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

Hossenfelder demands $10,000 from me through Czech lawyers

I just received a message from some Czech attorneys (a Czech subsidiary of a German firm – March 15th ***9 is a wonderful date for such a relationship) that Sabine Hossenfelder hired with her claims of defamation – concerning her expertise etc. She demands the following within 15 days:

  • CZK 200,000 of compensation for hers plus CZK 24,864 for legal expenses, a bit over $10,000 in total
  • removal of all my negative texts about her
  • end of any publication of stuff about her in the future
otherwise she will sue and it will be worse etc.

I think it's absolutely stunning. She's on her violent campaign against the whole field that I find dear and against its practitioners and she just wants to silence me – which would mean she would continue in her campaign with a terribly weakened real opposition. It is not possible to discuss the relationship between science and the society without touching the people who are many new outlets' preferred sources.

The letter is formulated as if she demands a ransom. It adds a new level to her debatable methods to earn money.

My knowledge of the law is next to non-existent. I have no idea whether a party that is attacked in this Blitzkrieg way has an effective way to defend itself. I don't know whom I would be inviting as a witness to show that she's been helped by affirmative action, her physics is not good etc. Your recommendations are welcome. If you're extremely rich, your financial help would be welcome, too.

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

Strumia: audio from his famous talk on women in HEP

If you missed it, today is the Pi Day, 3/14, Albert Einstein's 140th birthday, and the Slovak Fascist State's 80th birthday!

If you want some quality 35 minutes with the Italian English, the audio from the talk by Alessandro Strumia from University of Pisa (Galileo's Alma Mater) will be interesting for you.

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

AdS bulk is a neural network, entanglement is a quantum gauge field

I want to mention three new papers. One of them has a cool title and the other two have some cool ideas in their bodies.

First, F. F. Faria wrote a hep-ph paper with a Conformal theory of everything. The number of papers with the ambitious titles involving "a theory of everything" is still small enough so if you want to be sure that people like me would spend at least 0.2 seconds with each page of your paper, call it "a theory of everything".

It's my policy to quickread papers with "theories of everything" in titles because it has worked for me – such a paper (not very good one) was the first paper from which I learned about Matrix theory which was rather important for me, and still is. ;-)

Sadly, the paper just writes down some action as a sum of some Standard Model, conformal gravity, and dilaton actions, with no sign of a unification or anything else that would be new and interesting. Still, good for a paper written in Brazil (an Amazon researcher is shown on the picture above).

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

Six photons claimed to prove that Wigner, his friend have irreconcilable views

Can a doable experiment prove that the objective reality doesn't exist?

Here's a rare example of the media hype that leads the reader to a basically correct conclusion about quantum mechanics.

As I have often argued, quantum mechanics fundamentally requires the description of the phenomena to be observer-dependent. An observer must know what he observes, what the result is, and the answers to these questions are in principle subjective. Consequently, the wave function or the density matrix, its collapse, and the precise predictions of the future measurements are subjective or observer-dependent, too. There is no way to objectively label phenomena as measurements or non-measurements and there is no viable way (and no way that would be compatible with relativity) to make the collapse of the wave function – describing the change of the observer's knowledge – as an objectively real collapse.

Wigner's friend experiment is the simplest thought experiment that shows the point. In that thought experiment (which is now claimed to become a real experiment), Eugene Wigner observes a lab in which his friend observes a quantum experiment. For the friend, the collapse occurs as soon as the friend sees something. But for Wigner himself who hasn't observed the particle inside, the system keeps on evolving as a superposition in which all options have nonzero amplitudes and are capable of reinterfering.

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

Nazi occupation of Czechia: 80th anniversary

Next week, Czechs will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the "dealing with the rest of Czechia" ("Erledigung der Rest-Tschechei"; yes, that terminology was intentionally picked to be degrading but Czechs have no problem with the word "Tschechei" although Germans typically think that the PC "Tschechien" is mandatory – for us, they're just synonyms) by Nazi Germany.

On March 14th, 1939, softcore Slovak clerofascists and anti-Prague nationalists, energized by their influential hardcore German friend, declared the independence and broke Czecho-Slovakia – which had already been broken by the hyphen for half a year, and which had been stripped of the Sudetenland. It was the first time when Slovakia became a country.

One window wasn't enough, Hitler greeted Prague from two windows.

On March 15th, German troops invaded Czechia and formally established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, a new "regime" that would last for 6 more years. The Third Reich was supposed to last for 1000 years but the witty Czechs renamed the occupied structure, "Protektorát" in Czech, to "Protentokrát" which looks and sounds almost the same but it means "Just for this time", correctly (with our hindsight) or optimistically (with their uncertainty) indicating the temporary character of that regime.

On March 16th, the aforementioned hardcore German comrade triumphantly arrived to the Prague Castle, declared himself the eternal master of the Milky Way, and took a couple of selfies including one above. I have felt safer in that office when then President Klaus, and not Hitler, was standing next to me. ;-)

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

Why inflation is a better explanation of the flatness problem than fine-tuned initial conditions

Sabine Hossenfelder tries to revive the inflation wars. She mentions two recent papers but they have really nothing to do with her main topic – and the topic is that she totally misunderstands 100% of inflation and why people consider it at all. Well, if the observation that she completely misunderstands inflationary cosmology isn't general enough for you, let me tell you something. It boils down to something even deeper: She just completely misunderstands what a "scientific explanation of anything" is and why people look for it at all.

Her final exchange with Ed Measure summarizes the situation well:

CapitalistImperialistPig: When Kepler came up with his laws of planetary motion, physicists of the day had the choice of either saying "hmmm, it seems like God like ellipses" or trying to find some deeper law that would account for them. Newton found universal gravitation and it was a great scientific advance.

Similarly, I think, cosmologists today have the choice of either saying "God likes flatness, uniform temperature,tiny initial density fluctuations, etc" or trying to find a deeper law that explains them. Inflation is such an idea.

Of course nobody has figured out exactly how to link it to deeper physics, but anybody with a better idea should chime in.

SH: CIP, I am afraid you entirely missed the point. I am telling you that it's not clear what you even mean by inflation "explains" it. Why do you think postulating a phase of exponential expansion is a better explanation than just postulating an exponentially small initial value?
Aside from all the wrong claims about elementary issues by the likes of her, I am greatly annoyed by the omnipresent arrogance in between the lines. She asks him "why do you think" and thus implicitly claims that the correct statement she can't understand is just "someone's opinion that is surely equal to her opinion".

But it's not just someone's opinion. It's a quantitatively demonstrable fact. One doesn't have to "think" in the sense of producing subjective or emotional guesses. Instead, one can think without quotation marks and just prove it by a simple argument. And her "opinion" is just objectively stupid. It is not something that has any importance in science whatsoever. Just like the opinion of the other 7 billion currently living people who completely misunderstand modern physics, her view is scientifically worthless.

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

CERN fires Strumia: the silence is deafening

After five months of "investigations" that weren't investigating anything, the vicious, dishonest, and ideologically contaminated individuals who took over CERN have said "good-bye" to Alessandro Strumia, a top particle phenomenologist with 38k citations according to Google Scholar and 32k according to Inspire.

See e.g. the BBC, The Daily Mail, Gizmodo, Dorigo's despicable defense of the Soviet tactics.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Facebook censors critiques of postmodern education, too

In recent years and especially months, servers such as Facebook and Twitter began to delete messages such as "lesbians aren't attracted to sex with men" and similar tautologies. We are slowly getting used to the censorship of all sane views concerning the sexual identity and co-existence of races.

However, the Czech left-wing populist outlet The Parliamentary Letters (where every politician may immediately get an account to post stuff) just published some remarkable news about the censorship of politically inconvenient views of a female teacher about the state of the Czech education – well, it is largely a criticism of the EU education and the contemporary West's education in general.

Young diagram hooks for a fermionic matrix model

The third hep-th paper in today's listings is very interesting.

Gauged fermionic matrix quantum mechanics
First of all, the authors are nice because they are deniers. One of them is a Koch brother, Robert, and the other one is David Berenstein, the long-haired guy who sings "I'm a Denier" along with Al Gore, Michael Mann, and Chicken Little. ;-)

OK, more seriously, they study matrix models which are clearly relevant for full-blown definitions of quantum gravity. Lots of descriptions of vacua (or superselection sectors) of quantum gravity are given by \(U(N)\) or \(SU(N)\) gauge theories in various numbers of dimensions – that includes the \(AdS_5\)-like vacua in AdS/CFT and the BFSS matrix theory.

Some half-supersymmetric subsets of operators in such theories are fully understood etc.

Monday, March 04, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

One quadrillion standard models in F-theory

I want to pick two papers on the arXiv today. In

Signatures of supersymmetry and a \(L_\mu−L_\tau\) gauge boson at Belle-II,
Banerjee and Roy from the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (I couldn't resist to write this cute name of an institution) point out that Belle-II, a Japanese B-factory experiment that began to take limited data one year ago and is already taking all the data since early 2019, may observe a smoking gun for a class of supersymmetric theories that recently looked very intriguing to many physicists, for lots of reasons.

It's models with the extra \(L_\mu-L_\tau\) gauge symmetry which may be good enough to explain the masses of generations of leptons, dark matter, baryon asymmetry, and the discrepancy in the muon magnetic moment. Belle-II could see the reaction\[

e^+ + e^- \to \gamma Z' \to \gamma+\met

\] where \(Z'\) is the new gauge boson and the reaction is possible due to its kinetic mixing with the photon. Looking at some nearly highest energy boxes, Belle-II could discover the \(Z'\) boson even if it were too heavy to be accessible by the LHC. This is an example of a cheaper experiment that could beat the "brute force energy frontier" collider such as the LHC or FCC – but the price you pay is that such reactions are very special and you must hope that a rather particular scenario is picked by Mother Nature, otherwise you see nothing.

Sunday, March 03, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Brexit: ODS, most Czechs oppose EU's efforts to humiliate U.K.

I want to say something about the Czech attitudes to Brexit. Well, for Czech political junkies, Brexit is quite a topic for discussions – for many reasons.

First, Czechia is the EU's most Euroskeptic nation, beating even the U.K. itself, which is why it's very natural that the British stories are a template what could be faced by us. We could be solving the same challenges as the Britons soon. Brussels could try to blackmail us or hurt us in analogous ways. The messy Brexit experience could be a reason for us to vote "Stay", after all, and so on.

Second, Czechs went through the Velvet Divorce of Czechoslovakia and most of the curious people ask Why the Brexit can't be as smooth, fast, and rosy as the dissolution of Czechoslovakia? To summarize my detailed answer on Quora, the answer is that the stronger side in the negotiations was decent in the Czechoslovak case (Czechs were nice and pragmatic) but they (politicians in Brussels) are just classic arrogant jerks in the Brexit case.

Paloma Faith, Make Your Own Kind of Music, over 3 million views (beating the Mama Cass original). There aren't too many touching successful full-blown songs that are really car TV commercials but this Škoda video is one.

Third, we're still a nation that has visible enough ties with the U.K. and we don't really want to break them. In particular, Britain is Czechia's 5th most important export market (after Germany, Slovakia, Poland, France), getting about 5% of the Czech exports. In particular, the old communist small Škoda cars were the real target of all the British car jokes. Now, Škoda repeatedly wins the greatest number of prizes and surveys in the U.K.

Check e.g. the recent What Car? (U.K.) awards. Škoda won about 5 out of 15 categories. Or read a yesterday's review of Superb Sportline at AutoCar.Co.UK and the mostly enthusiastic comments underneath. Or watch a 5-day-old video review of Kamiq, the new Škoda's baby SUV – replacing the quirky beloved, now extinct, Yeti. Or look at the new "super-sexy" electric crossover Vision iV that is out in a year or two (no door handles, huge wheels, cameras instead of mirrors, level 3 autonomous, 5G...). An average Briton owns 70 Škoda cars. ;-)

Saturday, March 02, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

When fight against "group think" becomes a delusion

A lady's enemy is an innocent tautology

A new tirade by Ms Hossenfelder, Check your Biases, has increased my blood pressure right after the lunch. Hossenfelder's targets are folks from CERN, starting with its director Fabiola Gianotti, but her main goal is to turn sociologists into scientists' bosses again.

From Eclectikus: Sheldon Glashow wrote a review (for Inference) of Hossenfelder's disturbing book and you can be sure that even though he's a pioneer among string theory haters, he's also the elegant gentleman I knew in Greater Boston's social events (and whose office I was using for a year LOL). Don't get me wrong: most of the stuff he writes about supersymmetry (and a few other things) is just junk. He doesn't even seem to understand that the laws of the MSSM are precisely invariant under SUSY despite the SUSY breaking – just like the Standard Model has the \(SU(2)_W\) symmetry although it's analogously spontaneously broken.
In the Physics World, Gianotti was asked "what she and CERN do against group think" by a Mr Richard Blaustein, an obnoxious climate alarmist inkspiller/activist. She clearly wanted to say that it was a dumb question but she wanted to be polite, so she didn't say it was a dumb question. Instead, she humbly started to say that CERN depends on the collaboration of thousands of scientists. It unavoidably sounds like she avoided a direct answer to the question – because she did. Well, in business, politics, and mostly bureaucratic jobs at CERN as well, "peaceful" people like Gianotti who tend to avoid a direct conflict with someone's ideas are more likely to be appointed as directors etc.

You know, it sounds like a cliché, we hear it often, and we're bored by it. But it's true, too. CERN depends on quite some amazing cooperation between many people. First, start with Milton Friedman's lead pencil. There's not a single person in the world who could make this pencil. A remarkable statement? Not at all. The wood came from... Literally thousands of people who would hate each other were brought together by the invisible hand of the free market – by the price mechanisms – to produce the pencil.