (Applied Math), B.Sc. from the University of Sydney."

I see that Evans was a recipient of a University medal (BE (Hons, University medal). I note Wikipedia, (not always the best source of information), indicates that in Australia, the University Medal is usually awarded upon completion of Honours degrees based on academic merit. The criteria for bestowing the University Medal are stringent. The number of medals awarded might also be limited.[1] "it is expected that only in exceptional circumstances would there be more than one Medal for a particular specialisation".[2] The usual criterion is very high marks across all the subjects undertaken in the 4-year Honours degree.

There is no doubt that your friend has done well so far. Hopefully if they choose to go on to Masters or PhD they will have the opportunity of gaining a limited place at one of the world's best Universities as David Evans did; (according to the latest rankings, Stanford is listed at No.3).

reader Svik said...

So the contest is essentially over. The 3.81 limit should hold. All that is left is to probe the gaussez tail.

Did atlas say if the 's' events were tautau or zz or gg?????

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Svik, the contest makes it absolutely clear what the events are!

They are events potentially having a Higgs that decays to tau-tau. A tau is present in each final state. You may count how many of them are compatible with the leptonic-leptonic decay of the tau, and with the leptonic-hadronic mixed decays of the two taus - they dominate, I think.

I am not sure whether 3.81 will hold in the preliminary table. I am more convinced it will hold in the final table unless all the scores will be systematically lifted up by some systematic features of the data.

reader Boaz said...

But where is the theory for the Maharishi Effect, Maggie?
The wikipedia entry for Maharishi Effect
redirects to Transcendental Meditation.
In your above comment, you state:
"This has some evidence with about 12 published studies in different settings."
Could you say more clearly what you mean by "this"?

Perhaps it is explicated in Hagelin's
"Restructuring physics from its foundation in light of
Maharishi's Vedic science"
I also read this, and found it suggestive in the same way that Capra's "Tao of Physics" was suggestive and creative, even. But certainly no concrete theory is expounded. This is the critique of Markovsky, and I don't believe this is answered in the quoted rebuttal.

Some comments by the owner of this blog, Lubos, on Hagelin and physics in TM are here in a previous posting

reader maggiemargot said...

Maybe have a look at this page: effect#item622796

reader Boaz said...

Is that the basic reference material on the topic?
You didn't answer my questions, unfortunately.


reader maggiemargot said...

Boaz, I admit I did not open the link and read the rest. I guess, if you can't believe in Transcendnetral Consciousness, a fourth state of consciousness, known across all cultures in the mystical traditions of the world, because you never experienced it (proof of the pudding is always in the taste of it :-) ), you can't imagine how the Maharishi Effect would work.
A lot has been written on the theory of the Maharishi Effect and the results, the link I sent you gives you a small overview. Look at the menu on the left hand side. I really don't wnat to convince you, if you prefer to remain in the paradigm you have had so far. There is no making the horse drink. You can only lead it to the water - as the old saying goes. I have no personal needs to make you drink the water. :-)

reader Boaz said...

How would you know whether or not I have experienced Transcendental Consciousness?

re. "A lot has been written on the theory of the Maharishi Effect..."
I just don't see this is true.

re "drinking the water", if I understand what you are getting at, I think I do know a bit about that water. I don't think its for me.
Thanks for the exchange.

reader Svik said...

Mr. Haze must have gotten a new shipment as he just beat Gabor by <<<<< 0.001828.

Its interesting that are now 3 people at zero.
That must be hard to do. There should be a boby prize for them. Maybe a trip to mars.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Svik, LOL, that's exactly what I thought about the change of the leadership. ;-)

If you label everything as "b", then you get s=0 which means AMS=0, no?

reader James said...

you just realized they dont give 2 shits about what you guys say? you dont cry when they promote your bankrupt worldview even though they think you're a bunch why cry now.?

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