Thursday, November 23, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

When you should jump out of a (Bitcoin) bubble

No reliable answer may be said, of course, but the math is still interesting

Let me assume that the reader agrees that there is some probability of a huge, fast enough, cataclysmic collapse of the Bitcoin price – when the long-term sentiment dramatically changes, most people agree that the future trend is "down" so they try to escape as quickly as possible, or some big ban in an important country is enacted etc. That's the bad news. Let's assume that the probability of the sudden death is described by the mathematics of the decay of a radioactive nucleus.

On the other hand, there are good news: Let's assume that before the sudden death, the Bitcoin price will grow exponentially. We neglect some 20% fluctuations away from the growing line which are the "normal error margins" in the Bitcoin world. OK, what does mathematics tell you about how quickly you should sell your Bitcoins and how much you should hold at each moment? Surely smooth mathematics recommends you some nice algorithm quantifying what percentage you should sell tomorrow, what percentage you should sell next month, and so on.

Well, it doesn't. It tells you something less smooth and simpler. ;-)

Number of papers goes up quickly, number of readers doesn't

Number of readers per paper goes down, it's bad, and should be fixed

Someone asked the following question at Quora:

Does the number of academic papers grow faster than eyeballs are available to read them?
Jay Wacker – whom I have known at Harvard – has responded with a funny joke (which I will tell you more concisely). "If you stack all the papers that are written, the top of the pile will move faster than light in 2 years. It looks like a conflict with relativity but it isn't: relativity only prohibits information from moving faster than light."

But he – and others – basically uniformly denounce the worry that is implicit in the question. Lots of people are reading papers etc. I just don't think so. I would love to know the numbers – how many readers a median paper in one or another discipline has – but I've followed some trends and the approximate numbers seem to make it obvious that the number of papers grows faster than the time in man-hours that people dedicate to reading them, which makes it unavoidable that every page is read by a substantially smaller number of eyes than years or decades ago.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Thankfully, Alphabet's chairman realizes Google can't determine which side is right

Plus some disillusionment from suggestions that the truth must be profitable

Willie Soon sent me a link to a yesterday's CNBC article,

Alphabet's Eric Schmidt: It can be 'very difficult' for Google’s search algorithm to understand truth
Eric Schmidt, a boss of Google's parent company, expresses his opinion that Google isn't capable of determining which side of news is right and which is fake when two sides vigorously and fundamentally disagree about something. Hopefully, it should also mean that Google won't try to play the "minister of truth" in a foreseeable future.

Ivo Lukačovič, the owner of, a Czech local competitor of Google's, has been saying for years that he won't be dragged to politics etc. and be abused as a stamp of the truth by one side or another.

I think that Trump's victory has helped to calm down these worries about the Orwellian evolution in the U.S. 1984 may still be coming but I think it seems more distant now than it looked a year ago plus two weeks, before the latest U.S. presidential election. This optimistic description applies to the U.S. as a whole, not to some worst environments: for example, many universities already live in 1984.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Feminism and Bitcoin: two faces of Millennials' emptiness and relative truth

When increasingly ludicrous rewriting of the reality becomes a source of pride and identity for a whole generation

The generation born around 2000 – the Millennials – have been brainwashed by some stunningly stinky extreme left-wing lies at schools and outside schools. The consequences for their thinking have been devastating. Socialism is more popular than capitalism among those. Lots of these people are attracted to mass killers such as Che Guevara. They don't have any respect for freedom, the free market, and democracy.

And so far I only mentioned that old-fashioned, 19th century type of the extreme left-wing ideologies that used to worship the workers. These young folks have been much more contaminated by the postmodern left-wing ideologies – the cultural Marxism. That includes teachings such as feminism, homosexualism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, global warming alarmism, and others. The first goal of all this indoctrination is to make these people doubt the most self-evident facts out there, e.g.:

Most of the civilization has been built by men and, at least in recent 500 years, white men.

Heterosexual contact is more healthy and aligned with Nature's original purpose than alternative sexual orientations.

Carbon dioxide is a gas that is absolutely vital for the current life on Earth.

\(\pi\) is a perfect mathematical constant.
And others. After this lobotomy or simultaneously with this lobotomy, the teenagers have been encouraged to believe lots of would-be analogous but "more politically correct" counterparts of these statements such as
The civilization was equally built by all sexes and skin colors and if it wasn't, it's only because the white men are hardcore oppressors who need to be suppressed.

Gays are cooler than straight people, there also exist 28 additional genders, and everyone can choose zer own.

Carbon dioxide is a top villain and we must work hard to remove it from the atmosphere and punish those who emit it.

\(\pi\) is just a white male construct and its value actually depends on the degree of oppression by that evil group.
And others. Everyone who verbally prefers the latter statements over the former is demonstrably either a brain-dead, scientifically illiterate moron, or an optimized liar and shameless demagogue who probably spreads these ludicrous lies in order to elevate himself and his ideological and political allies. At any rate, the number of people in these two groups is staggeringly high and it kept on growing.

Monday, November 20, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Big advances in our understanding of the character of symmetries in Nature

Exact symmetries can't be global and all similar qualitative predictions of string theory seem to be getting experimental confirmations

Luke and Don tried to read

Symmetry and Emergence,
a written version of Edward Witten's talk for the American Physical Society in Utah, April 2016. Luke has decided that the stuff is hard and the text is not too comprehensible. I read it and it's a nice, comprehensible summary of the progress in physicists' understanding of symmetries in Nature. Well, I know this stuff so everything is comprehensible to me. Can I do better in explaining these things? Am I more patient than Witten? I am not sure. My texts about similar topics e.g. in 2009 and 2011 were not significantly more popular than Witten's.

But let me try.

What is a symmetry? Symmetry is an important idea in mathematics and physics. In the mathematical and physical understanding of the word, the symmetry isn't just "any kind of beauty" or "aesthetically pleasing virtue" of an object – which could be imagined by someone who is really detached from the exact content of the phrase. Symmetries are transformations you can do with an object – or the history of the Universe – so that the object looks the same afterwards (in the case of the object) or the history still obeys the same laws of physics (in the case of the symmetries of the laws).

Saturday, November 18, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Dark matter source of cosmic ray positrons more likely: a paper

The old intriguing PAMELA experiment and perhaps newer ones by Fermi-LAT and AMS-02 have discovered lots of positrons – the antiparticles of electrons – in the cosmic rays whose flux is generally higher than expected. Such positrons may originate from dark matter and would amount to an "almost direct detection" of the particles that make up dark matter.

That would be very exciting. However, there may also be more boring, astrophysical, sources of these positrons, and pulsars in particular (magnetized neutron stars or white dwarfs emitting a beam of electromagnetic radiation). Some pieces of matter may emit lots of junk and these processes may be completely compatible with the Standard Model – i.e. just slightly more extreme than when you cook a food in your kitchen.

Margining Bitcoin futures is possible

I sold all my cryptocurrencies two days ago – the second SEPA transfer arrived to my bank from AnyCoinDirect.EU just 5 hours after my Ethereum payment which is rather incredible – and the time I waste by watching movements in the cryptocurrencies has dropped significantly. In fact, I believe that the mankind wastes an insane amount of time by watching the events and wiggles of the Bitcoin and this time multiplied by a minimum salary could easily trump the whole Bitcoin capitalization every year by itself.

CME should start the Bitcoin futures in the second week of December. As Coin Telegraph informed its readers, big investment VIP Thomas Peterffy wrote a letter saying that "it's impossible to margin such a [Bitcoin futures] product" and the unlimited swings, especially the upside swings threaten the broker and all of its clients who hold safe products, too. So these things should be isolated.

I agree with him that aside from some continuity, the Bitcoin prices are a sequence of basically random numbers where no reasonable limits may be placed on the day-to-day price changes etc. And I agree with him that this "asset" is immature and its advocates are financially illiterate imbeciles. But I don't quite agree that it's impossible to offer a safe product based on such flimsy foundations.

Friday, November 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The most frustrating anniversary of Velvet Revolution since 1989

November 17th is a major Czech holiday. We celebrate the "Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy". This definition was a compromise codified by some lawmakers to point that the the celebration reminds us both of

  • November 17th, 1939, when Nazis closed the Czech universities in response to the anti-Nazi activities by the students, especially during the funeral of Mr Jan Opletal who was fatally injured during the previous October 28th (1918 anniversary) rally. For this reason, this day became the International Student Day, the only widely celebrated international holiday fully inspired by the modern Czech history. Communists celebrated that day as well – which is why it became softly but perhaps unfairly connected with their regime.
  • November 17th, 1989, when students of the Charles University in Prague (my Alma Mater) reminded themselves of the 50th anniversary of the event above. They were also dissatisfied with many things about the totalitarian regime, they were beaten by the police, and the protests against the police action kickstarted the Velvet Revolution i.e. the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia.
I only remember the latter rather well – and I actively participated in the events as a high school student. I have written numerous blog posts about the Velvet Revolution in previous years. It seems to me that I could take the basic changes made in 1989 for granted. In 2017, on the 28th anniversary, I am no longer confident.

Some really good 2017 time lapse video of Prague, by a Russian.

In the Parliament that arose from the most recent elections, about 1/2 of the lawmakers represent parties that openly prefer the communist regime over the post-1989 capitalism. As recently as one year ago, I was torturing myself with the nightmare of a coming government of the communist party (which hasn't participated in any government since the June 1990 elections, not even indirectly) and ANO, an anti-capitalist party led by a communist apparatchik and a communist secret agent who also became a billionaire because of his communist-era contacts, special knowledge, and his predator status based on the absolute absence of any morality (and because he escaped Slovakia before they would put him to jail for a long time).

Thursday, November 16, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Author of Czech tramping anthem dies

An hour ago, everyone was told that songmaker Mr Wabi Daněk died at 70. He has recorded lots of songs but the most famous one was his 1970 song "Dew on the Tracks".

It has become the anthem of the Czech tramping. Now, the word "tramp" surely sounds like a perfectly English word – sometimes, Czechs pronounce it "tramp", sometimes they read it like a Czech word, e.g. "trump" (which makes it even more relevant nowadays). I have heard or said the word every other day for 5 years before I learned how to say "I am" in English. ;-) Nevertheless, Wikipedia basically tells us that the word "tramping" is either from Czechia or from New Zealand, see a disambiguation page. Kiwis consider tramping to be "a style of backpacking".

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Scandalous EU behavior towards Poland reminds us of the Third Reich

As various news outlets told us, the European Parliament approved a resolution slinging mud at Poland that may be used to launch the process against the member state.

The Polish anthem has the music (by an unknown composer) of the pan-Slavic anthem – check e.g. Hey Slavs, the Czech edition with Samuel Tomášik's lyrics (written in Czech by a Slovak priest who was terrified to hear so much German during his 1834 trip to Prague LOL), or the defunct Yugoslav anthem as well as the Slovak Clerofascist State's ruling party's anthem.

I am absolutely shocked by this development and especially its contrast with the EU's support for the recent Spanish fascist campaign against the basic civic rights of the Catalans. 438 "deputies" supported the resolution, 152 were against, 71 abstained. (Almost one-half of MEPs have bought by Soros and Soros brags that they became "reliable friends". Note that he recently gave shocking $18 billion to his sick Open Foundation. How many such sluts may he buy when there are many sluts who will work for $50?) Polish prime minister reacted on Twitter: she will discuss the "scandalous developments" in the European Parliament on Friday. Hungary has used the same adjective. The foreign minister was shocked by the debate
in the EU Parliament.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Escaping the crypto-world: links for you

During the recent months, I spent a lot of time with the cryptocurrencies – studying what they are technologically, economically, as well as sociologically, how the people feel, why they believe what they believe, and so on.

Tony was very kind and brought me to the crypto-world as a practical person, not just a theorist, by his generous donation denominated in the Bitcoin. About one-half of that donation quickly evaporated by random conversions and depreciation of Bitcoin Cash at some moment etc., it's a wild world. I converted one-half of the rest to the Czech currency and played with the remaining half – unfortunately, it was in the tetherized dollar during the recent big growth of the Bitcoin price.

Monday, November 13, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Weinstein's view on quanta, geometry is upside down

Big Think has posted the following 10-minute monologue by Eric Weinstein, a trader working for Peter Thiel, the guy who is not the author of the Wolfram Mathworld (just a similar name, thanks psi_bar), a guy who promised us a theory of everything but all we got so far was some incoherent babbling, and the brother of a far left ex-professor who has nevertheless become a target of some of his approximate comrades, namely fanatical reverse racists in the Academia.

Weinstein says that in the recent 40 years, we've made a big progress in "mathematics of field theory" which was good for quantum field theory and general relativity. OK, one could perhaps summarize the progress in this way although I wouldn't. But in the following sentence, he complains that

we ended up geometrizing the quantum rather than quantizing gravity which we had wanted
and that's supposed to be "disappointing" because physicists only got a "golden age of mathematics of theoretical physics" rather than "golden age of theoretical physics". Wait a minute, this is quite a statement that deserves some commentary.

Sunday, November 12, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Bitcoin congestion singularity may be coming

The Bitcoin is under pressure since Friday.

According to, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – the cheaper, faster would-be main Bitcoin with bigger blocks that was created in August – is already the #1 cryptocurrency by trading volume – over $10 billion a day. Much of the trading takes place at Korean exchanges. But maybe it's not Koreans behind the purchases of Bitcoin Cash; it could be Chinese with accounts in Korea, too. Bitcoin Cash is also the #2 cryptocurrency after Bitcoin Core (BTC) by capitalization – ahead of Ethereum (although it's a statistical tie most of the day and ETH may occasionally get above BCH). I was always sure that it was the most promising cryptocurrency and held a lot in it – but I was too impatient and sold when it was $400. It's over $1,800 now. These changes aren't unusual.

The number of BTC unconfirmed transactions is around 160,000 – on Friday evening, it was already bad, 80,000 – doubling in less than two days. There are some 250,000 transactions on a weekend day. Clearly, the number is growing and I believe that by Monday, the unconfirmed transactions will actually surpass the 240,000 record high from May 2017.