Tuesday, November 19, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Globalist rabble vs Velvet ex-student with flowers

I think that if I didn't pay any attention to the media, the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution looked just fine and decent here in Pilsen, Bohemia's 2nd and Czechia's 4th largest city (170,000 people).

The removal of the (burning) red star from the roof of the former Western Bohemian regional communist party headquarters (American Avenue, across the street from the Skyscraper with McDonald's) was the most unique event here. People arrived for some show – simply remembering the fall of communism as a good thing, regardless of some political differences.

But some of the scenes from Prague looked disturbingly different. You may try additional videos from the same confrontation.

Sunday, November 17, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Volkswagen, not Škoda, should dominate the cheapest market segment

Shortly after the Velvet Revolution (the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia that began exactly 30 years ago today), the Volkswagen Group bought the Czech mass-market carmaker, Škoda (named Laurin & Klement up to the 1925 acquisition by Škoda Works in Pilsen), and it's been a success story. The car brand that inspired almost all the British car jokes has been turned into a formidable player – perhaps a more competitive one than Škoda was even during the celebrated interwar Czechoslovakia: the main source of pride in the 1930s was Škoda Popular whose price was CSK 17k-30k (most people had salaries below CSK 1,000 a month) and only sold 21,000 pieces in total which makes it clear why it wasn't such a big deal for Škoda Works (which produced 2,000 tanks per million crowns, among tons of other things) to acquire that carmaker.

In recent years, Škoda sells over 100,000 cars a month and has the 2nd highest profit margin in the VW Group (around 10%) after Porsche (which has around 15%), rather safely beating Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, and others. About 40% of the cars have been Škoda Octavia, the most important model which is the bestselling car model in a dozen of European countries – and many other countries. About 6.5 million Octavias have been sold so far.

Škoda famously doesn't export to North America.

Italian schools: 33 mandatory hours of climate hysteria a year

In this week, the media have announced that since September 2020, ten months from now, all Italian public schools will require the education in "climate science". It was ordered by the Italian minister of education, Lorenzo Fioramonti.

I think that this idea is insane – how much insane obviously depends on what they will actually teach.

The minister is a scholar in political sciences and a member of the unreadable, formally anti-establishment, Five Star Movement. The idea that a member of an "anti-establishment" party introduces something like that sounds surreal. Such an "anti-establishment" guy could be employed as a suppository in a DiCaprio-like establishment organ right away.

Friday, November 15, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Hype about a formula for eigenstates

OK, Charles wrote e-mails about this topic to me and I think that there's something to say. Quanta Magazine's Natalie Wolchover has announced that

Neutrinos Lead to Unexpected Discovery in Basic Math
It's a story revolving around the July paper
Eigenvalues: the Rosetta Stone for Neutrino Oscillations in Matter
by Denton, Parke, Zhang (who are smiling on a photograph). They have played with the neutrino oscillations whose relevant mathematics revolves around eigenstates and eigenvalues of \(3\times 3\) matrices. Just to avoid misunderstandings, these are tables with \(3\times 3=9\) numbers and the eigenvalue \(\lambda\) of the matrix \(M\) and the eigenstate \(\vec v\) are objects that obey \(M\cdot \vec v = \lambda \vec v\) where the dot is the matrix multiplication (entries of the result are the sums of products of elements of a row of the left matrix and entries of a column of the right matrix; you combine all columns with all rows and which ones you choose decides where you write the resulting sum of products in the resulting matrix) – that was my crash course of linear algebra LOL.

Thursday, November 14, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Totalitarianism circumvents but doesn't formally abolish the democratic institutions

Here we go again. I think that among the 8,000 blog posts on this blog, there must be one on the very same topic. Mike Gottlieb just joined Gene Day's approach to the recent trends in the U.S. and the U.K. – they rationalize everything that happens as if it were a manifestation of the individual or corporate freedom and democracy. All the banned users and fired rightwingers etc. are just fine – the companies etc. always have the right to fire and harass users, clients, and employees etc.

On the other side, we have people like me and Tom Vonk who see things extremely differently. The real difference probably boils down to the fact that Tom and I know in quite some detail how the totalitarian societies actually worked – while Mike and Gene just don't have a clue. So they're the happy frogs that are cooked in the gradually boiling water – according to a frog recipe that has been tried many times and at many places in the world's history.

The main misconception believed by Mike, Gene, and every chronic apologist for the decline of the Western civilization is the following thesis:

Democracy only starts to fail when the institution calling itself "the government" (as sketched in the constitution) comprehensibly declares the civil rights or freedoms or democracy to be abolished and starts to behave as if these principles no longer exist.
I think that you may find places where Mike, Gene, and others write an equivalent sentence – whose naivity matches that of a 3-year-old kid or at most the 9-year-old Hurvínek (the boy on the photograph, born in Pilsen in the 1920s; the comparison to Hurvínek is a Czech idiom for naivity).

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Customer is the king

...well, not quite, but the almost complete denial of this slogan of the markets is a big reason behind the ongoing decay of the Western societies...

OK, a week ago, I wrote about the shocking treatment of patients at a North Bristol hospital who are deemed politically incorrect. I believe that this flagrant violation of the Hippocratic Oath is a crime – in my country and also in the U.K. – and the rogue physicians would surely be punished in my country and will hopefully be punished in the U.K., too.

Physicians just can't refuse to help a patient for petty personal or political reasons. Even very unpopular and ugly mass killers who just returned from the prison have the right to be served by physicians if they pay for their health insurance! The idea that people in a city could be denied healthcare – just because they realize that e.g. mass immigration is a very bad thing – sounds utterly incredible. It is this kind of an idea that is a sufficient justification for wars.

Feynman's model meets an SJW writer

When I saw the title Virginia Trimble Has Seen the Stars in the Quanta Magazine, I thought that it was another obnoxious "women in science" piece that have contaminated most of the formerly pro-science media – in which a feminist unsuccessfully tries to selectively promote another feminist as a scientist, while pretending that this activity encourages equality – which is why I ignored it.

See more RPF's drawings

But this interview is something completely different, as I realized when I read it after someone recommended it to me! It is an interview with the prettiest female Caltech astronomer among seven who were there along with Feynman in the 1960s and 1970s. Virginia Trimble has joined faculty in 1971.

So she's an astronomer who has co-written 900 papers (see also Google Scholar), who has read every article in 23 astronomy journal since 1991, who became a chronicler of astronomy for years (although she still operates without a cell phone) as well as Strumia's colleague in "citation analyses", who says that "stars are no longer fashionable", who thinks that the Hubble constant discrepancy will be resolved because the experiments measure "different things" (maybe but my feeling is that she doesn't quite appreciate the depth of the problem – the fact that we don't really have any theory that explains all the data), and who is described as a participant of talks who usually succeeds in igniting discussions – a Feynmanesque trait.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Don Cherry fired for the vital truth, too

Don Cherry has been a Canadian ice-hockey player and for 40 years, he was one of the most famous ice-hockey commentators in the country. 4 decades is a long enough time. Check e.g. what he (a guy who disliked both Jágr and Russians) had to say in Nagano (in the middle of the 40-year-long interval) when Czechia beat Canada on its way to the Olympic gold. ;-)

Nothing dramatic should happen now, when he is 85 years old, right?

But we live in the era of the dramatic overgrowth of the unhinged fanatical SJWs which is why this expectation would be wrong. In his segment, Cherry made wise comments about the poppies and the Remembrance Day, Canada's version of the Veterans' Day.

Locations aren't more fundamental or more real than other observables

Agnes of Bohemia was canonized by John Paul II exactly 30 years ago today, five days before the Velvet Revolution. Her chapel is at Czeco Nelson, Antarctica, close enough given the depth of Czechs' Christian faith. Congratulations to all fellow Czech saints!

The title All Hermitian operators are observable(s) that I chose three days ago was rather general. But there's a more specific problem that was immediately manifested in some completely wrong comments in the discussion.
Lots of the laymen believe that the positions of objects are more fundamental or more real observables than others, and everything does reduce or should be reduced to them.
This myth is responsible for a large portion of the anti-quantum zeal, the recurring whining directed against the "Copenhagen Interpretation", and also the utterly misguided Bohmian, Everettian, or Ghirardian ideologies.

When I was six, I was going through the "wheels and gears" era of my physics. It looked cool that one could construct various devices composed of similar mechanical parts. I haven't ever produced a large number of such wheels and I didn't have too many of them – except for several LEGOs and a few other toys – so I remained a theorist. ;-) But the idea that all useful objects "should be" reduced to mechanical devices was something that I took as a part of my temporary faith.

Monday, November 11, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A serious critique of the real-world Asymptotic Safety program for quantum gravity

As I wrote e.g. here ten years ago, I consider Weinberg's "Asymptotic Safety" paradigm in quantum gravity to be a deep misunderstanding.

The program basically wants to ignore the non-renormalizability of Einstein's equations; and special "non-local" phenomena discovered in recent decades, including holography. Instead, it wants to treat Einstein's equations as if they were on par with QCD and the theory became asymptotically free (or more precisely, having finite couplings but vanishing beta-functions) at high energy scales – which could determine the theory at lower energy scales, too.

Sunday, November 10, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Why European communism fell in 1989

Thirty years ago, the Berlin Wall physically collapsed. On November 17th, 1989, the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution abruptly started by a student demonstration commemorating Nazi-and-students-related events on November 17th, 1939.

Well, three decades ago, communism fell in Central and Eastern Europe. And those people who find this event important – and I surely do – discuss what were the reasons. Because the intensity of these discussions is pretty low, it's rather normal for various people to offer rather different interpretations of the causes.

Video on YouTube, click.
May 1990, the first allowed modern celebrations of the liberation of Pilsen by Patton's troops. Jan Vyčítal's most famous song of that event, "Back in the 45th", mostly talks about the communist-era lies concerning the liberator. The atmosphere on the street resembled November 1989 (half a year earlier) again but it was more relaxed and the average participants were less political than in November 1989.

Ex-president Klaus mentioned that communism in Czechoslovakia fell by itself, it wasn't destroyed by the dissidents. Clearly, 2,000 dissidents who had been labeled asocial drunkards couldn't have been enough to change the regime – although I think that their role was vastly greater than their percentage in the population. Klaus likes to emphasize the role of the "demos" and the ordinary enough people – and the irrelevance of the folks around Havel. Of course I mostly agree with Klaus although I did consider myself a teenage dissident in 1989. ;-)

Saturday, November 09, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

All Hermitian operators are observable(s)

The main reasons behind the omnipresent denial of quantum mechanics are simply

  • the ideologically rooted stubbornness that makes these people insist on the rules of classical physics
  • generally absent physics-related innate aptitude
Those would-be thinkers who keep on writing completely wrong books saying "whiny whine, there is something wrong about quantum mechanics and Copenhagen, whiny whine" are simply too ideological and too dumb for modern physics. These traits define their personalities and there's no easy way to fix them: something is simply missing.

However, the universal rules of quantum mechanics don't seem too hard. They are natural, straightforward, and may be explained on several lines. An observer perspective must exist; the observer inserts the knowledge about the measured observables (Hermitian operators) in terms of the wave function or density matrix; evolves these collections of complex numbers unitarily; and predicts the probabilities of future measurements via Born's rule while every new measurement is accompanied (really: mathematically expressed) by "collapsing" the wave function into the appropriate eigenstate (the projection onto the right space of eigenstates).

Friday, November 08, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Africa may finally outlaw, go after the neck of climate fearmongers

One paradoxical aspect of the climate hysteria is that it is directed against the wrong people – and those who fight against the climate hysteria seem to be an illogical subset of mankind like us, too.

In particular, the Western nations – where the pollution is low and even much of the energy production has been replaced by "renewable" sources, according to one definition or another – are those that are being pushed towards an ever greater fear while the mainly Asian giants such as China and India don't seem to care much. Clearly, the explanation is that the carbon dioxide isn't the real point of the climate hysteria: the political control over the Western society is the actual goal.

Equatorial Guinea, Africa's only Spanish-speaking country

On the other hand, it is people like us – members of nations that could marginally afford to almost completely switch to "renewable sources" – who are also the most active opponents of the climate hysteria. However, in reality, it is the poor world – starting with Africa – that could be most existentially damaged if some global restrictions on CO2 were introduced. As Soph has pointed out, they can't afford sanitation let alone fudging solar panels.

A somewhat funny Columbia resignation due to a trans-Juliet

Today, Sam Owen (via Jason Epstein) sent me a fun Romanian TV interview with a Romanian-born scholar:

You may turn on the English subtitles in this 4-minute-long segment – and the whole 47-minute-long interview is also available.

It's another example of the fact that the post-communist Europe is being increasingly entertained by the folks who return from America and report that everyone has lost his or her or xir mind over there. It's a black humor but it's funny because it's true.

Thursday, November 07, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Hostage crisis at a Bristol hospital goes into 3rd day

"Conservative" PM BoJo seems totally impotent in the fight against the killers

It seems to me that the unhinged extreme left-wing fanatics have increased their insane activities by an order of magnitude or two, relatively to what we had just one year if not several months ago. Every day, we read several reports e.g. about 11,000 scientifically illiterate, psychiatrically unstable morons who are called "scientists" by their lying comrades in the media and who scream that this time, the sky is really falling and "untold suffering" is imminent.

Meanwhile, while a lazy and hysterical Swedish spoiled brat found herself on the wrong side of the Atlantic Ocean, incapable of getting over the ocean to a "COP25" party of the climate cultists in a carbon-neutral way, 25,000 of her comrades have realized that they have a very similar problem. They also need to go to Madrid instead of Santiago.

A whole town of flabbergasting morons who claim that mankind needs to "fight against the CO2 emissions" has to be needlessly moved from the American continent to the European continent. Isn't it ironic? Can't they just do their business via Skype and a YouTube live stream? OK, they should just pick thousands of the private jets and Greta+Pope should canonize the jets and declare that they miraculously flew in a carbon-neutral way.