Wednesday, June 28, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech lawmakers approve the "shoot your terrorist" or "second" constitutional amendment

I was watching the discussions in the lower chamber of the Czech Parliament which were dedicated to the proposal by the interior minister Mr Milan Chovanec (social democracy) and a group of fellow deputies to adopt a constitutional amendment that allows the citizens to use their guns in the case of a terrorist attack. The amendment somewhat unusually says that the Czech folks have the right to bear arms (like in the U.S. but) "in order to protect their country".



Interior minister Chovanec and his Winchester 1892.

Spoilers.

After a nearly three-hour-long discussion, 139 voted for, 9 voted against, some abstained, but the support exceeded the 60% = 120 majority needed for the constitutional law to pass.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Jafferis' and other talks at Strings 2017

Strings 2017 is talking place in Tel Aviv, Israel this week. The talks may be watched at

The Strings 2017 YouTube channel
I hope that the TRF readers will increase the number of views. The most watched video so far has fewer than 140 views, somewhat less than 3 billion views of the Gangnam Style. ;-)

Monday, June 26, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Many-minds interpretation: another entertaining story on top of Copenhagen

There's absolutely no new physical beef in it in comparison with 1925-1926

In 1970, H. Dieter Zeh invented decoherence along with the many-minds interpretation – a historical fact that should remind you that "decoherence" is surely not a universal tool to expel minds and observers from quantum mechanics.



What is this many-minds interpretation? Well, it's simple. It's "analogous" to the many-worlds interpretation, whatever that means, except that it's the minds, and not the worlds with objects, that split. In practice, the many-minds interpretation says that "bodies" evolve to superpositions but on top of bodies, you have "minds" and those always pick a definite outcome of a measurement, so they're not superposed or ambiguous.

On the picture above, the body has evolved to a superposition of "I will press the green Yes check" and "I will press the red No cross". The coefficients determine the probabilities what the "mind" will do. And the "mind" or "soul" – which is a parasite living on top of the "body" – has chosen to press the green Yes check.

Genius: after the last Einstein episode

Last night, the Czech National Geographic aired the last episode of "Genius" about Einstein.

The program was rescheduled for another season that will cover the life of Pablo Picasso. I think it was very well done and I have learned some new things about Einstein's life. Despite the systemic importance of Einstein in theoretical physics, the questions whom he argued with or whom he had sex with haven't been the things I've been immensely interested in – people who aren't into physics are often puzzled by this fact but those who have a clue aren't – but I think that it made sense to learn about these matters.



The series was filmed in Czechia and folks like me could see many familiar places – ministries in Prague recycled as Nazi headquarters, spa towns and castles in Northwestern Bohemia used as Switzerland, and many others.

A Pilsner guy like me had to laugh out loud when I was shown the building above – the Great Synagogue of Pilsen, the second largest synagogue in Europe and about fourth in the world (Street View) – with the caption "Bronx, New York, USA". ;-) So at least I know one place in Bronx very well now. Sometime during a pro-Israel fundraiser before the Second World War, inside the Pilsner synagogue, Einstein touchingly collected one quarter (of a dollar) from a Jewish boy whose father was arrested as a Bolshevik. I believe that the Pilsner synagogue must have represented this one in Bronx.

Sunday, June 25, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech Miss High School finalists admire a cooling tower of a nuclear power plant

Strings 2017 begins in Tel Aviv tomorrow.
Germany will be shutting down all of its nuclear power plants in 2022. In many Western beauty contests, the participants vow to be green and only eat insects while emphasizing that things like nuclear energy and the human race are catastrophic for Mother Earth.

Deutsche Welle has noticed that the atmosphere in my Czech homeland is a little bit different. The story was titled Czech Republic nuclear power station hosts bikini contest to choose interns.



The contestants who have just passed their maturity (final high school) exam were invited to the cooling tower of the Temelín power plant in Southern Bohemia.

Saturday, June 24, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Charles Munger explains how idiot Al Gore made a lot of money

Charles Munger, a famous investor, the generous $65m sponsor of new housing at KITP Santa Barbara, and the #2 in Warren Buffett's company made some interesting comments in February that were only noticed by news organizations such as CNBC yesterday.

Munger has described the weird story how someone like Al Gore could have become a near-half-billionaire.

Friday, June 23, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Decoherence doesn't make observers unnecessary

Philip Ball wrote a long aeon.co essay titled Quantum Common Sense which argues that quantum mechanics isn't really "weird" and everything that was mysterious was basically explained... by decoherence.

I sympathize with the text to some extent and the extent could have approached 100% some 25 years ago. In particular, decoherence is a legitimate insight and quantum mechanics isn't weird when you look at it calmly. But there are lots of claims that Ball makes that I heavily disagree with, too.

OK, what is decoherence? And equally importantly, what decoherence isn't? Well, starting with the positive things, decoherence is a process that

  1. allows one to calculate at what "point" in the parameter space, classical physics (gradually) becomes a decent approximate theory for a given physical system
  2. puts severe constraints on the possible "basis of states" that may arise as "the states" after a measurement
  3. eliminates the physical visibility of the complex phases in the probability amplitudes, so that the probability amplitudes may effectively be replaced with their absolute values
How does it work?

Macron is a just a pseudo-Napoleon

A union in Europe should primarily be a supermarket

For years, we have known France as a little flaccid organ squeezed in between two giant German muscles.

While this description will remain accurate for many years, France's new left-wing star decided to change at least the perception of this reality among its gullible frogeaters so during an EU summit in Brussels, he painted himself as the new Napoleon who will be a tougher warrior against the evils of the world such as the United States of America (which has "partly disappeared from the world"), climate change (no comment), Islamic terrorism (he wants to fight it by smuggling millions of new terrorists into Europe), and especially the Central and Eastern Europe. He wants to be tougher on these Untermenschen than even the Germans.

Macron: Some political representatives of Eastern Europe have displayed a cynical attitude to the European Union. But the European Union isn't a supermarket. It is a fatal union [or common destiny].
That's both serious and amusing. I assure you that if the EU were really bound to be a "fatal union", the support in our part of Europe for the plans to dissolve it would surpass 90%. The word "fate" or "destiny" indicates that the people no longer have a control over the detailed events – which are being imposed on them. We surely don't want that. Indeed, whether a left-wing babbler likes it or not, our political representatives mostly view the future of the European Union – if the bloc survives at all – as a supermarket. They do so because most of their constituencies see it in this rational, pragmatic way. This word "supermarket" nicely summarizes several dimensions:
  1. A free trade zone – which is the aspect of the European integration that is widely and most universally viewed as a benefit.
  2. Maybe, a unified labor market – but the free movement of the European citizens in between the member countries is much more questionable and was the main reason behind Brexit, among other things.
  3. Cherry-picking of the products, rules, and parts of the life that the European nations want to share with others, get from others, or otherwise coordinate or unify.
The third point is more general and the "supermarket" buzzword may very well mean exactly the same thing as "cherry-picking" I discussed previously. Free European nations should choose what is good for them and only codify and develop those policies at the EU level that seem good for them – just like a buyer in the supermarket picks what is good for her. If the nations find out that there isn't enough consensus that it is a benefit to share XY, then XY shouldn't be shared.

Years ago, even the EU acknowledged this common sense constructive principle. It was known as the principle of subsidiarity in the Eurospeak. But this principle was too rational and democratic so it is being gradually eliminated from the EU ideology.

Such a pragmatic, supermarket-like approach is a necessary condition for the European Union – or any entity in the world – to get improved as time goes by. The good things are being picked, the bad things are not. And the mechanisms that determine what is good and what is bad must be working well, they must allow the nations to have their say, and they must ultimately boil down to some democratic decisions of the European nations. If Mr Macron has a problem with these common sense things, it is very, very bad because he misunderstands absolutely everything about the human psychology and the progress of the economies and human societies.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Dwarf galaxies: gravity really, really is not entropic

Verlinde has already joined the community of fraudulent pseudoscientists who keep on "working" on something they must know to be complete rubbish

In the text Researchers Check Space-Time to See if It’s Made of Quantum Bits, the Quanta Magazine describes a fresh paper by Kris Pardo (Princeton U.)

Testing Emergent Gravity with Isolated Dwarf Galaxies
which tested some 2016 dark matter "application" of Erik Verlinde's completely wrong "entropic gravity" meme. Verlinde has irrationally linked his "entropic gravity" meme with some phenomenological, parameter-free fit for the behavior of galaxies. What a surprise, when this formula is compared to dwarf galaxies which are, you know, a bit smaller, it doesn't seem to work.

The maximum circular velocities are observed to reach up to 280 km/s but the predicted ones are at most 165 km/s. So it doesn't work, the model is falsified. This moment of the death of the model is where the discussion of the model should end and this is indeed where my discussion of the model ends.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

"Weak gravity" sometimes enforces "cosmic censorship"

Clarifying the truth value status of WGC, CCC, loop quantum gravity, and their relationships

Natalie Wolchover wrote a Quanta Magazine story

Where Gravity Is Weak and Naked Singularities Are Verboten
which is promoting some fun May 2017 work by Jorge Santos (Prof) and Toby Crisford (student, both Cambridge UK). I guess that just like in many other cases, the reason why a popular article was scheduled was that the February 2017 preprint (which has about 1 citation so far) has recently appeared in a prestigious printed journal:
Violating the Weak Cosmic Censorship Conjecture in Four-Dimensional Anti–de Sitter Space (PRL; arXiv)
They considered GR coupled to electromagnetism – the Einstein-Maxwell system – in \(AdS_4\) and found a counterexample to the 1969 Cosmic Censorship Conjecture by Roger Penrose. It's the electromagnetic force that allows them to achieve the outcome (which Penrose considered forbidden) with the naked singularity. And they argue that exactly when the 2006 Weak Gravity Conjecture by ArkaniHamed-Motl-Nicolis-Vafa is obeyed, the cosmic censorship will be defended and the pathological singularity will be hidden within a black hole.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Top green MEP wants to move Syria to Eastern Europe, one village at a time

Drang nach Osten reloaded, Mohammed edition

The story that attracted the greatest attention of the Czech readers today was an incredible interview (in German) with Ms Franziska "Ska" Keller, a co-chairwoman of the Greens in the European Parliament. The journalist was familiar with her proposal – which we haven't previously heard about.

Even though Ms Keller later lied about the content of the interview and claimed that the media have misreported it, the relevant part of the interview speaks a clear language:

Keller: ...The main problem is the lack of solidarity in between the member states. Governments rely on a treaty with Libya that should be solving our problems. This is naive. We need a system of shared asylum policies that guarantees the same standards everywhere and distributes the solidarity.

Journalist: You are proposing to relocate whole groups of refugees into a country – for example, a whole village should be moved to Latvia. Do you really believe that the Eastern Europeans will cooperate?

Keller: The idea about the Syrian village is just one of the tools that we could employ. For example in the situation when refugees don't want to go to a country where no other refugees have moved so far. People want to go to places where their compatriots already live which makes the integration easier. The refusal of the Czech Republic and others to accept the refugees violates the laws of the EU. That's why the European Commission has started proceedings against these countries.

Journalist: How would you convince critics that this Union has a future?

Keller: This Union has a future because the member states can't solve the problems facing the world separately. Globalization and the climate change but also migration, those don't have any solutions at the national level.
I am among those millions of people who just say Wow. Decades ago, everyone used to agree that the greens were loons. But Western Europe has been so disrupted that this loon is very powerful in the would-be Parliament of a bloc claiming to dominate a whole civilized continent.

Overbye on "ominous silence" in particle physics

Dennis Overbye is a top science writer and his new text in the New York Times,

Yearning for New Physics at CERN, in a Post-Higgs Way
is also pretty good. He quotes various particle physicists, including fans of SUSY and critics of SUSY, and those give him different ideas about the probability that new physics is going to be observed in coming years, but he decides to make a conclusion in one direction, anyway: the silence in particle physics is ominous, the subtitle says.

In particular, Overbye talks about the silence after the \(750\GeV\) hint faded away. It's been just a year or so when this bump disappeared. Should one be using ominous words such as "ominous" when there has been no similar intense wave of activity for a year? I don't think so.

Monday, June 19, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A reverse Muslim van attack in London?

At midnight, an event that was seemingly just another Islam-powered terrorist attack has taken place in London's Finsbury Park. A van ran over people. It seems that we have been there. No casualties are reported at this point but the event is "novel", anyway: The injured people are... worshipers from the Finsbury Park Mosque.

This adds a new dimension to the messy co-existence of Muslims and infidels in Western Europe.

The mosque is a Salafist-and-Muslim-Brotherhood-supporting one and has co-produced numerous Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in the past such as one 9/11 culprit, one who got famous in the U.S. in December 2001, and numerous holy warriors against the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Despite this productive publication record, the mosque keeps on working just fine. So it would make sense to conjecture that the van attack was organized by a private individual Western anti-terror activist who thinks that he needs to do something that his government fails to do. (Update: The suspect was named as Darren Osborne, 47.)

If that's the case, the incident clearly turns him or her into a terrorist as well but conflicts usually end up more symmetric than the words might suggest.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Danish "LIGO discovery is noise" paper is hogwash

All of them (and maybe lots or even all of LIGO folks) are missing that the two LIGO detectors aren't predicted to see signals that are exactly proportional to each other

At a Forbes blog, Sabine Hossenfelder uncritically promotes a combative Danish paper in her article

Was It All Just Noise? Independent Analysis Casts Doubt On LIGO's Detections
It is all about a fresh paper
On the time lags of the LIGO signals
by Andrew Jackson and pals (Creswell, von Hausegger, Liu, and Naselsky). They say that the LIGO discoveries could be noise or based on completely fake data (as Bulgarian crank Pentcho Valev helpfully says under Hossenfelder's article). ATdotDE and Telescoper claim to be agnostic.



Has everyone lost his or her mind? Please give me a break.