Wednesday, August 21, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

QM "also" applies to the Universe

Critics of quantum mechanics are wrong about everything that is related to foundations of physics and quite often, they please their readers with the following:

Physics has been in a crisis since 1927. You can help to end it if you accept [all the fragmented pottery I am writing now]. Amen.
That's what you can read on the front flap of a new book by a Californian would-be quantum physicist.

You may see that they 1) resemble fanatical religious believers or their postmodern, climate alarmist imitators or the typical propaganda tricksters in totalitarian regimes. They tell you that there is a crisis so you should throw away the last pieces of your brain and behave as a madman – that will surely help. 2) They are just an extension of the anti-string demagogues who are saying pretty much identical sentences but with years such as 1968 or 1974 or 1984. 3) Their thinking is totally irrational because whether a problem with physics exists is surely independent of the question what a lay reader believes. But they want to make the obedience of a reader who doesn't really understand anything to be central for the health of science, for the presence or absence of crises! This has nothing to do with the rational thinking about the world although it's relevant for the profits from the trash by which they flood the bookstores.

In reality, the years 1925-1927 brought vastly more true, vastly more solid, vastly more elegant, and vastly more accurate foundations to physics, foundations that are perfectly consistent and that produce valid predictions whose relative accuracy may be \(10^{-15}\) (magnetic moment of the electron).

On the new postulates of quantum mechanics, people have built atomic and molecular physics, quantum chemistry, modern optics, lasers, condensed matter physics, superconductors, semiconductors, graphene and lots of new materials, transistors, diodes of many kind, LED and OLED and QLED panels, giant magnetoresistance, they are building quantum computers that would make the quantum revolution even more essential. They have extended theories of the nuclei, subnuclear physics, found and understood new elementary particles, and unified them within unified field theories and especially string theory which has also allowed them to study the black hole entropy, evaporation, and topology-changing quantum processes in the spacetime, aside from many other things.

Germany: before the autumn elections

By Aleš Valenta, Germanist, Václav Klaus Institute
Translated from CZ by LM

Events are constantly taking place in the land of our Western neighbors. Bavaria's prime minister Söder who, just recently, couldn't recall the name of the Green Party is hugging the trees in front of the photographers and in his desperate effort to be greener than the Greens, he is proposing to embed the climate goals to the constitution. A "perfectly integrated" black man from Eritrea has thrown a mother and her son to the tracks in front of the arriving train in Frankfurt. In front of the swimming pool in Düsseldorf where North African, apparently less perfectly integrated, migrants have repeatedly created quite some havoc, authorities will install camcorders and every visitor will have to place his or her ID in between the swimming suit and the detective novel, otherwise he won't be allowed to enter. The chairman of the board of Schalke O4, a soccer team, Mr Ferdinand Tönnies told the public that it's necessary to build power plants in Africa, otherwise the inhabitants won't stop cutting trees and at night, lacking enough light, they will "produce" children – which has sparked another episode of the neverending soap opera named "racism of the everyday life" in the media and in politics.

A crypto CEO demands nationalization of Satoshi's $10 billion

A few days ago, a guy "revealed to be Satoshi Nakamoto", the father of the Bitcoin, at SatoshiNRH dot com.

James Bilal Khalid Caan, a Pakistani guy in the U.K., wants you to believe that the non-trivial system was created by a migrant whose hard drive was eaten by the dog, who believes in Chaldean numerology and the importance of conversion of letters "Satoshi Nakamoto" into numbers according to an arbitrary medieval scheme, and whose top intellectual achievement was to invent a sequence of words about an irrelevant failed bank that could have BITCOIN as a generalized acronym.

This "reveal" was utterly ludicrous, of course, because Caan's IQ is some 40 points lower than what is needed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. The Bitcoin system and especially the Bitcoin economy are flawed for a huge number of fundamental reasons but the creator of this system was still very intelligent. Nick Szabo or Craig Wright may have had the intelligence and everything that was needed – but Caan could not. He wasn't even able to make the files on his server invisible before the "M Moment".

However, a more shocking proposal appeared last night:

Ray Youssef, the CEO of Paxful, some cryptocurrency exchange (which is facing claims of robbery and fraud), made this bold proposal. The Bitcoin holders may get rid of the worries that the real Satoshi Nakamoto sells his 980,000 coins – worth $10 billion as of today – by codifying a "soft fork" that will invalidate or "burn" all of these coins. In fact, the CEO's words make it clear that he wants not only Satoshi's coins but also Satoshi himself to "get lost"! Yes, an apparatchik in the Bitcoin cult wants to improve the cult further by slaughtering the cult's God-Creator.

The only excuse is that the Jews-Christians have previously done something comparable LOL. But the cryptoexchange's Latin "peaceful" name makes the fiery proposal juicy, anyway.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A highly carbon-positive "prince" from a Swedish girl's yacht

The prophet status of a teenage Scandinavian Mongoloid ADHD sufferer proves the insanity of the contemporary epoch. However, some of the news can entertain us, indeed. This story about a Monaco "prince" is one of them (it has 11 pictures in a gallery).

The Swedish activist recently told the United Nations:

Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people – for them to collect enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed for the people in rich countries such as mine to live their lives in luxury. The price we pay is that many people suffer for the luxury of a few.
Excellent. She took one of the best examples of this sermon in the world to "her" $4 million Malizia II solar yacht, Mr Pierre Casiraghi (31), the "Prince" of Monaco and the grandson of Rainiere III.

Monday, August 19, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Basic lethal flaws of revisionist "interpretations" of QM

Another 100% wrong book about the foundations of quantum mechanics is ready to flood the bookstores – we know what its author, Sean Carroll, claims about quantum mechanics – and it is damn ludicrous, indeed. Meanwhile, a notorious Columbia University blogger is reading the book and... he doesn't see a difference between the "Copenhagen" and "Everett" interpretations. Holy cow.

What about e.g. the difference that one of them predicts all phenomena in Nature correctly while the other doesn't predict a single one correctly?

I was rehearsing a presentation for teachers – it's about the foundations of quantum mechanics. This has pushed me to make some arguments and explanations even more concise – and also comprehensive when it comes to the basic incorrect "alternative interpretations" that are being spread by the anti-quantum zealots.

Nature builds a Lysenkoist blacklist of 386 top climate researchers

I was sent links to an amazing Nature Communications article by Petersen et al.

Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians
and two responses at the PowerLineBlog that revolves around a formidable list of 386 climate researchers who have been de facto blacklisted by Nature.

The list contains a huge majority of those who really mattered in the climate change polemics in the world – or at least the Anglo-Saxon world. Lindzen, Singer, Morano, Christy, Lomborg, Soon, Nova, invent your own name (except for me – I haven't really spent much time with the climate in recent years), it's there.

Petersen et al. have divided the participants of these debates to two sets with 386 elements each: the good guys, the "experts", and the bad guys, the "contrarians" (don't worry, the word "denialists" appears in the second sentence of the results).

Sunday, August 18, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

What's more empirical: alternative interpretations of QM or particle physics?

In recent days, I was fully realizing the insanity of the attitude of some ideologues towards the "empirical foundations" of parts of physics – let me call them "deceitful hippies and their protégés and protégées, largely from minorities" – who claim that particle physics and/or things like string theory and supergravity aren't a good enough empirical science for them while the tirades against quantum mechanics and ludicrous new "interpretations of quantum mechanics" must be the future of empirical science.

This combination of claims is totally upside down and the detachment of this combination from the basic facts is absolutely unbelievable. It makes one desperate to see that there are thousands of sufficiently scientifically illiterate laymen in the society who just can't see the absurdity of these claims.

Physics investigates hypotheses and theories that have implications for the observations in principle. That definition is a result of centuries of thinking – although this definition had to be refined by more cautious thinking about "what is scientifically meaningful", let's say the "positivist" or "operationalist" thinking, that finally made it to the physicists' toolkit around the year 1900 and that must be counted as the most important contribution of philosophers (positivists in this case) to physics ever.

Friday, August 16, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Inverted yield curve and similar superstitions

The most recent 3% drop of the U.S. stock market indices – which had global repercussions – took place almost completely due to the fact that the main yield curve got inverted.

It's a sign of recession – in average, it comes in 22 months from now, a Swiss bank said. A Czech Canadian wrote me that the yield curve inverted and "f*gg*ts are buying stocks on that day" (the f-category surely included me).

The "bad sign of the inverted yield curve" is a similar rule-of-thumb as the technical analysis used to predict the future movements of prices of securities and other things. All these rules may be justified by heuristic arguments but none of the proofs really seems solid, ever. In most cases, these arguments act as a self-fulfilling prophesy.

The stock markets actually drop when the yield curve gets inverted – because tons of people are being trained to believe this "wisdom" which may very well be a superstition.

Can you distinguish blacks and whites, Bavarians and Bulgarians?

OK, during a discussion about the similarities and differences between Bavaria and Bohemia, a commenter suddently mentioned hair dye used by some hypothetical Muslims in Western Bulgaria. So I initially laughed: WTF? What does this discussion have to do with the Muslims going to Balkans, or their recolored hair, let alone with Muslims in West Bulgaria?

Why exactly West Bulgaria – where I have never been? We generally know just the Black Sea which is East Bulgaria.

I was obviously near certain that it was a very comical typo – or a sign of the American-level total ignorance about the world geography – so I assumed that what the comment actually meant was "Western Bohemia" where I live, not "Western Bulgaria" which is 1,000 km away and about 50% poorer. Great. The problem is that the discussion didn't stop.

Thursday, August 15, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A fun German perspective on Pilsen

Peter F. sent me a wonderful 15-minute-long video with commentaries by a German who, along with his wife, visited and liked my hometown of Pilsen, Czechia (170,000 inhabitants, Western Bohemia, 4th largest city in Czechia and 2nd in Bohemia):

His channel name is "Red Pill Germany" so I suppose he is rather right-wing or perhaps close to AfD. OK, the video shows some ordinary sequences from the city center where I also know every meter, as you can guess: I am a Pilsen patriot.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Incredibly low intelligence of anti-quantum, anti-relativistic Bohmists

Fix any theory by adding the axiom "no problem will ever arise"

You know that I like to use the term "crackpot" but I believe that I have actually learned the word from quite some serious, uncontroversial people who avoid expletives at all times: as far as I know, Dr Jiří Langer, an important physics instructor at my undergraduate Alma Mater, was the one who introduced us to the term "crackpots".

For years, the canonical crackpots – compatible with this flavor of the terminology – were haters of Einstein's theory of relativity. Once upon a time, one of them – the author of the far-reaching ;-) book above – came to our department in Prague, along with his buddy, the chairman of Mensa Czechoslovakia, and wanted to persuade the physicists that he had disproven the theory of relativity and, ideally, the professors should nominate him for the Nobel Prize in physics.

OK, he showed some wrong solution to some idiosyncratic version of a twin paradox and I was apparently the only one who exactly knew what was wrong about his reasoning and I have explained the flaw to everybody, including the senior physicists. At that time, I had already had accumulated quite some experience in interactions with the crackpots.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Coincidences, naturalness, and Epstein's death

The circumstances of Jeffrey Epstein's death seem to be a drastic but wonderful metaphor for naturalness in physics: those who say "there is nothing to see here" in the irregularities plaguing Epstein's jail seem to be similar to those who say "there is nothing to see here" when it comes to fine-tuning or unlikely choices of parameters in particle physics.

As far as I can say, a rational person who thinks about these Epstein events proceeds as follows:

  • an invention of rough hypotheses or classes of hypotheses
  • usage of known or almost known facts to adjust the probabilities of each hypothesis
It's called logical or Bayesian inference! That's a pretty much rigorous approach justified by basic probability calculus – which is just a continuous generalization of mathematical logic. The opponents of this method seem to prefer a different Al Gore rhythm:
  • choose the winning explanation at the very beginning, according to some very simple e.g. ideological criteria or according to your own interests; typically, the winning explanation is the most politically correct one
  • rationalize the choice by saying that all other possible explanations are hoaxes, conspiracy theories, "not even wrong" theories that are simultaneously unfalsifiable and already falsified, and by screaming at, accusing, and insulting those who argue that their other choices seem more likely – often those who do some really fine research
Which of the approaches is more promising as a path towards the truth? Which is the more honest one? These are rhetorical questions – of course Bayesian inference is the promising and ethical approach while the other one is a sign of stupidity or dishonesty. I am just listing the "second approach" to emphasize that some people are just dumb or dishonest – while they or others often fail to appreciate this stupidity or dishonesty.

Monday, August 12, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Dusting attack against Litecoin

Crypto-cultists know next to nothing about the technicalities of these payment systems

On Saturday, Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, has warned that a massive dusting attack against the Litecoin, the fifth largest cryptocurrency by capitalization, was probably underway.

What is it? A dusting attack is a method to discover the identity of the holders of various wallets – or to have a chance to do so, assuming that the owner of the wallet does something "not completely careful". I don't even say "a method used by a malicious party" because I am not sure what is the axiomatic framework in which this activity would be "malicious". The widespread claim that the cryptocurrencies are "anonymous" is just a promise that some people – usually promoters of this worthless hype – spread. It's a statement that may be right or wrong to various extents and no one has the moral duty or the legal obligation to make sure that it is "right"!

I have never promised such an anonymity and I don't think that the anonymous payment systems would be better than the systems in which the anonymity may be broken, e.g. by police, at the end. And a person who finds the names of owners of all Bitcoin wallets could perhaps be described as a curious person and an excellent researcher who can unmask the truth that others try to hide, by using the public information plus the standard allowed payments. So I don't think that the people doing a dusting attack should be called "malicious". They just do something else with the unregulated cryptocurrency networks and software than most others – or they do the same steps but combine them more cleverly.

Sunday, August 11, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Four Tommaso Dorigo's SUGRA blunders

Almost all the media informed about the new Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (which will be given to the guys during a TV broadcast event on November 3rd; in NASA's Hangar One, Mountain View, CA) – a prize to three founders of supergravity – as if it were any other prize.

The winners are lucky to divide the $3 million and/or they deserve the award which was chosen by a nontrivial process, like in the case of the Nobel Prize or any other prize. Thankfully, in this case, most journalists didn't try to pretend that they know more about supergravity than the committee. The judgements or information about the importance of work in theoretical physics should be left to the experts because these are damn hard things that an average person – and even an average PhD – simply hasn't mastered.

I detected three amazing exceptions. Nature, Prospect Magazine, and Physics World wrote something completely different. The relevant pages of these media have been hijacked by vitriolic, one-dimensional, repetitive, scientifically clueless, deceitful, and self-serving anti-science activists and they tried to sling as much mud on theoretical physics as possible – which seems to be the primary job description of many of these writers and the society seems to enthusiastically fund this harmful parasitism.

Saturday, August 10, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Possible murder of Jeffrey Epstein deserves deep investigation

When I was home from a trip, including the most accessible municipality of Germany where I can get one person by train for $8 (round trip) plus a one-minute-walk (and its larger Czech counterpart), the most important bad news story waiting in the alert centers was the death of Jeffrey Epstein. Very sad yet predictable and predicted.

Officials "report" that it was an apparent suicide. A problem is that the standard camera – that should monitor all the inmates – was just malfunctioning at the moment when he died! What is the probability that the United States of America isn't capable of installing and maintaining a proper camera to check the safety of a billionaire in jail – and that this camera breaks exactly when it's critically needed?

Also, it seems, two key guards were sent away because of "maintenance". Cool. Finally, Epstein was stunningly removed from the suicide watch even though he officially tried to commit suicide just three weeks ago (while he said that someone tried to murder him in late July).