## Tuesday, December 06, 2016 ... /////

### When pop science hype against QM makes Indian cranks too self-confident

Giotis has pointed out that there's a new physics.hist-ph preprint on the arXiv reporting another poll about "interpretations" of quantum mechanics:

Surveying the Attitudes of Physicists Concerning Foundational Issues of Quantum Mechanics
The abstract page suggests that the authors are Sujeevan Sivasundaram and Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen. I find Sujeevan Sivasundaramajarabalasubramaniankoothrappali's name too long so let us call him SS instead.

SS is an earring-enhanced Indian student in Denmark and Nielsen is his adviser. Well, aside from the title, the list of the authors is the first big deception of the paper. In the acknowledgements, we read:
First of all a big "thank you" is in place to my supervisor Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen. I know I am not the easiest person to work with, because of my erratic work method and lack of organization, but you have had the right sense of when to push and when to give me space. This was, and is, very much appreciated and I hope that is not lost on you.
OK, so SS wrote the paper himself and he just thanks Nielsen. Nielsen shouldn't have been included in the author list because it's not even clear whether he agrees with anything that SS writes.

### Trump, Zeman trade invitations

A chance for a special relationship to the U.S. is surely a currency in Czechia

The Associated Press and the Czech media have told us about a telephone call between the Czech president Miloš Zeman and the U.S. President-Elect. Trump has appreciated that Zeman was the only EU head of state who publicly endorsed Trump before the elections.

Sorry, if I have found a more handsome Trump-Zeman interpolation, I would have posted it instead of this ugly one. :-)

They accepted the invitations to the White House and the Prague Castle, respectively. Zeman's trip to the White House is likely to take place at the end of April 2017 when Zeman is supposed to accept an award from a pro-Israel group, the same one that Trump won in 2016. The White House staff should be ready. Shortly after 9/11, Zeman visited the White House and he forced a militant anti-smoker George W. Bush to allow him smoke in the non-smoking places, by mentioning that both men were fellow Texans (an honorary one in Zeman's case) who must help each other. Up to 2001, that was one of the greatest achievements of Zeman's foreign policies.

(In the video, late economist Valtr Komárek, a former aide to Fidel Castro, pointed out that Zeman wasn't the first one to smoke there. Before him, it was Monika Lewinski who gave the blowjob there – the same verb in Czech.)

## Tuesday, November 29, 2016 ... /////

### Would you use a nuclear waste diamond battery in your smartphone?

University of Bristol, U.K., published an inspiring press release a few days ago,

‘Diamond-age’ of power generation as nuclear batteries developed
And they added the following video yesterday:

Graphite blocks are used to moderate reactions in nuclear reactors. If you study what's happening with them, you will find out that some of the ordinary carbon-12 in these blocks is turning into the radioactive carbon-14, especially on the surface of these blocks.

## Monday, November 28, 2016 ... /////

### Three papers on information in quantum gravity

I want to briefly mention three recent papers on the fate of the information in quantum gravity.

First, a week ago, Raphael Bousso argued that there is a simple

Universal Limit on Communication.
When you are sending the information by photons, one photon of frequency $\omega$ must occupy the time at least $\Delta t \sim 1/ \omega$ and transmits $\O(1)$ nats (or bits) of information, e.g. a bit from the polarization of the photon. The energy of the photon is $E=\hbar\omega$.

You might think that the number of bits per photon may be increased arbitrarily because the information may be carried e.g. in the precisely determined angular direction of the photon's motion. But Raphael argues that due to the unavoidable appearance of some quantum effects that are there despite the seemingly classical setup, the recipient of the information (whose name is Bob and who surrounds the source, Alice, by a big sphere) will actually not be able to extract much more information, and the total transmitted information can't be above $E \cdot \Delta t / \hbar$, after all.

There have been various limits involving the information and entropy etc. Some of them seem to be universal in quantum mechanics, not just results in quantum gravity. This bound doesn't explicitly depend on Newton's constant $G_N$ and even though the "cultural context" of the derivation seems like quantum gravity (just like some Bekenstein-related bounds), I think it's right to say that this is a non-gravitational result (if it is true).

### Swiss voters chose to keep nuclear power plants

I generally think that frequent referendums aren't a good way to organize societies – or at least nations such as mine – because I do think that detailed decisions should be made by selected people with special knowledge and skills and the median voter isn't one of them. That's why a competition between "potential experts" – politicians who fight against each other – which is judged by the median voter i.e. the representative democracy sounds like a more sophisticated scheme.

On the other hand, I am repeatedly impressed by the results of the referendums in Switzerland and the political maturity that they display. Almost one thousand years of referendums could have made the Swiss more sensible. One shouldn't denounce the possible explanation that the Swiss are simply better at this business – and what could be harmful to other nations may be beneficial for Switzerland.

The latest referendum was one about the nuclear energy.

## Sunday, November 27, 2016 ... /////

### Was Hillary defeated by Kremlin-paid propaganda agents?

I used to consider The Washington Post as a daily that an average intelligent person could see as one of his information sources. But this picture was diminishing over the years and three days ago, it dropped hugely because of the article

Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say
In this most viewed article on WaPo's site on Friday, Craig Timberg teaches us that Donald Trump didn't win because of his personality, his program, his campaign strategy, preferences and values of a majority of the U.S. public, and their genuine dissatisfaction with the trends that America has been following in recent years. Instead, Hillary was partly if not mainly defeated by
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts...
Wow, just wow. See some reactions at 21stCenturyWire, ZeroHedge, Truth Feed, The Intercept, Fortune, RT video, RT text, and others, more.

## Saturday, November 26, 2016 ... /////

### Fidel and Czechoslovakia

90 years is a blessed age to die and the Cuban Marxist leader was fortunate to live that long. Donald Trump just tweeted that Castro is dead. Almost all Cubans in Florida are celebrating. They're obviously right about the overall sign of the sentiment. He was a dictator that was responsible for many crippled lives and the erasure of some 90% of the Cuban GDP. But in some way, it doesn't sound "cool" to celebrate the death of this no longer dangerous "hip" character from the world history.

My country had a special relationship to Castro. Like other kids in the Soviet bloc, we were trained to recognize him as a hero. But the relationships were more special. For example, a very large percentage of the machinery used in Cuba was produced in Czechoslovakia. Among many other things, that included a car owned by Fidel, Tatra 603, typically a car of the Czechoslovak VIP communists. At some moment, he switched from Tatra and Soviet limousines to Mercedeses, however.

In 1968, Castro needed to improve his bad relationships with Moscow so he – unlike the Romanian, Yugoslav, Albanian, and Chinese comrades – endorsed the occupation of Czechoslovakia even though he didn't send any actual tanks. For this attitude, Cuba was allowed to export sugar or something like that.

## Friday, November 25, 2016 ... /////

### Turkey updated its position to full blackmail

I hope that the U.S. readers have enjoyed their Thanksgiving. Turkey seems like a natural topic these days.

I am not a fan of Daniel Landa and it seems right to classify his singing as out-of-tune (plus plain talk) but this well-known Czech song is titled "Thanksgiving" so it may get the right to look for fans outside Czechia. Music: Petr Hapka. Lyrics: Michal Horáček, Prague Café's presidential candidate.

For some years, I have observed that Turkey was a problematic ally that Europe shouldn't rely upon, and I have criticized Turkey's relationships with ISIS vs the Kurds, among other things.