Saturday, November 28, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A childish topological TOE of mine and what made it unwise

When I achieved some real, important enough realizations about physics, like matrix string theory, I was happy but I slept well. Things suddenly fit together and after a few minutes, one may get pretty much certain that the nontrivial new statements are right. They pass a lot of consistency checks. One may try to deduce many consequences and calculate some other things. But once you know that it works, you may leave it for tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or someone else. Some fun should be left for the other people, shouldn't it?

It was the ultimately wrong ideas that have prepared several sleepless nights for me when I was a kid (or a teenager). And that may be how I learned that losing your sleep doesn't necessarily increase the depth of the theory. Let's discuss the theory. Sometime in 1987 when I was 14 or so, I decided that I had just found a theory of everything (of all elementary particles). Be ready, it was a theory of a nearly Leo Vyukesque "strawberry TOE" caliber.

Friday, November 27, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Hana Lipovská: birth of a legend

Can a modest young female scholar tame the neo-Marxist octopus in a country?

For a decade, I have read the IVK Newsletters published by the Institute of Václav Klaus, the second president of Czechia. Well, in recent 6 years, I have really read every sentence. The pro-freedom texts are very intelligent and touch many political, societal, and philosophical themes. One of the brilliant authors who has repeatedly caught my attention was Dr Hana Lipovská, now a 30-year-old economist. If you use a search engine, you will find out that this young scholar has published something between half a dozen and a dozen of books, including a serious economics textbook.

None of the superficial left-wing activists has read those things. Well, they wouldn't understand any of it. Many of them (including actresses who are painted as cornerstones of the intellectual elites of Czechia) are high school dropouts. Almost all of them are innumerate and some of them are borderline illiterate, too. Lipovská's texts may be considered sequences of dry, hard facts and logical reasoning. They're not the explosives full of misleading slogans and emotions that are useful to manipulate masses. In this sense, Lipovská's field is very similar to theoretical physics. It's no coincidence that between 2001 and 2005, we considered economist Larry Summers, the president of Harvard University, to be a natural ally of the physicists.

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.

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