## Monday, January 20, 2020 ... //

### Kubera, Czech constitution's man #2, abruptly dies

I do think that the cigarettes "helped" the sudden cardiovascular event to come

The chairman of the Senate, the upper chamber of the Czech Parliament, Mr Jaroslav Kubera abruptly died today (of a heart attack, unconfirmed reports say; ambulance was transferring him to a cardiovascular center), at age of 72. He belonged to the tolerable wing (or at least to the joint connecting the wing with the chest) of ODS, the Klaus-founded party that I supported up to Spring 2019.

Source: Profimedia.cz. Sorry, I couldn't find a picture without a cigarette, such moments were rare

He's been a true veteran of (nationwide and North Bohemian regional) politics. He was chosen as the chairman of the Senate in 2018 and, as promised, he became the uniter and the social glue that dramatically improved the relationships between the main constitutional representatives of Czechia and the parties, too.

## Friday, January 17, 2020 ... //

### Critic of science: universities should protect physics students from Arkani-Hamed's ideas on QFTs

...the ultimate safe spaces...

Mark Goodsell is a young (but habilitated) HEP professor at LPTHE, Paris. He has a not very well-known blog, Real Self Energy, and wrote something about the critics of HEP yesterday:

How to make progress in High Energy Physics
His article starts with an LHCb CERN press release about some... 1-sigma... flavor violation seen by the experiment that is sort of compatible with some other flavor violation excesses at LHCb. That's great and it might indeed be a small step towards making a clear picture of a new, flavor-violating (electron-muon-asymmetric) phenomenon or a new decaying particle.

But even if that will be the case, I am afraid that I will always consider a 1-sigma step as something that is right to ignore – and I would see it in this way even if the flavor-violating new physics is discovered and I reinterpret the history with hindsight.

## Thursday, January 16, 2020 ... //

### The culture of chronic complainers

The decay of the Western society is mostly powered by the postmodern Left. All of us know the typical words associated with this growing, degenerated portion of the society – verbs that must be repeated more often than Allah is repeated by the Muslims. They're words like

discriminate, privilege, oppression, victim, microaggression, offended, diversity, outrage, cancel, racism, Islamophobia, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, pedophilophobia
and many others. Clearly, some of these are associated with radicals who still represent at most 15% of the Western nations. But there is one "more civilian" verb that used to be rather normal but whose role in the society has transformed to dangerous proportions and it's the verb
to complain.
Each of us may sometimes complain, there may be good reasons for it but complaints may also be unjustified. My main point is that our societies have transformed to the worshipers of complainers.

## Wednesday, January 15, 2020 ... //

### Craig Wright claims to have received $10 billion ...it's more likely that he is Satoshi... The prices of cryptocurrencies have increased by something of order 10% in a recent day or two. The total capitalization is$238 billion at this moment, the BTC Bitcoin is 66.4% of it i.e. $158 billion. It's followed by Ethereum at$18 billion, Ripple at $10 billion and... BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi Vision) championed and engineered by Craig Wright has become the 4th cryptocurrency by capitalization, over$6 billion right now (since Christmas, its price has quadrupled).
The fifth is the old Bitcoin Cash (it jumped above BSV some hours after this text was written, it's a fierce contest), the sixth is Tether USD, and the seventh is the Litecoin.

The main reason is that Craig Wright, the Australian self-admitted father of the Bitcoin, has submitted the documents claiming that he has received the keys needed to unlock his BTC 1.1 million (well, plus over a million of all other forks of the Bitcoin). Only he can be sure whether he may unlock the coins but a sufficient market was persuaded by the validity of the claim.

## Monday, January 13, 2020 ... //

### Cosmologists neglecting the motion of the Solar System are crackpots

For a year or two, all of us were aware of discrepancies in the measurement of Hubble's constant.

Several updated, comparably plausible methods yield values of $H_0$ that differ by as much as 10%. I think that without the elimination of some of these determinations, we are forced to admit that very many cosmological parameters, perhaps including the age of the Universe, are only known with the precision of 10% or so and the "high-precision cosmology" started in the late 1990s was an illusion, at least at this moment it should be treated as one.

It is possible that the resolution to these strange results will be mundane – some error in some of the methods. It may be very deep, connected with some of the deepest facts about string theory that we still don't understand – some deep insights that will completely change our views about the landscape, swampland, and the cosmological constant in string theory. There exist various strategies by which the people try to wrestle with this new Hubble confusion.

### Jonathan Kerr, a new featured anti-quantum warrior

Dark energy an error? Phys.org reviewed a one-month-old Korean preprint claiming to have made measurements and showing that type IA supernovae's light intensity is correlated with their population age, after all. Such an "astrophysical" drift of the "standard candles" may mimic the "cosmological" behavior attributed to dark energy and dark energy as extracted from the supernovae may therefore be spurious. Of course it's plausible (and would be far-reaching if true), we may hear from others soon... Well, Rubin+Heitlauf have already claimed that the Koreans err in their treatment of distributions and even neglect the motion in the Solar System. Colin et al. (who wrote a similar paper to the Koreans in August 2018) disagree and they even criticize the corrections from the Solar System motion as "arbitrary corrections". Sorry, this is silly. Failing to recognize Galileo's "And yet it moves" is a pretty serious and unquestionable mistake. Galileo isn't an "arbitrary correction". ;-)
We haven't discussed the "mainstream" media's hype about a perfectly deluded critic of quantum mechanics for a few weeks.

Well, Max told us that there is no hiatus. The Telegraph's Sarah Knapton (also reprinted at MSN) chose the title
New theory of quantum mechanics shows matter is not in the eye of the observer
We're promised that a 19-page-long paper (PDF) will soon appear in a "well-respected peer-reviewed journal". By a complete accident, a popular book by the author, Jonathan Kerr, just appeared in the bookstores (click at the icon in the corner) and the Telegraph readers are encouraged to buy it.

## Saturday, January 11, 2020 ... //

### Bitcoin halvening optimistic arguments, an example of wishful thinking

A great portion of the activists' arguments that are completely irrational may be classified as symptoms of a wishful thinking. Czech ex-president Klaus who has spent years by fights against the wishful thinking would also add the term in German where he has used it often, Wunschdenken. In general, these people often conflate two things:

1. What is true or what is likely to happen
2. What would be good for me or for my favorite product or my social system or my political movement
Arguments defending socialism are often of this type because they implicitly assume that people behave in ways that would make socialism work. They just ignore the fact that according to observations or logical arguments, people actually behave very differently.

The mandatory belief that $P\neq NP$ in computer science is arguably another example of a wishful thinking. The actual argument that drives those people towards the fanatical $P\neq NP$ faith is that $P$ couldn't possibly be $NP$ because if $P$ were equal to $NP$, computers could someday replace the thinkers and left-wing intellectuals (who are looking for the path for a traveling salesman when they're not destroying Trump cereals, the job of theirs that they actually care about) would become unemployed.

It mustn't happen that they become useless, the reasoning goes, and therefore $P\neq NP$. However, this argument is totally irrational. It may just happen that $P = NP$ and the exponent and prefactor may even be low and some people's work could really become cheap etc. It could be bad for some people but it doesn't mean that it's untrue or impossible. After all, computers and robots are replacing many of these occupations right now, almost completely independently of someone's belief in $P$ vs $NP$.

### Truth on Ukrainian Boeing, arsonists slowly unmasks itself

Hours after an Ukrainian Boeing 737 crashed near Tehran, I wrote:

I don't know about you but I would think that the Ukrainian aircraft near Tehran - 180 casualties - was taken down as a part of the revenge against the U.S. and "its allies". [...]
Well, it took a day before before the U.S. and Canadian intelligence services (and any sources in the West) joined me.

For another day, Iran denied that the Boeing was downed by any missiles. Finally, on Saturday morning, Iran admitted that the Iranians shot down the airplane, indeed. It was a mistake, we hear. Well, maybe, we don't know and we will probably never know for sure (because any such intentional downing may be claimed to be a mistake and vice versa, any mistaken downing may be claimed as an achievement by a warrior) but it's almost certainly a "mistake" related to the ongoing U.S.-Iranian tension. It's just extremely unlikely that the same country of Iran would see such two major events at almost the same time if they were unrelated to each other.

I hope that this tragedy will help to calm down the situation. 147 Iranians died along with 12 Afghani, 11 Ukrainians, and 6 Westerners. However, many Iranians had some dual citizenship, too. Some ancestry matters to most of us, however, so most of the fatalities were Persian in this sense.

## Thursday, January 09, 2020 ... //

### Dollar: 500th birthday

LHC: ATLAS likelihoods offer theoretical physicists a new way to access the open HEPdata: see CERN, ATLAS
Today, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of the dollar. Well, it was pronounced and spelled "tolar" back in 1520 but the "dollar" is clearly a result of the evolution of that word. And yes, the dollar was born in a Czech town where 3,500 people live right now, Jáchymov.

The same town is also the source of uraninite that has allowed Marie Sklodowska to discover radium and therefore radioactivity. In 1898, she along with a French assistant and the first major sex toy Pierre Curie discovered radioactivity in that ore; in 1910, she isolated radium (along with polonium) inside these rocks.

If you click at the dirty coin above, you may buy a tolar from 1550 or so – minted a few decades after the 1520 beginning – for as little as \$500.

The BBC published a fun story, Welcome To Jáchymov, the Czech Town That Invented the Dollar. Cutely enough, we learn that no one in the town accepts the dollars today – only crowns, euros, and perhaps roubles seem to be OK – and they haven't seen an American for 3 years. This town which is really the "Mother of All Federal Reserves" should be a tourist magnet for the Yankees on steroids but it isn't.

## Wednesday, January 08, 2020 ... //

### Donald Knuth clarifies why $P=NP$ seems likely

Neutrino physics: IceCube has ruled out an astrophysical explanation of the strange ANITA events, see arXiv, by placing an upper limit on the flux from the would-be sources, thus strengthening the odds that they have observed a stau (supersymmetric partner of the tau lepton $\tilde \tau_R$)
Old men who have been amazing contributors to STEM fields evolve in various ways. When I randomly saw the 599th followup of the Weak Gravity Conjecture – the first hep-th paper posted in 2006 (hep-th/0601001: I didn't have to be particularly fast to get this nice number), it turned out to be a paper titled "Musings..." by Mikhail Shifman who got an even better number arXiv:2001.00101 but it only appeared on a historical archive dedicated to crackpots, senile men, and the public.

Shifman has been great and he's still extremely active but I think that he has lost the ability to follow and evaluate the new ideas from the truly best physicists who are around right now. In many respects, the paper seems as shallow as the whining by many childish fake scientists who just repeat "physics or string theory must be wrong because I don't understand why they're correct, so it must be bad science or no science" and all this amazing garbage often heard from the failers-to-think who pretend to be thinkers.

Thanks to Willie Soon for the video

When I listen to Donald Knuth, it's a totally different experience: even though he sometimes stutters (and if you are annoyed by this superficial imperfection like I am, believe me that our reactions are mostly due to our compassion and intelligence, we just can't help ourselves), he is clearly the intellectual master in the room, despite the fact that the young host Lex Fridman isn't just a journalist. He is developing some AI and autonomous vehicles at MIT. But relatively to Knuth and his depth, Fridman sounds like just another journalist who is interviewing someone who is vastly smarter.

Between 58:02 and 1:10:05 in this 1:46:00 long interview, he addresses his reasons to think that $P=NP$ is more likely than $P\neq NP$ although many people would love to promote the latter to the only allowed faith. I have previously discussed Knuth and $P=NP$ in 2016.

### Fukushima: boars, pheasants, monkeys...

The Fukushima-ruining earthquake took place 8.9 years ago (TRF about Fukushima) and whole irrational nations that live tens of thousands of kilometers away have abused that event as an excuse to abandon the nuclear energy entirely.

Nations such as the so-called Germans will pretend that there are no nuclei sitting in the heart of each atom, no seeds where the characteristic energy changes are one million times higher than the energy associated with the atomic orbitals i.e. the state of the electrons. Given the fact that Germans suck this much in nuclear energy, you must forgive Werner Heisenberg that he wasn't capable of producing the damn bomb.

Meanwhile, like in Chernobyl, animals behave as if this weren't even a local catastrophe, let alone a global one:

Wildlife is doing just fine... (ZME)

Rewilding of Fukushima's human evacuation zone (Frontiers of Ecology and Env.)
James Beasley et al. from University of Georgia have installed lots of camera traps at 106 places in the region around the Japanese nuclear power plant.

## Tuesday, January 07, 2020 ... //

### Bushfires: 183 arrested

...including 24 arsonists: State of Fear?

The Australian bushfires look terrible and half a billion animals may have died (including 18 animals from the homo sapiens species).

The authenticity of this apparent photograph has been disputed, see the comments.

Some sources say that these are the worst Australian bushfires in the living memory. Jennifer Marohasy disagrees and argues that it has been hotter and fires have burnt larger areas, in January 1889 and Summer 1938-1939, respectively (yes, Australia has a summer when we have the winter).

## Monday, January 06, 2020 ... //

### A paper on highly damped quasinormal modes

According to InspireHEP.net, our quasinormal paper with Andy Neitzke joined our "famous" articles according to their terminology (250+ cits; more inclusive Google Scholar shows 302) because a two-year-old Indian thesis was finally scanned.

It was a fun calculation with a rather exciting pre-history and post-history – with lots of interesting technicalities but also some very general conceptual insights about the scientific method as a general approach to the truth. I described much of the context in A Quasinormal Story On Quasinormal Modes but let me add a few more comments about this specific paper.

## Sunday, January 05, 2020 ... //

### Will Trump turn Iraq into a full-blown enemy?

Exactly 50 years ago today, Max Born died. In 2020, it's common for pseudoscientific activists to question the fundamentally probabilistic meaning of quantum mechanics that brought him his Nobel Prize.
Donald Trump has decided to assassinate Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a widely respected general in Iran whom Trump blames for the death of many Americans and for his plans to murder many more. The U.S. military has fulfilled Trump's order flawlessly. Some extra powerful Iraqi folks were assassinated, too.

Iran vs U.S., perhaps a helpful 101 ten-minute-long video.

I am willing to believe that there is a good justification for the assassination of that Gentleman and even if his personal guilt were insufficient, I think that it may be a good idea for the U.S. to remind Iran who is stronger – before a hypothetical peaceful negotiation takes place. But I am not actually sure that the attack was a great idea. Also, I am not sure whether it was mainly decided as a Trump's idiosyncrasy, or by the deep state, or by the public opinion.

Even more curiously, I am not sure what I would do if I could make such decisions. Well, I didn't really know what to think about the 2003 Iraq War, either.