Sunday, July 11, 2010

Margaret Thatcher produced LHC and invented Internet

News: Dennis Overbye wrote a truly bizarre article about Erik Verlinde's gravity from entropy and he dropped by 1 place in my list of good MSM science journalists

It's often said that a left-wing fraudster, sexual poodle, and predator invented the Internet.

However, David Willetts, the current U.K. minister of state for universities and science (Tories), clarified the genuine story in his Friday talk for the Royal Institution in London:
Science, Innovation and the Economy
It's a well-known fact that the SSC, the Superconducting Supercollider, was masterminded by Ronald Reagan and killed during the Clinton-Gore administration. Willetts offers a similar wisdom about Margaret Thatcher, a famous British chemist:
Margaret Thatcher was more circumspect when she wrong-footed sceptical Cabinet colleagues with her defence of public spending on the Large Hadron Collider. "Yes, but isn't it interesting?" was enough to stifle their objections. And her interest in the work at CERN was rewarded by Tim Berners-Lee establishing the groundwork for the World Wide Web. I've seen the original computer server with a note from Tim attached, instructing fellow scientists not to switch it off. Our lives have truly been revolutionised by his inventiveness.
These were still the times when the world kind of worked. Indeed, the LHC was and is damn interesting, the investments to CERN have already returned many times, and it was great that Margaret Thatcher could close the mouth of her less gifted colleagues so elegantly and easily.

Less gifted people became way louder recently.

The LHC's and the SSC's masterminds in Camp David in 1986.


  1. Lubos, I was trying to find a post and am not having luck.

    I believe it was on a paper by Stephen Schwartz. He wrote about lags for greenhouse warming, showing the vast majority of warming is realized in about 5 years +/- 3, IIRC.

    When I search for "schwartz" and for "lags", I don't find it.

    It was before the climate sensitivity paper, IIRC.

  2. Dear aaron, you may know an additional paper, but I think it is the same paper. The climate sensitivity paper calculates the sensitivity as the ratio or product (...) of the heat capacity of the upper ocean and the time constant - and the time constant is the time scale when (e-1)/e of the warming is realized, in a sense, and it was estimated to be 5 years plus minus a few. (Later, Schwartz would increase the estimate a bit.)

  3. That must be it. I thought there was a post that focused on the lag, but I must be wrong.


    Also, you might want to post this piece of peer-reviewed skepticism if you haven't already:

    Solar and Volcanic Activity

  4. I think you might find this paper of interest:

    Modern Physics Is Rotting.

    I have written a short introduction at: The Quantum Mechanic. Along with more links.