Saturday, June 24, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Charles Munger explains how idiot Al Gore made a lot of money

Charles Munger, a famous investor, the generous $65m sponsor of new housing at KITP Santa Barbara, and the #2 in Warren Buffett's company made some interesting comments in February that were only noticed by news organizations such as CNBC yesterday.

Munger has described the weird story how someone like Al Gore could have become a near-half-billionaire.

Friday, June 23, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Decoherence doesn't make observers unnecessary

Philip Ball wrote a long aeon.co essay titled Quantum Common Sense which argues that quantum mechanics isn't really "weird" and everything that was mysterious was basically explained... by decoherence.

I sympathize with the text to some extent and the extent could have approached 100% some 25 years ago. In particular, decoherence is a legitimate insight and quantum mechanics isn't weird when you look at it calmly. But there are lots of claims that Ball makes that I heavily disagree with, too.

OK, what is decoherence? And equally importantly, what decoherence isn't? Well, starting with the positive things, decoherence is a process that

  1. allows one to calculate at what "point" in the parameter space, classical physics (gradually) becomes a decent approximate theory for a given physical system
  2. puts severe constraints on the possible "basis of states" that may arise as "the states" after a measurement
  3. eliminates the physical visibility of the complex phases in the probability amplitudes, so that the probability amplitudes may effectively be replaced with their absolute values
How does it work?

Macron is a just a pseudo-Napoleon

A union in Europe should primarily be a supermarket

For years, we have known France as a little flaccid organ squeezed in between two giant German muscles.

While this description will remain accurate for many years, France's new left-wing star decided to change at least the perception of this reality among its gullible frogeaters so during an EU summit in Brussels, he painted himself as the new Napoleon who will be a tougher warrior against the evils of the world such as the United States of America (which has "partly disappeared from the world"), climate change (no comment), Islamic terrorism (he wants to fight it by smuggling millions of new terrorists into Europe), and especially the Central and Eastern Europe. He wants to be tougher on these Untermenschen than even the Germans.

Macron: Some political representatives of Eastern Europe have displayed a cynical attitude to the European Union. But the European Union isn't a supermarket. It is a fatal union [or common destiny].
That's both serious and amusing. I assure you that if the EU were really bound to be a "fatal union", the support in our part of Europe for the plans to dissolve it would surpass 90%. The word "fate" or "destiny" indicates that the people no longer have a control over the detailed events – which are being imposed on them. We surely don't want that. Indeed, whether a left-wing babbler likes it or not, our political representatives mostly view the future of the European Union – if the bloc survives at all – as a supermarket. They do so because most of their constituencies see it in this rational, pragmatic way. This word "supermarket" nicely summarizes several dimensions:
  1. A free trade zone – which is the aspect of the European integration that is widely and most universally viewed as a benefit.
  2. Maybe, a unified labor market – but the free movement of the European citizens in between the member countries is much more questionable and was the main reason behind Brexit, among other things.
  3. Cherry-picking of the products, rules, and parts of the life that the European nations want to share with others, get from others, or otherwise coordinate or unify.
The third point is more general and the "supermarket" buzzword may very well mean exactly the same thing as "cherry-picking" I discussed previously. Free European nations should choose what is good for them and only codify and develop those policies at the EU level that seem good for them – just like a buyer in the supermarket picks what is good for her. If the nations find out that there isn't enough consensus that it is a benefit to share XY, then XY shouldn't be shared.

Years ago, even the EU acknowledged this common sense constructive principle. It was known as the principle of subsidiarity in the Eurospeak. But this principle was too rational and democratic so it is being gradually eliminated from the EU ideology.

Such a pragmatic, supermarket-like approach is a necessary condition for the European Union – or any entity in the world – to get improved as time goes by. The good things are being picked, the bad things are not. And the mechanisms that determine what is good and what is bad must be working well, they must allow the nations to have their say, and they must ultimately boil down to some democratic decisions of the European nations. If Mr Macron has a problem with these common sense things, it is very, very bad because he misunderstands absolutely everything about the human psychology and the progress of the economies and human societies.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Dwarf galaxies: gravity really, really is not entropic

Verlinde has already joined the community of fraudulent pseudoscientists who keep on "working" on something they must know to be complete rubbish

In the text Researchers Check Space-Time to See if It’s Made of Quantum Bits, the Quanta Magazine describes a fresh paper by Kris Pardo (Princeton U.)

Testing Emergent Gravity with Isolated Dwarf Galaxies
which tested some 2016 dark matter "application" of Erik Verlinde's completely wrong "entropic gravity" meme. Verlinde has irrationally linked his "entropic gravity" meme with some phenomenological, parameter-free fit for the behavior of galaxies. What a surprise, when this formula is compared to dwarf galaxies which are, you know, a bit smaller, it doesn't seem to work.

The maximum circular velocities are observed to reach up to 280 km/s but the predicted ones are at most 165 km/s. So it doesn't work, the model is falsified. This moment of the death of the model is where the discussion of the model should end and this is indeed where my discussion of the model ends.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

"Weak gravity" sometimes enforces "cosmic censorship"

Clarifying the truth value status of WGC, CCC, loop quantum gravity, and their relationships

Natalie Wolchover wrote a Quanta Magazine story

Where Gravity Is Weak and Naked Singularities Are Verboten
which is promoting some fun May 2017 work by Jorge Santos (Prof) and Toby Crisford (student, both Cambridge UK). I guess that just like in many other cases, the reason why a popular article was scheduled was that the February 2017 preprint (which has about 1 citation so far) has recently appeared in a prestigious printed journal:
Violating the Weak Cosmic Censorship Conjecture in Four-Dimensional Anti–de Sitter Space (PRL; arXiv)
They considered GR coupled to electromagnetism – the Einstein-Maxwell system – in \(AdS_4\) and found a counterexample to the 1969 Cosmic Censorship Conjecture by Roger Penrose. It's the electromagnetic force that allows them to achieve the outcome (which Penrose considered forbidden) with the naked singularity. And they argue that exactly when the 2006 Weak Gravity Conjecture by ArkaniHamed-Motl-Nicolis-Vafa is obeyed, the cosmic censorship will be defended and the pathological singularity will be hidden within a black hole.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Top green MEP wants to move Syria to Eastern Europe, one village at a time

Drang nach Osten reloaded, Mohammed edition

The story that attracted the greatest attention of the Czech readers today was an incredible interview (in German) with Ms Franziska "Ska" Keller, a co-chairwoman of the Greens in the European Parliament. The journalist was familiar with her proposal – which we haven't previously heard about.

Even though Ms Keller later lied about the content of the interview and claimed that the media have misreported it, the relevant part of the interview speaks a clear language:

Keller: ...The main problem is the lack of solidarity in between the member states. Governments rely on a treaty with Libya that should be solving our problems. This is naive. We need a system of shared asylum policies that guarantees the same standards everywhere and distributes the solidarity.

Journalist: You are proposing to relocate whole groups of refugees into a country – for example, a whole village should be moved to Latvia. Do you really believe that the Eastern Europeans will cooperate?

Keller: The idea about the Syrian village is just one of the tools that we could employ. For example in the situation when refugees don't want to go to a country where no other refugees have moved so far. People want to go to places where their compatriots already live which makes the integration easier. The refusal of the Czech Republic and others to accept the refugees violates the laws of the EU. That's why the European Commission has started proceedings against these countries.

Journalist: How would you convince critics that this Union has a future?

Keller: This Union has a future because the member states can't solve the problems facing the world separately. Globalization and the climate change but also migration, those don't have any solutions at the national level.
I am among those millions of people who just say Wow. Decades ago, everyone used to agree that the greens were loons. But Western Europe has been so disrupted that this loon is very powerful in the would-be Parliament of a bloc claiming to dominate a whole civilized continent.

Overbye on "ominous silence" in particle physics

Dennis Overbye is a top science writer and his new text in the New York Times,

Yearning for New Physics at CERN, in a Post-Higgs Way
is also pretty good. He quotes various particle physicists, including fans of SUSY and critics of SUSY, and those give him different ideas about the probability that new physics is going to be observed in coming years, but he decides to make a conclusion in one direction, anyway: the silence in particle physics is ominous, the subtitle says.

In particular, Overbye talks about the silence after the \(750\GeV\) hint faded away. It's been just a year or so when this bump disappeared. Should one be using ominous words such as "ominous" when there has been no similar intense wave of activity for a year? I don't think so.

Monday, June 19, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A reverse Muslim van attack in London?

At midnight, an event that was seemingly just another Islam-powered terrorist attack has taken place in London's Finsbury Park. A van ran over people. It seems that we have been there. No casualties are reported at this point but the event is "novel", anyway: The injured people are... worshipers from the Finsbury Park Mosque.

This adds a new dimension to the messy co-existence of Muslims and infidels in Western Europe.

The mosque is a Salafist-and-Muslim-Brotherhood-supporting one and has co-produced numerous Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in the past such as one 9/11 culprit, one who got famous in the U.S. in December 2001, and numerous holy warriors against the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Despite this productive publication record, the mosque keeps on working just fine. So it would make sense to conjecture that the van attack was organized by a private individual Western anti-terror activist who thinks that he needs to do something that his government fails to do. (Update: The suspect was named as Darren Osborne, 47.)

If that's the case, the incident clearly turns him or her into a terrorist as well but conflicts usually end up more symmetric than the words might suggest.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Danish "LIGO discovery is noise" paper is hogwash

All of them (and maybe lots or even all of LIGO folks) are missing that the two LIGO detectors aren't predicted to see signals that are exactly proportional to each other

At a Forbes blog, Sabine Hossenfelder uncritically promotes a combative Danish paper in her article

Was It All Just Noise? Independent Analysis Casts Doubt On LIGO's Detections
It is all about a fresh paper
On the time lags of the LIGO signals
by Andrew Jackson and pals (Creswell, von Hausegger, Liu, and Naselsky). They say that the LIGO discoveries could be noise or based on completely fake data (as Bulgarian crank Pentcho Valev helpfully says under Hossenfelder's article). ATdotDE and Telescoper claim to be agnostic.



Has everyone lost his or her mind? Please give me a break.

Friday, June 16, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Loop quantum gravity was Aryan physics of aether reloaded

Philipp Lenard won a physics Nobel prize and was widely regarded as a top ethnic German physicist as recently as in the 1930s and 1940s.

This fact sounds utterly bizarre today (but yes, aside from Heisenberg, Born, and Jordan, plus the founder of "quantum theory" Max Planck, all the German-sounding founders of quantum mechanics tended to be Swiss or Austrian etc. – maybe this weakness of Germany was affected by the enhanced anti-Semitism and other ideologies in that country). He got his Nobel for cathode rays. They were streams of electrons – I think that you need this to be explained because the very phrase doesn't sound important today. Moreover, J.J. Thomson, Johann Hittorf, and Eugen Goldstein were arguably more vital and earlier discoverers of the cathode ray, in the same way in which Conrad Röntgen was the actual discoverer of the X-rays, even though Lenard wanted to take credit for those, too.

As the "Genius" series on National Geographic reminds us, Lenard was a top Nazi hater of Einstein – and a top warrior against modern physics which he called "Jewish physics". In 2015, Bruce Hillman wrote the book The Man Who Stalked Einstein: How Nazi Scientist Philipp Lenard Changed the Course of History which is extremely interesting because it reveals that the Šmoit-style criticism of modern physics which I considered to be a recent phenomenon isn't new, after all. It's just the crackpottery of the Aryan physics reloaded.

Czech Senate boss' Stalinist proposal faces a surprising backlash

Last night, before I went to bed, I saw an article about a proclamation by the social democratic chairman of the Czech Senate – the upper chamber of the Parliament – Mr Milan Štěch (I know he has been a top politician for many years but I don't remember a single thing he has done or said in his life so far), a former communist, who said:

I think that there exists a large enough set of people, the pseudo-entrepreneurs, who are working as self-employed people or entrepreneurs (i.e. as OSVČ, please get used to this acronym) and they are not effectively exploited from the viewpoint of the national economy. We should gradually double or triple the minimum payments (healthcare insurance and contributions to the pension funds) that these people make to the government so that tens of thousands of them will prefer to be hired by someone and become employees.
Well, yes, I was somewhat scared – not that the doubling or tripling would be totally devastating. It would be unpleasant, anyway. During the tenure of the current government, I got so used to this kind of left-wing intimidation directed against OSVČ and the increasing bureaucratic and other harassment of the people who lead businesses or who work independently to make their living that I assumed that there will be silence and this proposal may be gradually supported by lots of people and maybe adopted after the elections.



The number of extra bureaucratic burdens, forms, and bans that the current government introduced in recent years was substantial. The "verification reports" for the payers of the value-added tax. The Croatian-style "fiscalization" – mandatory real-time reporting of all cash transactions done by businesses through Internet-connected devices that every businessman has to buy and maintain. Most recently, just days ago, the smokers' super-liberal Czechia turned into another hell of prohibition when the almost complete permission to smoke in pubs was changed to a nearly complete ban. And there were other events like that.

Do svidánija, khalif

How will Daesh deal with its constitutional crisis?

The Russian defense ministry announced that it believes that its May 28th strike has also killed Al-Baghdadi, the chieftain of the Islamic State. Al-Baghdadi, an intrinsically average terrorist, was elected the caliph i.e. the successor of Prophet Mohammed. If you want a good enough approximation what Mohammed looked like, Al-Baghdadi's mugshot is probably the best answer you may get.

If the reports are true, and I find it more likely than not that they are true, it is our duty to express deep condolences to those fellow terrorists who weren't killed along with their caliph (330 have been, including 30 commissars in the ISIS' version of the European Commission). And my condolences also go to John Kerry who was already previously deeply frustrated that the expansion of his ISIS allies stopped. George Soros is also sad but he should fund a cry-in room for the likes of Kerry now.

Thursday, June 15, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Wise politics is all about cherry-picking

In recent months and at several inequivalent places, I have repeatedly collided with an incredible meme promoted by the globalists. They say that we – their political opponents – must be bad because we want to "cherry-pick the good things". Wow, what an accusation.

Angela Merkel and numerous parrots on her side have pledged to block cherry-picking during Brexit negotiations. And yesterday, a Russian globalist Bloomberg writer tried to criticize Poland, Hungary, and Czechia because we're cherry-pickers, too.

There are probably other examples, too. And it's conceivable that the two examples above aren't independent of one another – the Russian writer could have just gotten the meme from Angela Merkel or someone in between.



Imagine that you feel somewhat hungry and you find yourself in a cherry orchard. What will you do? You should better find something to eat. There is some soil beneath your feet. There are rocks in it. And some sand. Then you observe wooden branches of the tree. And nicely green leaves. What will you do?

Well, you will pick the damn cherries. Oops, they're so yummy. If you are at least somewhat rational, you will ignore the rocks, grass, and leaves; instead, you will cherry-pick. In fact, most of the TRF readers are so smart that they will pick the red cherries, more precisely red cherries without caterpillars. And to show how brutally picky you are, you will probably spit out the cherry stones, I mean the pits, too. Is there a relationship between spit and pits? ;-)

What is the cherry-picking that I have just described? It's also called the "rational behavior". People (and more primitive animals) as well as politicians representing themselves, their parties, or their nations are doing it, too. You just want to eat or have the things that are good for you – and ignore or avoid the things that are bad or irrelevant for you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

LHC null results haven't changed the qualitative big picture in HEP

Two years ago, I wrote about relaxions, a new way to create awkward theories – that could be said "to be rather natural according to some criteria but not all criteria" – which are capable of "explaining" the existence of large numbers in physics.

One starts with a large, but only logarithmically large, number of fields and assigns somewhat exotic values of charges under a \(U(1)\) gauge group – and yes, it has to be an Abelian group which may be considered a damning flaw of the whole paradigm. Consequently, one finds that there exists a scalar boson with a periodic range of values whose periodicity is "exponentially large" in the number of elementary fields we have used.

Backreaction discusses those papers and some of their recent followups under the new brand, Clockworks. It is an OK idea – which is probably irrelevant in physics but has some chance to be relevant – but it can in no way be classified as the "#1 idea" of a decade or something big like that.

Instead of discussing the somewhat modest and vague idea again, let me express my disbelief about a general statement made at Backreaction.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

EU migrant quota infringement proceedings against PL, HU, CZ not to be taken seriously

In late 2015, multiculturalist activists within the European Union launched a new program to accelerate the Islamization of Europe – migrant quotas.



Every country was ordered to embrace roughly 1 new Muslim per 300 citizens – everyone was convinced that it was just the first testing number that would grow. Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania voted against but because of the Treaty of Lisbon, a simple majority was enough to make this extremely sensitive vote "official". Poland approved the quota system at that time but a new government came just weeks later and it's very clear that this new government would surely join the red bloc above.

Czechia, Hungary, and Poland have officially stopped all the efforts to incorporate Muslim migrants because of security concerns (recent terrorist attacks), insurmountable logistic problems (they just can't sit at one place), impossibility to find reliable information about the migrants (most of them lie about their age as well as nationality), and the migrants' own lack of will to stay in our countries. More seriously, our nations and its political representatives realize that the very idea is wrong because these efforts encourage a further growth of the illegal immigration. If this migration is caused by a conflict outside Europe, the problems must be solved at the place of the conflict.