Wednesday, November 25, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Robbert Dijkgraaf and the end of pure science

OK, Albert Einstein found most of his deep ideas in Ulm, Bern, Zurich, Prague, and Berlin, but most people associate him with Princeton, New Jersey, where he was employed as an older man who was already famous but no longer too explosively original (imagine: Princeton gets almost all the credit while Prague where Einstein realized that he needed a theory with the equivalence principle gets almost no credit). The NJ employer was the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) and for a few years, Robbert Dijkgraaf was the director of the IAS. Dijkgraaf is my fellow co-father of screwing/matrix string theory (Dijkgraaf is the biologically non-identical twin in the Verlinde triplet, as Susskind has pointed out) and a co-author of a small paper of ours.

Fine, he just wrote an essay for the Quanta Magazine,

Contemplating the End of Physics.
He says that physics isn't ending but some of his detailed argumentation sounds very similar to the – intellectually incompetent and impotent – pseudointellectuals who have talked about ludicrous concepts such as "the end of physics" for decades. Before we get to some content, I must say to Robbert that if he is "contemplating" the end of physics, he should also be "contemplating" his moral duty to return all the salaries and grants he has received in Amsterdam and Princeton because he was hired to manage physics and drive it to progress, not to end it! Quite generally, I find it stunning for people to "contemplate the end of physics" and similar things when they are paid huge salaries for "doing physics" instead. These two should be totally incompatible, shouldn't they?

Swiss ICUs and end-of-life wishes

Among the Western countries, the otherwise hyper-PC Sweden is unique because its medical elite was capable of keeping the nation in a good psychological shape, extinguishing unnecessary Covid fear, rejecting the "global duty" to wear face masks, and avoiding the closure of schools and shops at all times (although mass events are still restricted; and the border was closed for some time). The pictures of Swedish cities have looked like a different world since March. "Everyone else" thought it was common sense to be hiding in the basement like a rat (and tens of millions ludicrously think that the world will never get to the "old normal" again); meanwhile, millions of Swedes continued their normal lives.

Some Swedes were still hiding like rats but they did so on the private basis which is exactly how things should be (I think that a much higher percentage of Swedes is willing to hide in this way, relatively to more "individually courageous" Czechs, and that's why we saw a much faster Covid dynamics here in Czechia). In November, the Swedish statistics page makes it clear that Sweden's approach was a great success. 6500 Swedes died with Covid but the actual "excess death tally" is just about 1000-2000 i.e. 1-2% of the annual deaths (which is pretty much undetectable by eyeballing if you look at the annual charts). Czechia already has 7499 deaths with Covid so our more stringent spring lockdown almost certainly wasn't a good investment for the final tally. The second wave came to Sweden because \(R_0\) is higher in these months than what it was in late spring and the summer, so the required fraction for herd immunity is higher (which is why these diseases are seasonal). The peak "deaths per day" were 34 in this wave so far, well below 115 in the spring, so Sweden is pretty much the least affected Western European country now. The total number of casualties of this "next wave" will be some 1/6 of the first wave. With a third wave, expect something like a geometric series: you may just ignore other waves.

Sunday, November 22, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Why do many professors suffer from TDS

It's the defense of a group think and collective interests

Vít Bláha sent me an interesting essay by Philip Patrick, a lecturer in Tokyo,

Why academics hold Thatcher and Trump in such contempt.
Note that only guys who are safe enough, like being employed in Japan (or Hermites in Pilsen, for that matter LOL), have the freedom to discuss these important matters these days. First, I tried to give my answer to this vital question and I thought that Patrick was too kind to the instructors who suffer or suffered from the Trump (or Thatcher) Derangement Syndrome. But after some more reading, I decided that my view is pretty much exactly the same as Patrick's.

Saturday, November 21, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Climate Hustle 2: excellent

I discussed Climate Hustle 1 in 2016.

This is just a short advertisement. I watched Climate Hustle 2 last night, a cool movie by Marc Morano from and a few others around him. See John Stossel's review for some comments. There's another host in the movie – and MiniAOC joins the men and makes it somewhat cuter and more relaxed than it would be otherwise. Petr Mach and Václav Klaus make sure that my nation is punching above its weight.

Thursday, November 19, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Rogue Harvard students demand a campus-wide ban for Trump officials

John Harvard would be a Trump official if he avoided the self-destructive career move in 1638, namely his death. Now, the plan is to muzzle him, too.

It hasn't been determined yet who will be the U.S. president between 2020 and 2024 and a group of "Harvard students" is distributing this petition that demands that all the officials within the Trump administration are banned on campus.

Petition circulating at Harvard to stop former Trump administration officials from attending, teaching or speaking at the university (Fox Business)
They couldn't attend, teach, or speak there; the intent is to prevent them from walking through Harvard Yard, too. Kayleigh McEnany, a smart, courageous, and blonde Trump spokeswoman (and a Harvard alumnus) already has plans to violate at least the latter restriction.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Velvet Revolution at 31: much of the freedom was just temporary

Back in 1989, I was intensely interested in politics, listening to Radio Free Europe every day, writing petitions etc. On Friday, November 17th, I was a high school student and the university students in Prague organized an anti-totalitarian rally. Note that exactly 50 years earlier, on November 17th, 1939, the Nazis shut down the Czech universities after some skirmishes at the funeral of Jan Opletal, an anti-Nazi student activist who died after some conflicts during the October 28th (birth of Czechoslovakia 1918) events.

Because of the 1939 events, November 17th has been celebrated as the International Students' Day. Needless to say, the events that came exactly 50 years later strengthened the reasons to celebrate it as the International Students' Day. Today, it's a national holiday in Czechia, a "Day of Fight For Freedom". Note that just like the Nazis, the Coronazis are shutting universities across the world and the press doesn't dare to criticize the Coronazis just like it didn't dare to criticize the Nazis in 1939.

Saturday, November 14, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Klaus: On flimsiness (and therefore untrustworthiness) of the American presidential elections

By the second Czech president Václav Klaus, in the LN daily

Even though the U.S. electoral system and its weights of various states of the Union is rather strange for a person – an ordinarily attentive (i.e. not so attentive) to details of politics – from a unitary state such as Czechia, we respect that it reflects a historically evolved American federalism. It wasn't drawn by an election expert who was sitting behind his desk. The U.S. were born through an evolution and they were undergoing a transformation in time.

The New York Times inkspillers attack Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton has founded not only classical mechanics but also true quantitative science – physics rooted in advanced mathematics – in his seminal three-volume 1687 Principia (Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica). The world-changing importance of this text is self-evident to everyone who isn't brain-dead.

Now, this story starts with a simple question: How many copies of the opus' first edition were there? 189 were known so far (and one was auctioned for $3.7 million in 2016, a record price for a science book). This number was clearly a lower bound and after some census, "sleuths in Europe" found 198 more, as the article makes clear, including new copies in Prague. I am almost certain that there were many thousands and the "number of copies we still possess" and the "number of copies that have existed" are two wildly different numbers. Why should almost all copies be preserved for almost 350 years?

Friday, November 13, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

The matrix model is too sexy for Millennials, New York, and Japan

'Cause I'm a Motl, you know what I mean

I came to the U.S. (primarily) after I wrote rather influential papers on the BFSS matrix model of M-theory. That original paper by the four physicists (three of whom were high) has over 2800 citations but I think that especially by 2020, it is a heavily understudied line of research. Maldacena's first AdS/CFT paper shows over 16,000 citations at Inspire now (and the video above has over half a billion views!). Yes, I do think that the papers should be comparable because both describe holography of some sort; and both include a new description of quantum gravitational physics that differs from the "effective quantum field theory in the bulk".

They are not comparable because the matrix model is too sexy for... especially for the younger generation. What has really happened was that lots of people have joined the field who mentally want to stay at the level of the undergraduate or early graduate school quantum field theory (throughout their lives). Even if they want to pretend to be at the cutting edge, they don't really want to go beyond the cutting edge as defined in 1930 or at most the 1970s. Most of the papers on AdS/CFT work in that mental framework.

Monday, November 09, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A very stupid day for Dow Jones to return to all time highs

In mid February when Covid-19 was getting to Italy, I thought that the hysteria would be over in 3 days or so and already the first 3% drop of the stock markets was an unbelievable overreaction to this slightly new kind of a flu-like disease.

Well, the markets dropped over 30% and bottomed around March 23rd when the fear was omnipresent. That was when the blood was in the streets, that's when you should have bought stocks like mad. My expectations of the shrinking hysteria were wrong numerically but they were right qualitatively. Now, 9 months after the first Italian hysteria, Dow Jones is the last U.S. index that is setting new all time highs (it was at 29,995.5, beating the spring record below 29,600).

Those 9 months ago, I was pointing out that after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the U.S. stock markets returned to setting new all time highs within a month. It could have been true in this case, too. Here, I was wrong just by a factor of 9 or so. ;-)

Sunday, November 08, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A Trumpless White House could hugely damage the geopolitical conditions

The left-wing media including Fox decided to name Biden as the winner even though the presidential contest will enter another stage, perhaps a more important one, tomorrow. Because they seem to believe that the election can't be taken from them anymore, some predictions have materialized. Lots of people have predicted that the SARS-CoV-2 virus would disappear from the left-wing media once Trump is removed. Open and there is no Covid on the first two pages of that website! Fact-checked: true.

Suddenly, celebrations of the likely decline of the U.S. – economic, mental, and moral decline, not to mention the relative decline of the U.S. stocks and the U.S. dollar which is expected by experts as well as me – are no longer painted as superspreader events. These individuals in CNN, Fox (except for Sean, Laura, Tucker, Judge Jeanne, and a few others) and similar organizations only confirm that they're exactly the dishonest, deceitful, vicious, manipulative, quasihuman jerks that many of us have identified inside them a few years ago.

Saturday, November 07, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

AOC is just a joke

Capitalism beats socialism for many reasons; one of them is that it manages to assign the people to the right places. The invisible hand of the free markets does much of the job. In socialism, e.g. in the conditions that exist internally in the Democratic Party, the processes are different. Consider a hypothetical deadbeat, retarded bartender who spills every other glass of wine. What do the two systems do with such a job market commodity? In capitalism, the bartender is fired and the former employee may recommend her a new job. Perhaps she is more talented in cleaning the toilets.

In socialism, it's different because the bartender has done something for someone who is ideologically influential within the regime (such a circumstance is unlikely to emerge in proper capitalism); and they simply need to pick someone "intersectional" for ideological reasons (in capitalism, quotas and duties of this kind just don't exist). So she just can't be downgraded to a toilet cleaner. Instead, why don't we turn her into a politician? She gets a highly troubled district of New York where the average IQ is close to 80 and where a doorknob would be elected if there were socialist stickers on it. By the triangle inequality, a bartender who is dumb as a doorknob must be elected, too, serving as an excelent example of the consequences of the arrangement in which literally everyone can vote. Well, if everyone can vote, the representative democracy guarantees that literally everyone can be a lawmaker, too. To make things even better, Twitter has donated millions of followers to this "lady".

Friday, November 06, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

USA really seems to drift towards a Soviet-style totalitarian hell

The winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election is still uncertain and while Biden seems closer at this moment, highly justified lawsuits may change the situation. The apparent multi-dimensional evidence in favor of the greatest voter fraud in the U.S. history that I have seen is persuasive and shocking. Tens of thousands of non-residents have apparently voted in Nevada and elsewhere. More tragicomically, thousands of people who are dead have voted, too. Here is Steve McIntyre:

Just the people who are more than 100 years old in Michigan seem to give you 1,000+ fake votes. And I am pretty sure that tons of the "voters" who are between 80 and 100 will turn out to be dead, too. I've listened to the testimony of the Democrat who saw the backdating ballots. Software apparently sent 6,000 Trump votes to Biden, a tabulating software glitch (the software, Dominion is its suggestive name, was used in tons of places in every single major swing state). A lawmaker determined that 20,000 ballots were fraudulently submitted and counted after the election day just in Harris, PA. A Texas social worker ordered 134 ballots for mentally disabled patients in order to steal their votes. I've seen the videos of the black truck drivers selling whole packages of ballots. Accusations that Democratic voting committees were fixing thousands of Democratic ballots that would otherwise be invalid. Vehicles with the ballots often had Biden-Harris stickers and the counting staff often Biden-Harris hats. The counting staff has often violated the court orders and prevented the Republican observers from being 6 feet away from the process. Even if you ignored all the likely hardcore fraud, I think it is immensely unfair that a clearly cheaper, less demanding mail-in ballot which was mostly pro-Democratic is counted as equally important as the in-person, mostly Republican, votes. This fake equality is another typical example of the extreme leftists' promotion of equality where the reality is clearly unequal.

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