Friday, February 28, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Calculation of particle masses without string theory is implausible

...or any comparably deep advance in fundamental physics...

Anna V has mentioned a seemingly interesting March 10th Greek talk about a paper that claims to calculate the elementary particle masses with 1% precision out of some gravitational attraction between objects matching the ideas of a schoolkid at an elementary school.

Off-topic, experiment: the gravitational force has been measured down to 50 microns, Newton may relax, he is still OK.
The paper is childish nonsense, of course. You can't answer difficult questions like that with the elementary school algebra (and ideas). The authors have obviously not understood the difficulty of the problem – which is not far from the completion of a theory of everything – even at some vague qualitative level. To derive particle masses, you almost surely need to use the Standard Model gauge group, the representation theory for the particles, non-diagonal mass matrices and their eigenvalues, and probably also the renormalization group running, aside from many other hard components. It's almost guaranteed that very simple formulae with the 1% precision can't exist and even if the final low-energy masses could be given by a miraculously simple formula, you can't possibly derive or justify such a formula from some understanding of particle physics which seems absent in the paper.

As far as I can see, the authors haven't even understood the vast range that the masses span i.e. the hierarchy. They're described by various hierarchies, including the hierarchies in the Yukawa couplings and, in their case, also the standard hierarchy between the weak scale and the Planck scale (which they claim to use). And even a qualitative answer to the question "why those parameters seem so vastly different" seems extremely difficult.

The hierarchy problem has been studied by a huge fraction of theoretical particle physicists for half a century, they have used a lot of ideas and difficult tools, and there's no "clearly winning" solution to explain the hierarchy, not even qualitatively. Would you really believe that some elementary formula written down by Greeks suddenly answers these questions? Then you're a gullible victim of anti-scientific populism. Trivial formulae for hard problems could be nice for you but they're wrong – or it's impossible for them to be right.

Thursday, February 27, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Not even omnipresent seasonal Covid-19 is a rational justification to dramatically change our behavior

China has almost certainly tamed down the infection. The most recent 24 hours show 32 new Chinese fatalities plus 435 new cases. The latter number is almost matched by South Korea, the #2 country sporting the illness, which saw 334 new cases (and one fatality) in recent 24 hours. The remaining countries combined saw just 19 fatalities yesterday. Note that about 150,000 people die in the world every day.

South Korea already has almost the same total percentage of population infected as China (1600 infections in Korea, 78,000 in China, the ratio is about 50 while the population ratio is 27) and a higher percentage of new people infected per day than China during the peak.

The suppression of the Chinese disease is a reflection of the draconian measures taken in China. Whoever says that they are not draconian simply belongs to China or another dictatorial country, not the Western civilization. Clearly, South Korea is more democratic so the taming of the disease, if possible, can't be this fast.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Covid-19 probably peaked in early February

From Monday on, the world markets have seen a new giga-hysterical reaction to a dozen of coronavirus deaths in Italy (out of 300 or so cases there), a reaction that has already exceeded 9/11 (if you add nearby days that probably have the same reason). If you don't remember, the U.S. markets were closed for a week after 9/11, lost 7% on the first day, and recovered within one month.

Meanwhile, the main Covid-19 statistics page shows a dramatic reduction in the new cases and deaths. When we started to cover this story in early 2020, I mentioned that the "doubling time" was comparable to two days or so. Well, we're surely not getting one doubling per day; the actual numbers suggest it is just one doubling after half a year assuming the current rates. Instead, the fresh data show:

80,997 cases in total
...=...48,090 active cases
...-...=...39,251 mild
...-...+...8,839 severe
...+...32,907 closed cases
...-...=...30,143 cured
...-...+...2,764 dead
You can see that the number of cured people has surpassed 30,000, not surprising after a month. At the beginning, the number of cured people was about the same as the number of fatalities. Then the cured people grew a lot and trumped the severe active cases. Within a week, the cured people will surpass all active cases, including the mild ones.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Classical, realist theories just fail to produce unitary gadgets

Nature, quantum mechanics organize gadgets along complex matrices; realism doesn't

In 1925, after 15-25 years of searches in the dark when all the good physicists knew that a radical change of the foundations of physics was urgently needed, physics switched to the quantum mechanical underpinnings. Those are totally and obviously different than classical physics – although they may produce classical physics as a limit – and it's unsurprising that virtually every complex enough experiment is predicted to end up differently by quantum mechanics than by any classical theory.

The difference was nevertheless made explicit in many toy examples starting with Bell's theorem. Bell's theorem studies various types of measurements made on two qubits. It's a straightforward situation – pretty much the simplest situation in which some entanglement exists – and one may calculate the prediction made by a general classical local theory with hidden variables. It produces results that obey some general inequalities and indeed, those inequalities are violated by quantum mechanical predictions as well as observations (the latter two agree).

Monday, February 24, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Old "Miss Germany 2020" is deceitful

The post-modern left-wing NPCs are fighting against everything that the Western civilization has been built upon and that has been admired for hundreds or thousands of years – Christian and European values, nation states, freedom, democracy, private ownership, roles of men and women, the scientific method, meritocracy etc. – and it is unsurprising that the women's beauty is a target, too.

Some of the beauty contests have come under attack in some Anglo-Saxon countries and swimsuits have been erased.

Germans constantly want to retake the crown for the most unhinged left-wing nation in the realm previously known as the West which is why they have demolished the main beauty contest, too. A 35-year-old mom, Leonie von Hase, was allowed to run – she was obviously the oldest contestant in the contest ever, since the 1920s (18-39 years was the allowed age range) – and she was chosen Miss Germany 2020 by a women-only committee.

Saturday, February 22, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

EU may dissolve due to clashes about modest sums of money

Exemptions for net recipients from Gr@tin, similar harassment campaigns would be better than redistribution

Many of us are partly living in the virtual, exciting, and tense world created by the media, blogs, and the extreme discussion in which psychopaths seem to be several months from imposing Islam and banning carbon in the world, among other things. Meanwhile, the real world – and lives of ordinary enough people – continues to operate along less extreme lines. Instead of a Big Clash of Civilizations, mass conversion of tens of millions of people to the opposite sex, or the heretical status of carbon, the European Union may very well dissolve... because of a few petty billion dollars.

Net recipients and net payers to the EU budget a few years ago

The U.K. has happily left the European Union and it seems that it will be capable of avoiding the old payments to the EU, indeed. The U.K. has been paying below €9 billion to the EU budget annually, less than half a percent of its GDP (try to appreciate how tiny their percentage of the GDP sent to the EU budget relatively was – if you compare it with the relative importance of the EU in the political discussions in the U.K.). It's been a net payer, the second largest one (well) below Germany and (well) above France and Italy.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

The incredible shrinking expertise in Brian Greene's books

Brian Greene has released and is promoting his fifth full-blown book for the popular audiences, Until the End of Time. I read the table of contents, a few extra pages, reviews, and summaries of some talks. I feel totally disillusioned by the trend.

You know, the first book, The Elegant Universe (which I enthusiastically translated to Czech, like The Hidden Reality, the third book; The Fabric of Cosmos #2 was left to my friend who has a name day today), contained a legitimate explanation of the relativity of simultaneity, presentation how the ultraviolet catastrophe was solved by the light quanta, why the spacetime has to be curved to communicate the gravitational force, topological expansion of string theory, T-duality, mirror symmetry, its application on the counting of spheres in a quintic, and much much more.

EU: Václav Klaus' prophetic talk 11 years ago

Today, it's 2020/02/20 but let us look 11 years, 1 day, and 1 hour to the past when Czech president Václav Klaus gave a speech in the European Union's Parliament (Czech video):

Speech of the President of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus in the European Parliament (English transcript)
I encourage you to read all those 20+ paragraphs. The fundamental problems with the European Union look self-evident to all the sane people today but it wasn't always like that and in 2009, almost everybody – including most of us, I think – viewed Klaus' warnings as remote.

Petr Macinka (IVK) has picked some statements from the speech.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Leftism, Marxism really are mental disorders

Sometime in 2013, Ann Coulter famously said that liberalism is on the spectrum of mental illness. Well, this was surely not the first time when a similar quote emerged. In 2010, Michael Savage released the book Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder.

Those statements might sound like memes or insults. The only problem is that they're not only memes and insults. They're also approximations of cold hard facts.

Slate Star Codex has organized a survey involving 8043 participants and investigating links between the formal mental diagnoses and the self-identified political beliefs of the people. Slate Star Codex is proud about the survey, it just finds it heretical for others to report the results or to link to them – so I won't do that. Instead, let me link to nicely reviewed stories

Sickness to Socialism: Leftists Are More Likely to Have Mental Problems, Survey Shows (The New American)

Survey Finds People Who Identify as Left-Wing More Likely to Have Been Diagnosed With a Mental Illness (Summit News, Paul Joseph Watson)
All the numbers below divide the people mentally to those who have been formally diagnosed at least with one of four disorders; and those who haven't. The four disorders are depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Jeff Bezos throws away $10 billion of his money fund organized crime based on pseudoscience...

Last night, the media informed us about a shocking decision that was greeted by arrogant titles in far left outlets such as

Billionaire Jeff Bezos Figures He Might as Well Try to Help the Planet He Currently Lives On
He will never live on any other planet. The suggestion in the title is fake news and pure arrogance. He said:
Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet.
What a staggering moron. There is no climate-related threat to our planet, let alone a big one. Instead, the actual threat to mankind – not to planet – are active morons ("aktivní blbec" has been used in Czech at least for 50 years), psychologically ill Scandinavian spoiled brats, and children who were left behind and who are "capable" of saying breathtakingly stupid sentences such as the quote above.

Monday, February 17, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Dawkins vs Molyneux on eugenics

On Sunday, Richard Dawkins posted this tweet that many expected to lead to his absolute, immediate, and hysterical cancellation:

Yes, Dawkins wrote that "eugenics works" which just doesn't mean that it's a right policy to introduce. Needless to say, as a sane and honest biologist, he has to write it: humans are just another species of mammals and breeding and similar things (including genetic engineering) surely work for the other mammals, so it must work for humans, too.

A cute Czech bank robbery in Switzerland

Chur, Switzerland

Lots of events around us are full of violence, existential threats, and hatred. On Thursday, Chur, a town in Southeastern Switzerland, had the opportunity to see the advantages of criminals imported from Czechia over those from the Middle East and other regions:

A Czech robbed a bank and ordered a beer (DE)

Bank robber owes me six francs (DE)
A 55-year-old Czech man came to the main hall of a Cantonese bank, Graubündner Kantonalbank, on the Poststrasse 2. He drew a starting pistol and shot in the air twice, carefully avoiding the people.

Saturday, February 15, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

RIH Pachauri: 1940-2020

The sad death of many people who have been great to mankind and who have contributed something remarkable is a part of the decay of our civilization. The generations of achievers, sometimes modest and constantly smiling and self-sacrificing achievers, are being replaced by the generations of frowning spoiled brats that whine about microaggressions and stolen childhoods while on their intercontinental yacht trips that are paid by someone else.

Well, statistics makes exceptions unavoidable. On Thursday, February 13th, the 79-year-old Rajendra Pachauri ceased to live due to his long-term heart problems. He was an Indian railwayman, a sexual pervert, and one of the most notorious fraudsters in the world who has also led the IPCC panel promoting the climate change alarmist scheme.

Rot In Hell, monster.

Position, momentum modulo a grid may be measured simultaneously

Spiros leaked a trivial observation from a talk given by John Preskill: in quantum mechanics, the position and the momentum may be measured totally accurately and simultaneously, but only modulo \(\Delta X\) and \(h / \Delta X\), respectively.

The proof is a simple application of the CBH-like formulae such as\[

\exp(A) \exp(B) = \exp(B) \exp(A) \exp([A,B])

\] whenever \([A,B]\) is a \(c\)-number. And indeed, it is the case if \(A,B\) are linear in \(x,p\), respectively. The precise position \(X\) modulo \(\Delta X\) may be expressed by the (unitary) operator\[

\exp(A)=\exp(2\pi i X / \Delta X)

\] while the analogous momentum \(P\) modulo the inverse spacing \(\Delta P = 2\pi \hbar / \Delta X\) is expressed as\[

\exp(B) = \exp(i P \Delta X/\hbar)

\] Nice. So apply the CBH formula to get\[

\exp(A)\exp(B) = \exp(B)\exp(A) \exp([A,B])

\] to see that the commutator appearing as the last exponent is \([A,B]=-2\pi i\) and, as you know, its exponential is therefore one. If you choose units with \(\hbar=1\) and a dimensionless \(X,P\), you may democratically pick the spacing \(\Delta X =\Delta P = \sqrt{2 \pi}\), as announced in the original tweet.

Friday, February 14, 2020 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Bojowald: Ashtekar school is fundamentally misguided

Hat tip to @mmanuF at Twitter

Martin Bojowald has been a well-known name in the loop quantum gravity corners and especially in loop quantum cosmology. Aside from other things, while he was working at the Max Planck Institute in Potsdam, he co-authored three papers with Abhay Ashtekar, a guru of loop quantum gravity, in 2003, 2005, 2005.

Amusingly enough, now, when Bojowald and Ashtekar are colleagues at Penn State, he just released a gr-qc paper

Critical evaluation of common claims in loop quantum cosmology
that tries to critically look at some basic aspects of the "Ashtekar school", as he calls it. Bojowald concludes that the Astehkar school fails in all of his nontrivial tests. It makes assumptions about the semiclassical behavior of the metric tensor degrees of freedom while the semiclassical approximation is almost certainly inapplicable in these examples. Also, Bojowald points out that characteristically quantum mechanical effects – such as ambiguities resulting from quantization – are incorrectly assumed not to exist.

Needless to say, loop quantum gravity people may be classified as full-blown or generalized anti-quantum zealots – people who actually think classically and who misunderstand everything in which the classical limit fails to be "basically right".