Wednesday, July 15, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Miloš Jakeš (1922-2020): evolving perspectives

On July 10th, Milouš Jakeš (which was his official, somewhat more funny and informally sounding than the commonly publicized, name) died, at age almost 98. He had a secretive funeral and we only learned about the death five days later. He was the last leader of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in the communist era. It is interesting to see how my perspectives have evolved – and it is relevant for our comparisons of the communism of the 1980s and the neo-Marxism-driven present.

After the 1968 Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia that ended the promising Prague Spring, General Ludvík Svoboda stayed as the president up to 1975. Then both functions of the president and the communist "general secretary" (the latter was really more important, a characteristic sign of totalitarianism) were merged in Gustáv Husák, a Slovak guy who was once given a life in prison by fellow communists for his alleged support of the nationalist capitalism.

Monday, July 13, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

When a new proposed habit is really voluntary, it will be ignored by most

That's why policies desirable by the majority of voters must be made transparent and mandatory

In the previous blog post, among other things, I outlined my proposals to make face masks mandatory in the public interior spaces (and perhaps under other conditions) during the winter flu season, at the places with massive flu outbreaks, in analogy with policies that almost certainly suppressed the spreading of Covid-19 in my country and others. The number of weeks that we spend in the bed with fever may very well drop to a tiny fraction of the current value.

Fer137 protested and argued that instead, such duties (to wear the mask) should be voluntary. The problem is that the bulk of the crazy characteristic behavior of the humans in communism was "voluntary-compulsive" and when it comes to the number of these things, the contemporary America is arguably more Soviet than the Soviet Union ever was. Well, let's start in the Soviet Union, the main communist country during the Cold War era, and look e.g. at the definition of a subbotnik (the picture at the top is relevant):

Subbotnik... was a day of volunteer unpaid work [during the weekends]. Initially they were indeed voluntary but gradually de facto obligatory from announcement, as people quipped, "in a voluntary-compulsive way" (в добровольно-принудительном порядке).
It was really a big part of the totalitarian power, and a huge sign that the civilized rule of law didn't exist, that the powerful could have made things obligatory in a voluntary-compulsive way. People were obliged to say it was voluntary but they were also obliged to do it! The powerful had so much power that they could force the whole population to do something even without writing anything (any law). When they said "something would be nice", it was done! Well, only the time was spent by the enslaved nation; the economic results of these policies were usually poorer than the rulers dreamed.

Sunday, July 12, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Face masks in America, treating flu as Covid

Czechs, the first white nation that made the face masks mandatory on March 18th, have thrown them away because we have determined that nothing like epidemics exists on our territory. They're mandatory in the Prague subway, currently 4 highly localized outbreaks areas (some 4x 0.5% of the Czech population), plus a minority in situations in hospitals. Meanwhile, Trump finally sports a face mask, too. He wisely says that it is only helpful in some contexts but calls it a "great thing to wear".

In late March, I wrote Ivanka to persuade her dad to make the face masks as normal in the U.S. as they became normal in Czechia – and it really took 3 days from "local fads" to the nationwide Czech mask duty. (Numerous other Czechs wrote similar messages to American and other VIPs.) Too bad, the U.S. has recorded over 100,000 "deaths with Covid" but 3 months later (instead of the 3 days in Czechia), Ivanka's dad finally sports a mask, too (too bad, without any U.S. flags or MAGA colors and symbols, so disppointing).

Friday, July 10, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Ethan Siegel, not Stephen Hawking, lies about the black hole radiation

Years ago, I thought Ethan Siegel was a decent science writer. His texts seemed to be full of data that sort of overlapped with some basic knowledge about many physics questions. However, in the recent year or two, I stopped following him after I saw a vast excess of totally wrong, unreasonable, and sometimes toxic "punch lines" in his articles such as the claims that:

and many others. I've probably missed many similar cesspools of lies, misconceptions, and far left insanities because I haven't followed him for more than a year. But because of John Preskill's Twitter account, I learned about another beauty:
Yes, Stephen Hawking Lied To Us All About How Black Holes Decay
Aside from some other arrogant manifestations of Siegel's complete misunderstanding of the Hawking radiation (and I will discuss what is arguably the most important example), he primarily repeated the sentence that "Hawking and his followers have lied to us for 32 years" when they said that the Hawking radiation may be explained by a virtual particle-antiparticle pair which becomes real, one member of the pair falls into the black hole, and the other one escapes.

Thursday, July 09, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Melbourne 2nd lockdown: fool me once...

First, basic facts. Australia has some 25 million inhabitants. Sydney and Melbourne are the largest cities, in the New South Wales and Victoria, respectively. The basic statistics page shows that Australia has had 9k cases and 100 deaths or so, only 4 of those were after May 23rd. The number of deaths per capita has been basically zero. Note that the seasons are reversed relatively to most of ours but the (currently ongoing) winter is really mild, too.

OK, because of "roughly a hundred positive tests per day", the Victorian authorities have re-established a harsh lockdown on the city. The 5 million people who are trapped inside cannot really leave the area for six weeks (a siege). They can't visit relatives. Restaurants, barbers, and most of other would-be non-essential things are shut down and so on.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Harvard's purely online learning is a fancy way to turn education into a complete farce

Harvard University is one of the most hardcore leftist places that want to cancel the in-person instruction entirely; all teaching and learning should be done online from the Fall. Donald Trump has rightfully pointed out that this decision is ridiculous, an easy way out for which they should be ashamed. Many other universities are "more moderate" and they prepare a hybrid system which is partly in-person, partly online.

Trump previously tweeted that the schools must open in the autumn. The tweet got over 300k "likes" which is unusually high even according to his standards. The desire to stop the hysteria and open the schools is almost certainly a "bipartisan cause". All pro-civilization people, including former voters of the Democrats, realize that the education is important, young people are pretty much completely resilient to Covid-19, and the benefits of the education vastly exceed the risks for the public health. And I strongly believe that the plan to remove the far left indoctrination from schools would also have a rather strong bipartisan support and Trump should add it as a visible part of his program.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Steven Pinker, the latest target of "cancel culture"

Steven Pinker is Harvard University's most prominent evolutionary psychologist, a man who knows how to explain why the people (and animals) evolved to think in the ways that we observe.

Aside from hundreds of technical papers that have collected almost 100 thousand citations, he is also well-known for many popular books dedicated (not only) to the intelligent laymen. "The Blank Slate" is one of them; his latest bestseller, "Enlightenment Now...", is an optimistic description of the world we inhabit. During the witch hunts on Larry Summers around 2005, I was fortunate to communicate with him as one of the beautiful minds with a spine. I've also attended some ingenious lectures he gave.

"Time will tell" has become a favorite replacement for arguments from those who spread lies

The seemingly innocent phrase is responsible for a big part of the decay of the West

Don't get me wrong. The sentence "time will tell" has been an innocent, and nearly tautologically true, sentence that many people have used at many moments. The sentence means that in the future, we will know more. It's true. To say the least, someone will know more about the events that lie in the "future" for us but they are the "present" for him, especially the events (and it's almost all events) that will be affected by Nature's quantum mechanical random generator.

On this website, you may probably find dozens of copies of this sentence written by me, too. However, in recent weeks, I saw that "time will tell" has turned into something much less innocent: into a religious slogan that is particularly favored by those who are wrong about all the important propositions they are making – and who are demonstrably wrong because they simply deny facts and proofs that already exist now.

Friday, July 03, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Cumrun Vafa vs sloppiness of "lessons from JT gravity"

A decade ago, the main topic that clumped fundamental physicists to two camps was almost certainly the anthropic reasoning – or its flawed character. It gradually faded away because people agreed that there was no argument that would settle the question – and in the case of the anthropic approach, there wasn't a consistent theory that was ready to be used. Aside from some correct propositions that were worthless because they were tautological, the anthropic school was just an extreme ideology and it remained an extreme ideology.

Coleman's \(\alpha\)-parameters from baby universes were a prank or funny gesticulation, not a serious lecture about the actual mechanisms of quantum gravity.

But numerous other topics were fundamental enough and answered by highly controversial views. For example, late Joe Polchinski and his co-authors who are alive and kicking were promoting the idea that there was a firewall on the boundary of every black hole. It's obviously wrong and Joe was sort of accepting that it was wrong – but some people still enjoyed giving evidence to the answer that was wrong, the arguments were clever, and as long as you didn't throw away your common sense, you could have learned some things.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

July 1st: end of nationwide Covid restrictions in CZ

Czechia had some kind of a lockdown since March 12th, before there was any "fatality with Covid" in the country. On March 18th, after just 3 days in which the experimental "face mask meme" spread to many corners of the Czech society, we became the first white nation with mandatory and omnipresent face masks (many of which were homemade at the beginning). In late March – which was arguably the peak of Covid hysteria – the percentage of Czechs who walked outside with face masks exceeded 98%.

Yo Yo Band: Karviná, 1993, an extremely famous post-Velvet-Revolution song. In the most recent week, the miners' town of Karviná in Northeast Czechia (well, Moravian Silesia) became "our closest proxy to Bergamo", beating the "cases per capita" in other towns by orders of magnitude, but still at negligible levels. [Accidentally, I just had a call with a woman in Karviná who wanted my electricity to be moved to Innogy LOL.]

For some six weeks since March 12th, many shops and almost all restaurants were closed. Some factories including Škoda Auto were shut down for a month or so. During these six weeks, it was gradually becoming more certain that the number of newly infected Czechs was dropping (the statistical significance of this proposition was going up). The hysteria was correspondingly fading away during April. In late April, a 5-stage plan to reopen Czechia began. First, small shops were opened, restaurants could be opened in the takeaway regime, some sports activities were allowed etc. Things looked really good so the 5th stage was sped up and merged with the 4th stage which was in late May (instead of June 8th as initially planned). For more than a month, we didn't have to wear any masks outside.

Appeasement towards unhinged leftists may be a bigger mistake than in 1938

The Cultural Revolution in the U.S. has accelerated. Aside from the liquidation of statues including the presidents such as Wilson, Roosevelt, Jackson, and even Lincoln, the "revolutionaries" have abolished the flag of Mississippi, are planning to ban the U.S. anthem and the name of John Wayne from an airport in the Orange County, have erased some of the most famous images and labels on the U.S. food products, and performed an incredible new Stalinist surge on the big Internet servers. Similar and increasingly bad events are happening almost every day.

Just yesterday, within several hours, Reddit deleted the forum The Donald which had 1 million users who were rather essential for Trump's 2016 victory; Amazon-owned Twitch deleted Trump's own account (it's a server for posting conversations in the video format); and YouTube has banned Stefan Molyneux, a prominent Canadian centrist philosopher who had 1 million subscribers and 650 million views, aside from many others. In fact, the number of banned YouTube accounts was 20,000 just yesterday; it is clearly in the Stalin's category.

Sunday, June 28, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Madmen at Princeton remove Wilson from a school, everything

Burning of the bridges has arrived to universities, Czech media informed us in the morning. The stated reason: "He was a racist", of course. The Wilson's School of Public and International Affairs has to be renamed, a board of unwise fat cats has voted.

Prague's main train station, the station of president Wilson. The second part of the name was the main name in 1945-1948 and since 1989, it is considered an "honorary name" that is only used during historical and official events.

Needless to say, the school was a perfect match for Wilson's name because he's done a lot to create a modern world based on redefined public and international affairs. While many Republicans may be annoyed that he greatly contributed to the rise of the "Big Government" in the U.S., and I understand how they feel, the Czechoslovak Republicans among us appreciate that Wilson was a de facto co-founder of Czechoslovakia, and that's the main reason why Czechs and Slovaks celebrate him.

Saturday, June 27, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

SJWs murdered modern Czechia's most famous martyr 70 years ago

Her name was Milada Horáková...

Exactly 10 years ago, I wrote a blog post about the 60th anniversary of the most famous judicial murder in the modern Czech history. You may also watch this 5-minute-long video summary in English.

Even though my former colleague Albert Einstein wrote a letter to the first Czechoslovak working-class president and alcoholic Klement Gottwald (just like Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill, and many others), Gottwald kickstarted her execution by his signature. She wrote a very touching letter to her daughter and other relatives, resisted for 15 minutes on the rope, but ultimately she surrendered and was hanged. Mr Mrnka recorded the movie about her in 2017; it probably isn't too deep and personal a movie. (The film director Mr Mrnka didn't get any money from the Czech pro-film government institutions, Czech billionaires, and others, all of them had some complaints or excuses: only Netflix said Yes at the end. An Israeli actress starred as Horáková.)

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