A large percentage of the people and the "mainstream media" have all kinds of crazy opinions, often combined with downright hostility towards science in general and modern theoretical physics in particular. Supersymmetry has been a frequent target of numerous outlets in recent years.
But the 2015 LHC run is getting started and it's an exciting time – surely not a good time for bitterness – and one sometimes finds newspapers that turn out to be great surprises. Today, I need to celebrate the story
It also honestly states that there's no direct experimental sign of SUSY yet, and that the LHC may change this situation soon or not.
I am happy about the Business Insider for another reason. Yesterday, it was one of the first news outlets that wrote at least a balanced story about Varoufakis' finger.
During a 2013 communist conference in Croatia, the current Greek finance minister showed an obscene gesture as he was saying that "Greece should stick the finger to Germany". It was a bit controversial and Germans got excited about it – unlike the Czech politicians, German politicians probably don't use this gesture on a daily basis. ;-)
A few days ago, a satirical program on German TV claimed that it had "doctored" the video, and showed Star-Trek-like green men who were apparently used to create the fake scenes. Jan Böhmermann, a comedian and the host, showed the "obscene version" of the Varoufakis 2013 video around 1:30, and the "polite version" around 2:10.
Now, an impartial, independently thinking person must ask: which version is actually right and which is fake? That's how Business Insider approached it, too. The answer is, of course, that the "obscene version" is legitimate while the "polite version" is fake, and the program claiming that the "obscene video" had been doctored was a hoax – a "fake fake", if you wish. Mr Böhmermann has faked the doctoring, as thelocal.de puts it.
Mr Böhmermann tries to be funny and ambiguous about it – while promoting himself. Later, he said that it was a "fake fake fake fake". Well, as long as the number of "fakes" in the phrase is even, it's still true that the finger was actually there.
There are dozens of ways to see that this is almost certainly the right answer. But the number of news outlets that were able to see through this – not too complicated – fog was very limited. Today, The New York Times were also able to notice that "what is true" and "what is fake" are exactly interchanged relatively to what most news outlets try to claim (and what their gullible readers think).
You may see that the "video with the finger" was also posted on the SkriptaTV YouTube channel (40:31 is the gesture) that belongs to the organizers of the 2013 "subversive" festival of Marxists. There was no reason 1 month ago why they should have used a version of the seriously meant 1-hour video doctored by some German TV folks. Also, the "polite version" is much less rhythmical and natural than the "obscene version". Also, the polite version displays much less motion of the hand during the critical moments – and it's easier to fake the hand motion if it is not moving much. There are other arguments, I don't want to spend an hour with that.
But most people are apparently unable to comprehend the concept of "fake fake things". More generally, they are unable to see that the people who criticize something may be worth criticism themselves. An overwhelming majority of the people are morons who immediately endorse everyone who criticizes, and so on. Thank God, they're not a majority in The New York Times and the Business Insider. People claiming to have doctored something may be joking, too.
But back to SUSY
What I particularly liked about the positive story on SUSY in the Business Insider were the helpful votes in the discussion under the article. One or two cranks offered his or their cheap anti-SUSY and anti-string-theory slogans. They were immediately replied to by others – and according to the votes, the Shmoit-like trolls were voted down approximately by a 10-1 ratio.
The Shmoit-like trolls have conquered most of the cesspools in the world but there are places in the world that are not cesspools. ;-)
By the way, would some of you agree with me that Milan Šteindler, this TV "scientist" who promotes a car leasing company in the commercial above, is similar to Don Lincoln of Fermilab?
Two decades ago, Šteindler would star as the "more German" teacher of German in the bogus TV course of the German language "Alles Gute" (a part of the show "Czech Soda"). For example, check this advertisement for Škoda Henlein, a variation of Škoda Greenline with Zyklon B – typical strong-coffee Czech black humor. (Henlein was the pro-Nazi leader of the minority ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland before Czechoslovakia lost the territory in 1938.)