Thursday, December 12, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Sydney: most economics college freshmen can't calculate 4%, don't know a decimal point

So mathematics content is being dropped, making things worse

The collapsing quality of education with beef – especially subjects like mathematics – is sometimes discussed on this blog. Peter F. sent me a real beauty (well, a report that is more terrifying than a vampire) that was published yesterday:

Most first-year university students can't do Year 5 maths - leading professors to drop the subject from business degrees (The Daily Mail)
The original Australian article is mostly hidden behind a paywall.

The core of the new Finnish social democratic government

At any rate, there was a survey in Sydney, Australia. The first-year students who focus on economics, accounting, and chemistry were tested when it comes to their knowledge of mathematics for the fifth-grader. Are you smarter than a fifth-grader?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Preskill actually abandoned "quantum supremacy" because of the nut jobs from Nature

Cowardliness and opportunism may be limitless

In the morning, Peter told us about an incredible piece of "correspondence" published by Nature yesterday:

Supremacy is for racists — use ‘quantum advantage’
Three inkspillers plus 13 co-signatories have exclaimed that "quantum supremacy" (the ability of quantum computers to solve tasks unsolvable by "contemporary" classical computers in realistic time frames, or the period when this ability exists; and "approximately now", that epoch is getting started) – a scientific phrase that has appeared in 1590 papers so far – should be left to violent neocolonialists and racists and everyone else should use another term.

They randomly chose "quantum advantage".

That's an inappropriate term because it doesn't convey the qualitative "tipping point" character of the transition. Whether the Google's 53-qubit quantum computer is already stronger than its classical counterpart for some special task is disputed – largely because of the details such as "what is exactly a counterpart" and "how much time we should give to the classical ones" – but a relatively small, few-qubit improvement of the quantum computer is clearly enough to make the superiority of the quantum computers self-evident by adding several orders of magnitude to the speed ratio.

€100 billion isn't enough to make Visegrád carbon-neutral

€3 trillion is the Czech government's estimate what the 3 Central European countries need to be paid

I sincerely hope that tomorrow, on Thursday, Czech PM will prove that he is the "persistent beast" (or "fierce horsefly") he claims to be ("urputné hovado", is that from some movie? I have some deja vu feelings), will steal the childhood from tens of millions of brainwashed spoiled brats, and will present his offer to heavily spank all of them with his own persistent hand.

Meanwhile, it's Wednesday and the EU has presented its new gretinist plans, see e.g. The Guardian. Ms Uršula Leyen, a "lady" who claims to be the main leader of Europe although no nation has ever chosen her, has claimed that her new wave of unhinged alarmist lies and arbitrary suicidal plans for the continent are equivalent to "putting the man on the Moon". Her modesty is always appreciated.

At least, her European Commission could have placed a woman on the Moon, to beat Americans for the first time. But she forgot about the European women and their vacuum cleaners exactly when it was needed. ;-)

Some intellectual debates in Prague

Your humble correspondent has skipped the December 2018 and June 2019 events of the Klaus Institute – for a combination of reasons which I didn't want to emphasize. But after a delay, most of it may be declassified. The most important reason was that I felt that the folks were significantly more supportive of PM Babiš than I was (and in particular, I didn't want to be surprised and e.g. meet Babiš and be expected to be his fan LOL).

Now this difference seems very small to me again (especially because I enthusiastically expect Babiš to veto the EU carbon neutrality by 2050 on Thursday – today, on Wednesday, the EU will hype its EU New Green Deal) which is why the main excuse not to go to Prague disappeared.

OK, we had some good food and beverages in an Old Town Square café (Café Mozart) – funded not by Petr Kellner as I have thought for years but by Václav Petr, I hope that I remembered the name of the sponsor correctly – and aside from (some nice friendly encounters with others and) an old Czech Canadian geophysicist P.V., former minister and economist K.D., and Mr Jakl, two mayors of Prague were the most interesting people to chat with.

In particular, the ex-mayor (and former ambassador to Austria) who was trained as a solid state physicist and still does related things within the Academia has become a buddy of mine at those events. Of course I think he is a wise and nice guy – and the degree of understanding is probably understandable due to the intersection of the scientific and political backgrounds.

Monday, December 09, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Black women and evolution of the anti-string movement in the post-Epstein era

Late Jeffrey Epstein was the main father of the ludicrous anti-string-theory movement. While blackmailing American politicians – some people say that Epstein worked for Israel – he wanted a proof that with some money, he could also change the scientists' discourse.

He found someone who can be easily bought, that someone was offered to be paid for pushing science in any direction he wanted, that someone wrote a notorious anti-science book, and he will always be deeply grateful to Jeffrey Epstein for his "unexpected and generous" donation. (My understanding of the sentences is that this gratitude must continue after Epstein's death, too.) And we would have to speculate if we wanted to say something about the other or main reasons that turned this possible "unexpected and generous" donation to reality – what else was going on in between these two men.

Sunday, December 08, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

RSS AMSU: acceleration of global warming is mostly negative

OK, the New York Times published a hysterical article about the alleged acceleration of global warming and Kip Hansen (quite a surname for a skeptic!) wrote a response at Anthony Watts' blog. To add a third hyperlink, Grant Foster didn't like it so he published a rant titled How Deniers Deny.


Whether the noisy weather data for the global mean temperature include a clear enough "linear trend" – the global warming itself – is already a bit uncertain. Especially the question whether this apparent increase is more than a fluke is uncertain. However whether the quadratic coefficient of a nonlinear model fit is nonzero (and whether it's positive or negative if it is nonzero) is even more uncertain.

Saturday, December 07, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Tenure denied to a PC candidate, Harvard grad students go on strike

Especially in recent years, dozens if not hundreds of TRF blog posts were dedicated to disturbing and sometimes heartbreaking stories about people who have been attacked, blackmailed, threatened, fired, character assassinated, and professionally liquidated by immoral, fanatical, intellectually handicapped neo-Marxists and neo-Stalinists. This kind of ideological filtering is already more brutal than what Nazi Germany used to do – but it's just one side of the process.

The picture goes to GWPF and then you may read After Academia at Quillette, quite realistic and terrifying

Aside from worthy people who are being liquidated for the ideological reasons, there are also lots of people who are professionally inadequate but who are being hired and appointed for the same ideological reasons. And this part of the problem – the absence of filters that are supposed to keep the weeds out of the elite places – is arguably even more harmful than the terror against the great conservatives etc.

The Harvard Crimson currently describes lots of student strikes. The union of graduate students has declared a strike. My understanding is that they want some workers to get a higher wage, something that isn't the business to be solved by the Harvard graduate students at all. But these young people already mentally live in a new Stalinist regime in which they are the apparatchiks in a new party secretariat that is deciding about everything – screw others and screw the markets. Because of the ongoing sabotage by these not-really-sensible people, the UPS is prevented from delivering packages in time.

Friday, December 06, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Why LIGO measures distances much shorter than a proton

A few days ago, the LIGO skeptic named Jason C-65 added a comment under a text of mine explaining why LIGO skeptics are idiots:

The detector is essentially an interferometer. It uses mirrors made of atoms, and yet it is supposed to resolve distances to less than a proton. I know that's bullshit.
Well, like many others, Jason is totally wrong. LIGO indeed does measure the length of the L-shaped tunnel with the precision much better than the size of the atom. Well, the atom is \(10^{-10}\) meters in size, a proton is \(10^{-15}\) meters. But LIGO goes further, to \(10^{-20}\) meters or so. There is no contradiction with anything and Jason's expectation that "it must be impossible" is based on his completely different "theory" with which he looks at the distances and their precision.

Thursday, December 05, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Next week, Czech PM plans to block the EU gretin plans

According to most Czech observers, Czech billionaire prime minister Andrej Babiš – who is worth some $3 billion – is living through a terrible week. (Babiš himself says that he is very happy now – especially because his family will be saved from the legal harassment for the first time in years. Not too many people believe that he's too happy now.)

Once a gold-digger, always a gold-digger. An 1898 photograph of the Yukon/Klondike Gold Rush showed a lookalike of Greta's – perhaps because that 19th century girl's mother was a Swede who drank during pregnancy

The final EU audit of his "cohesion funds" subsidies arrived and it says, like the incomplete one, that 100% of the subsidies paid to the Agrofert company ultimately controlled by Babiš were illegal and have to be returned because of the EU and Czech laws on the conflict of interests. It's some $20 million – almost half a billion crowns. Well, they actually found some extra subsidies that shouldn't have been funded for reasons unrelated to the conflicts of interests, including the upgrade of a toasting factory that was claimed to be about some cool scientific and technological progress but it wasn't. ;-)

What's worse is that the "regular agricultural" subsidies (which are higher and comparable to $100 million a year) will probably be treated equally just in a few months. They make about 1/2 of the Agrofert profits (yes, even without subsidies, the whole conglomerate would still be safely profitable – the irony of subsidies is that they're often not needed at all and they just distort the market for the fun of it). To reduce the expected profits by 1/2 means to reduce the equity by 1/2. Because Agrofert has some debt, the relative decrease of his wealth could be more pronounced than to 1/2. Moreover, the banks could and perhaps should harden the required guarantees. On the other hand, they shouldn't be hysterical because if they take over the Agrofert, that company will be immediately worth more again because it will be eligible for subsidies.

On top of that, the top prosecutor Mr Pavel Zeman has restarted the Stork's Nest subsidy fraud investigation – only against Babiš, his top secretary, and his (allegedly psychiatrically unhealthy) son Andrej Babiš Jr (who lives in Geneva), not the rest of family or others – that was suspiciously stopped by a lower prosecutor Mr Šaroch a few months ago. This is the kind of an event that tells me that despite some obvious pro-Babiš "bias" that is manifested at various places, the "government structures still work OK" in Czechia and regular citizens don't need and shouldn't intervene. The statement by Pavel Zeman was concise, balanced, and professional. He emphasized that Babiš remains formally innocent etc., too. That's how things should be. I have a better feeling about this stuff than about what Adam Schiff and comrades are doing in the U.S.

Yes, I think that you should learn from us now, Yankees. Especially the shifty Schiff and similar people should learn. You are supposed to be a fair judge in your job now – not a hardcore manipulative partisan. Is that really so hard?

Wednesday, December 04, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Solving information puzzle using replicas

Complexified Euclidean wormholes connecting the replicas save the day

As Yair has pointed out, last week, 5+4=9 quantum gravity big shots who scooped each other – and who were building insights while standing on the shoulders of the remaining 8 replicas that have produced lots of important prerequisites recently – coordinated the publication of two closely related papers

Replica Wormholes and the Entropy of Hawking Radiation (by AHMST, IAS+Ithaca)

Replica wormholes and the black hole interior (by PSSY, Stanford)
where they announced a great new way to look at the black hole interior, derive the black hole entropy, and resolve apparent contradictions related to the information puzzle. This new way involves replicas of black holes – and the exponential factors that are needed to account for the gravitational entropy are obtained from configurations in the path integral of Einstein's gravity in which the replicas are connected by wormholes.

The similarity of the titles and abstracts themselves seems amazing – it seems like circumstantial evidence that these nine physicists' offices are connected by another wormhole (the excessive, "American" capitalization of the 5-author title seems to be the most obvious difference LOL). The basic new ideas are shared by these preprints but they differ in technical aspects that make them rather complementary. The first, 5-author East Coast paper, discusses configurations with Anti De Sitter space connected to the Minkowski space etc. The second, 4-author West Coast paper uses the JT gravity coupled to the SYK model – two toy models that quantum gravity theorists loved to study in recent years.

Millennials are staggeringly poor

In the discussion under the previous blog post, we had to conclude that the political opinions related to the diversity and similar fashionable neo-Marxist buzzwords are heavily correlated with age. It's primarily the youth that has been radicalized, re-programmed to oppose previously undisputed values such as the freedom, capitalism, and even the GDP growth itself.

Even outside the Academia, this correlation seems obvious. To a large extent, the comparison of AOC and Joe Biden is representative. Both are leftists. Joe Biden is a leftist and a creep. But you know, he is an ordinary, old-fashioned creep. If you don't focus on details too much, you could say that he's basically a similar man as Donald Trump. I sincerely apologize to Mr President if he is offended. You know, I just wanted to make a qualitative point using an exaggerated metaphor and I am sure that others have appreciated that.

We see Millennials who are behaving crazily in many ways. Most of them want to abolish the freedom of speech. A huge fraction of them considers the GDP growth to be a bad thing – an idea that used to be unthinkable both among left-wing and right-wing people in recent decades and centuries. Hours ago, MSN and others published the remarkable graph above. It shows how the wealth of the cohorts differ.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Diversity statements: rebellious UC Davis under attack by far left warriors

Anti-Western, far left fanatics have taken over most of the Californian universities.

One of the shocking "improvements" that has been introduced by these pathological entities are the so-called "diversity statements". Newly hired people – especially in the mathematics departments – are obliged to submit "diversity statements" in which they not only plead loyalty to the far left movement but they must also present actual evidence that they have spent nonzero energy to fight against the whites, men, straight people, and other groups that the far left movement labeled undesirable.

Make no mistake about it. Everyone who is being hired under these conditions is a despicable being and I wouldn't sacrifice a minute to save his or her life. Instead, I could buy the air ticket needed to urinate on his or her grave.

Monday, December 02, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

"Confirmation bias" and "groupthink" are mostly verbally opposed by hypocritical lying demagogues

On Saturday, I argued against the widespread meme saying that

ideologies are bad and we must avoid them
which is extremely counterproductive because any coherent network of principles or propositions that allows us to treat, evaluate, compare, or interpret other ideas or statements rationally is an "ideology". The only question is which ideology we end up with. For understandable reasons, the "anti-ideological people" generally end up being more extreme and mindless leftists than anyone else. They are ready to embrace any idea claimed to be "progressive"; they can't fairly compare two things, people, or situations; they end up being people without any moral compass.

Here I want to mention that there exist at least two analogous fashionable beliefs:
groupthink is always bad

confirmation bias always is bad.
There exists a whole herd of people – perhaps a majority of mankind as of late 2019 – who unanimously believe in groupthink that the assertions above are self-evidently true. And I guess that my argumentation below will only confirm their belief in these two assertions. I sincerely hope that you have understood the relationship between the previous two sentences and the two blockquoted propositions above them. If you haven't and if you have read this blog post less than 999 times so far, go to the first sentence of the blog post and read again.

London stabbing victims and Darwin's award

I don't want to discuss every terrorist attack somewhere but the latest London Bridge stabbing ended up with quite some tragicomic explanation.

OK, on Friday, 2 pm London time, we learned about the mess at the London Bridge – a big flat ugly bridge, not to be confused with the tall and pretty Tower Bridge. Some heroes were fighting the attacker. Intelligent people on Twitter took it almost for granted that the attacker was a Muslim and most of them didn't even have to discuss this expectation. An unholy coalition of Islamization jihadists was preemptively attacking people for assuming that the culprit had to be a Muslim.

Make no mistake about it. The odds were way above 90% that the culprit behind a mass stabbing in London had to be a follower of the religion of peace. Non-Muslims simply aren't this obsessed about this ritual. Once the dust settled, it was clear that Usman Khan (28) – who was shot dead by police soon enough – was indeed the stabber; the ISIS publications have claimed that he was their warrior. The name makes it clear that he is as native a Briton as you can get ;-) – after all, his surname matches the surname of the mayor of London.

Vertical accelerations kill superfluid dark matter

The galaxies rotate close to the vinyl records – at least the absolute speed, if not the angular one, is almost independent on the distance from the center.

Einstein's or even Newton's gravity seems to predict much faster speeds near the center, close to Kepler's or Newton's model of the Solar System. This is the simplest manifestation of the fact that without some additions, Newton's or Einstein's predictions for the motion caused purely by the visible stars' gravity contradict the observed motion of galaxies.

There is a conceptually smooth solution to this discrepancy: postulate the existence of dark matter – matter that isn't seen in the telescopes because it doesn't interact with the electromagnetic field but that still affects the motion of the stars within galaxies. Every good theorist agrees that there is nothing wrong with a theory that has electrically neutral – and therefore "dark" – particle species. The refusal to add this "dark matter" may be labeled "MOND", Modified Newtonian Dynamics which assumes that the visible stars are responsible for all the motion which means that their "forces" must differ from the Newtonian ones in some way. MOND has celebrated some partial successes in predicting the speed patterns in a broad set of galaxies.

Even if we embrace dark matter, we don't know what it is made of. Axions and WIMPs remain the fundamental theoretical physicists' preferred choices (and maybe axions became a bit more likely in recent years when a big part of the WIMP parameter space was excluded) – but SIMPs and various other astrophysical objects named after superheroes have been proposed, MACHO, RAMBO, TERMINATOR, BRUCEWILLIS, GRETA, and others.

Saturday, November 30, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Ideologies are vital for civilizations

...and ultra-stupid ideas spread because people aren't ideologically anchored...

Under the previous blog post, kroshnix said that the European countries had the politicians they deserved – perhaps – and ended with the declaration that he hated the "ideological groupings (left, right, conservatives, libertarians, progressive, feminism and so on)" because "the world was much more complex and dynamic than that".

A three-dimensional ideological chart

Oops, kroshnix, this view won't be applauded here. Srikanth Hegde pointed out that ideas about what is true are naturally organized into ideologies – which is the case independently of any complexities or dynamism of the world. Well, I would go further: we need ideologies especially because the world is complex and dynamic. Without ideologies, people can get lost in the mess and the chaotic winds. Srikanth correctly pointed out that many MEPs who voted against the "climate emergency" did so basically because of a reasoned ideology and there's nothing wrong about it at all.