Thursday, August 31, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Joe Polchinski's memories

While Joseph Polchinski was dealing with a brain injury – this phrase [which is probably a misspelled "surgery"] sounds much nicer than the ugly C-word – he found it an order of magnitude more difficult to work. Steve Shenker and Derek Westen have noticed that Joe's writing was crisp and excellent so he could do what a string theorist may always do even when he's temporarily reduced to 10% of his mental capacity – to become a writer.

Polchinski just published these

Memories of a Theoretical Physicist
I sincerely wish that with hindsight, the timing of these memories will be considered utterly non-essential!

If you start to read the memories, you will realize that you have already heard about the beginning. Joe Joe left his home in Tucson, Arizona, for some Californian grass.

An anti-quantum crackpot article in Quanta Magazine

The Quanta Magazine hasn't been hijacked by anti-quantum zealots for some time but this hiatus was compensated yesterday when

Quantum Theory Rebuilt From Simple Physical Principles
written by Philip Ball was released. Well, yes, even though crackpots generally find this simple point hard to understand, quantum theory is built on simple physical principles – they are known as the universal postulates of quantum mechanics.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Brian Greene's man-made hurricanes

Amazing Orwell: Have you recently tried to search for a white couple on Google Images? Hat tip: Mark Collett, Pavel Ryska. Update: more amazing queries here.
Most of you remember the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It has killed almost 4,000 people (Katrina was the main contributor), caused almost $160 billion in damages, and led climate fearmongers to say that every single year would bring the same or increasing number of hurricanes to America.

Well, it just turned out that the following 11 seasons saw mostly below-the average storm activity. Even more strikingly, the United States of America have experienced a record-breaking 11.8 years without a major hurricane landfall – since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. Those predictions about the strengthening hurricanes haven't worked at all, have they? Has someone been arrested or at least fired because of these bogus forecasts? I don't think so.

Now, a regular and average major hurricane, Category 4 Hurricane Harvey, has visited the U.S. again. The casualties are around 20 so far – negligible relatively to Katrina – and the losses are estimated between $10 billion and $50 billion dollars which are significantly smaller than those in 2005, too. Condolences to those who have been affected – and I wish good luck to those who are making decisions.

I don't think that Harvey is a globally important event and I am not really following it. A hurricane like that is expected to materialize a few times a year and arrive to the U.S. every other year or so.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Palermo moves from Sicily to Czechia

When a billionaire is a finance minister, you may be worried about a clash of interests. What does he do with a guy who owns a part of the same hall as the minister's chemical company and whose wagon blocks the minister's view?

Well, the video above – especially the events from 1:00 – approximately show the events. Comrade Andrej Babiš, a former top-tier communist and a secret police snitch, has bragged about his power many times. He has also publicly complained about our country's being like Sicily – except that he forgot to tell us he was the only big gangster around.

(BTW La Piovra, the series about the Italian mafia, was aired on Czechoslovak TVs in the 1980s during communism – I guess that this was one of the films that have gotten the permission from the communist bosses more quickly than others because the Italian society isn't pictured too flatteringly.)

On Sunday, the Twitter Skupina_Suman (The Julius Šuman Group, his critic[s] – whose identity is still eluding the current intelligence – funnily nicknamed after Babiš's commander at the communist secret police) has released about the fifth secret recording with Babiš's voice and it may be the most dramatic one yet.

Sunday, August 27, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Founder of Czechoslovakia was a royal bastard of the last major Austrian emperor

The evidence backing the yummy theory seems very strong to me

I have previously heard about the theory but only yesterday, I was reading the evidence systematically, thinking about the chronology, and the theory looks persuasive to me.

OK, it's all about these two men. The right one is Francis Joseph I of Austria, an Austrian emperor. He was born in August 1830 and his reign lasted almost 68 years, from December 1848 to November 1916 (his death). For the last two years of the war, Austria-Hungary was ruled by Charles I of Austria.

OK, Francis Joseph I – nicknamed Old Procházka [=Walk, #6 most frequent Czech surname] in the Czech lands because of one of two stories – was our beloved emperor. But the monarchy became an anachronism, nation states were guaranteed to be born on its ruins in 1918, and the most important new country that was created was Czechoslovakia, with the capital of Prague, the "third capital" of Austria-Hungary. And Thomas Garrigue Masaryk [the middle name was taken from his U.S. wife Charlotte Masaryk] was Czechoslovakia's key founder and the first president (for almost 20 years).

Saturday, August 26, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Velvet divorce: 25 years later, it's a reason for pride

Exactly 25 years ago, on August 26th, 1992, Czech and Slovak prime ministers Václav Klaus and Vladimír Mečiar, the winners of the elections, reached the agreement that they would peacefully dissolve Czechoslovakia.

On that day, pictures such as this one by the well-known adventurous photographer Mr Jef Kratochvíl of Brno were (mostly illegally) taken in the garden of Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Moravia, one of the pioneering gems of Europe's modern functionalist architecture (which I find just a little bit prettier than the similar communist concrete-block architecture of the late 20th century but let me avoid criticisms here).

At that time, most Czechs would probably prefer the continuation of Czechoslovakia that they identified with. Most Slovaks either wanted some independent state or a much looser union, a confederacy of a sort, that was considered a messy third way by the elected Czech political elite. At any rate, as Václav Klaus mentioned today, they had the unusual window of opportunity to do something that wouldn't be possible today – because the European Union would try to "ban it" with all possible tools.

Germany had lots of its problems after the unification, there was a war in Yugoslavia, tension in Russia etc., so everyone was willing to give Czechs and Slovaks lots of room to rearrange their statehood. And as we know today, it was a clear success.

Trump had moral duty to pardon political prisoner Arpaio

The Trump presidency that most of the American voters celebrated after the 2016 election is dead, Steve Bannon said. Well, parts of it look dead but thankfully, there are other parts the look alive and kicking to me.

Joe Arpaio is 85-year-old, has served America at least since the Korean War, and became famous for his effective fight against the illegal immigration when he was a sheriff in Arizona, the true men's zona. ;-) In his campaign against the illegal immigration, he assumed that

if it looks like an illegal immigrant, walks like an illegal immigrant, quacks like an illegal immigrant, lacks the official documentation just like the illegal immigrants do, it's probably an illegal immigrant.
My understanding is that he has never tangibly hurt or restricted someone who wasn't an illegal immigrant. But just like Europe, America is filled with organized activists who find the illegal immigration desirable. So they're telling you: You aren't allowed to look whether someone looks like an illegal immigrant, listen whether he quacks like an illegal immigrant, and you're not even allowed to take his lack of documentation into account.

And some judges have issued verdicts with these ludicrous statements, too.

Even after the November 2016 election won by those who are largely convinced that Arpaio was doing the right thing, some posthumous children of the Obama presidency among the judges were working hard to make life complicated for Mr Arpaio. He was charged with "contempt of court" – a typical type of crime that is easily abused by politically motivated fake trials (the name of the crime surely sounds like "the judge doesn't like you") – and he was expected to be sentenced to 6 months in prison plus fines.

Friday, August 25, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech Catholic leader: we're in the state of war

Dominik Duka is the Archbishop of Prague and the Primate of Bohemia. His boss Francis in the Vatican recently said that countries should make the life comfortable for illegal immigrants even if it means the self-destruction of the European country. Well, not every official in the Catholic Church is a perfidious man in this sense. Here's an interview with Duka translated from a Czech business day.

Terrorism is the state of war but we're unwilling to admit it. Political correctness has morphed into a lie, Cardinal Duka says
Interview by Mr Petr Honzejk, Mr Tomáš Pergler

  • Political correctness has morphed into an outright lie. Conservatively thinking people are at risk of a lynch by the media, Dominik Duka says
  • According to the head of the Czech Catholics, people don't have a genuine will to solve problems posed by terrorism and admit that we are in the state of war
  • He claims that foster parentship is a form of slavery
Cardinal Duka doesn't mince the words. When he talks about foster parents, he says that they're essentially slave owners. Conservative people are at risk of a modern form of the Inquisition which is why they prefer to escape from the public debate.

On the contrary, he has a favorable attitude to President Zeman. Zeman's critics inside the Church should act with the appreciation of Zeman's being the head of state.

LIGO/Virgo may have detected a merger of neutron stars

On August 18th, a Texan astronomer started a wave of speculation by this tweet:

And as far as I can say, this tweet – along with somewhat more specific tweets by astronomer Peter Yoachim hours later – may be the only "original" reason for the speculations so far. Nevertheless, Ethan Siegel at Forbes wrote the following two days ago:
Beyond Black Holes: Could LIGO Have Detected Merging Neutron Stars For The First Time?
And other sources that promoted the rumor include: The Daily Mail, Nude Socialist, Telescoper, Starts With A Bang, Wired, National Geographic, Quanta Magazine, The Independent, Science Alert, Nature, SciAm, NY Post, others.

That would really be cool.

Thursday, August 24, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

How to create objects inside black holes by outside operators

An anonymous reader has encouraged me to write this short review that I wanted to write for a few days.

Schrödinger's cat is jumping to a black hole. Will it be reincarnated as Heisenberg's German shepherd?

Recall that Kyriakos Papadodimas of CERN – whom I remember as a very bright Harvard grad student – is one of the folks who have, in my humble opinion, understood the lessons from the last two decades of the research of string theory and quantum gravity and their implications for the black hole interior and its (incomplete) independence from the exterior world. In particular, he and Suvrat Raju have written papers analyzing how the local field operators seem to be approximately embedded into Hilbert spaces including finitely many black hole microstates. One of the surprising lessons was that the local operators, especially those inside the black holes, must be embedded in a space-dependent way.

Days ago, Kyriakos submitted his new, 56-page-long paper:

A class of non-equilibrium states and the black hole interior.
He is proposing a simple Ansatz for states of a black hole that don't quite look like a black hole with the empty interior. Instead, some objects are created inside the black hole. And he can create these objects just with the help of some operators that are naturally outside the black hole – specifically, using operators that have a simple enough form in the CFT description of the AdS/CFT correspondence.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Quanta Magazine's dirty political propaganda

Based on my experience with similar left-wing activist websites, I believe there is a high probability that my comment under a disgusting Quanta Magazine article

A Physicist Who Models ISIS and the Alt-Right
by Juan Cristóbal Cobo will be censored. So I am going to post a copy here.

This article is a despicable pile of trash.

Before 1989, we were exposed to the communist propaganda. Folks like Václav Havel were periodically presented as "the same" as the Nazis, some links of Havel's relatives to the fascist regime were totally invented, others were blown out of any proportion. All of this stuff was driven by the ideological agenda.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

An auction: prophetic Einstein's letter slamming Chamberlain's appeasement

Update: The letter sold for $31,000.
I wouldn't claim to agree with all Einstein's political views – in particular, he was a leftist when it came to many issues – but it's still plausible that I would agree with "his side" in most of the actual conflicts he has fought.

The Express just revealed some cool newly surfaced letter:
Albert Einstein letter slamming Neville Chamberlain for appeasing Hitler emerges for sale
At an auction site, you may buy a remarkable letter by Einstein for $25,000, unless someone offers more – so far there are no bids.

I killed Einstein, Gentlemen, a 1969 (post-occupation but filmed already from 1968) Czechoslovak comedy with some time travel. To retroactively prevent the already-real Bomb G that makes women hairy, they plan an expedition to Prague in 1911 where Einstein discovered some prerequisites for the bomb. If you speak neither Czech nor Spanish, you won't understand much. ;-) Note that e.g. at 9:35, they were already taking selfies using a selfie stick in the late 1960s – a Czech invention. ;-)

In October 1938, ten days after Britain and France betrayed Czechoslovakia, Einstein (who was at Princeton) wrote a German letter to his old friend from the patent office, Michele Besso – you must remember him from the National Geographic "Genius" series. It's the same Besso whose death was downplayed by Einstein's famous eternalist quote "People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." ;-)

Soldiers should be replaced with robots

Elon Musk along with some 100+ assistants – such as Lisa Randall, Stephen Hawking, Frank Wilczek, Max Tegmark, Noam Chomsky, Steve Wozniak – have sent an open letter to the United Nations

demanding a ban on the killer robots, machines that are controlled by autonomous programs capable of killing the people. This technology is bound to start an arms race – like the two previous revolutions, gunpowder and nuclear bombs – and that's bad for everyone.

Except that it's not bad.

Civilized countries deal with lots of trivial armed enemies such as Daesh which could be easily defeated but no one really wants to do that. Some of the people who could fight Daesh are actually its allies. But even among those who aren't the allies of Daesh, no one really wants to sacrifice the lives of our soldiers in order to kill some pretty much irrelevant savages and bigots. The value of a Western soldier is several million dollars while the Daesh warrior is cheaper by many orders of magnitude. You surely don't want to sacrifice your boys on the man-against-man basis.

Monday, August 21, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Fraternal help 1968: an anniversary

Even the American Thinker noticed that exactly 49 years ago, early in the morning of August 21st, 1968, 200,000 troops from 5 countries of the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia.

If you don't know much but you're slightly interested, I recommend you to watch this 48-minute (ex-Soviet Georgian!) video about the events. Just to be sure. Czechia and mostly Slovakia have been parts of the Western civilization – through the Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian Empire - for some 1,000 years. This country that has belonged to Western Europe politically nevertheless fell into the Soviet sphere of influence after 1945, partly due to the betrayal by France and Britain in 1938, partly due to our gratitude to the Soviet army that sacrificed a lot of lives, and partly because of the unstoppable growth of the communist movement in much of Europe.

Sunday, August 20, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A funny Czech reaction to the anti-Confederate cultural genocide in the U.S.

Most Czech pundits and media are surprised by the neo-Marxist habit of tearing down of the Confederate statues in recent days. Iconoclasm is something that we remember well from the Nazi era and the communist era – and indeed, from the post-communist era, too. The far left is trying to rewrite the history and frame the U.S. president as a Ku-Klux-Klan boss of a sort and all these things are just bizarre.

Let me pick a text by George X. Doležal – who is paid for somewhat funny, somewhat provocative works in Reflex, a mainstream journal.

Let's tear down the statues of Charles IV!
George X. Doležal, August 20th (satire)

After a mass demolition of the statues of the national heroes from the Confederate era which took place in the U.S. in recent days, this remarkable neo-Marxist happening could become a European habit, too. At least the Czech Republic should get inspired by the U.S. authorities and start to remove the statues of the great Czechs who must be disavowed today, in the name of the political correctness.

Saturday, August 19, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Bank of Korea is taking over Bitcoin Cash least, that's a result of your humble correspondent's inference...

Three weeks ago, I discussed the split of the Bitcoin to the new Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). For some time, the prices were around $4,000 and $300 or so, plus minus 30%.

But two days ago, BCH began to skyrocket. It reached $1,000 hours ago. The timing of this growth was attributed to the first 8 MB block mined by BCH (BTC only mines 1 MB blocks) and the fact that the BCH mining became more profitable than the BTC mining.

On Friday, the trading volumes of BCH actually trumped those of the "main" BTC Bitcoin, $4 billion to $3 billion a day. Moreover, it's been known that most of the BCH trade was the trade BCH against SKW, the South Korean won, and it occurred at Korean exchanges.

Friday, August 18, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Religion of peace enriches Catalonia, Finland

With some compensation, Muslims should be banned from vans, knives in the public

Technical: I added two clever lines in a Disqus Javascript code which allowed me to redirect the whole blog to HTTPS without separating the discussions. Please let me know if you face any problems, broken widgets etc.
I am sure that many of you have undergone a similar emotional evolution as your humble correspondent. A few years ago, I would be shocked, deeply hurt when a terrorist attack took place. However, one simply gets used to any events that are occurring sufficiently frequently. What's new about the 2017 Barcelona attacks and the 2017 Turku attack is perhaps just the "new" European countries, namely Spain and Finland, respectively, but otherwise the sad events look like business-as-usual.

While Muslims represent about 4% of Spaniards, they are 8% in Catalonia. So it makes sense that the first attacks in Spain take place in Catalonia.

In downtown Turku – where most of Finland's Muslims live (so it makes sense, too; note that only 1% of Finns are Muslims) – one person died and six were injured after a person screamed Allahu akbar. In Barcelona, a white van rented by a man of Moroccan ancestry has driven on the sidewalk of La Rambla, a popular tourists' boulevard, and killed 14 people. A few hours later, five Muslims – some of them had fake explosive belts – had to be killed in Cambrills after their Audi A3 tried to overrun pedestrians as well.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Harlow, Ooguri: entanglement/AdS proof that there are no global symmetries in QG

Daniel Harlow wrote or co-wrote numerous interesting papers about quantum gravity, entanglement, locality, error code correction, weak gravity conjecture etc. within AdS/CFT.

John Preskill has tweeted about an interesting, soon-to-be-published result by Harlow and Hiroši Ooguri:

They seem to make some lore rigorous.

Bitcoin at $100,000 is possible

Bitcoin fans and owners will learn to bribe cryptocurrency critics

A theorist often lacks some genuine feelings associated with a certain real condition or activity. In particular, when you own a not quite negligible fraction of a Bitcoin, you may see how you actually want to behave and what many other owners of Bitcoins will do.

If you can afford to lose the value but you see the genuine chance for many doublings of the Bitcoin's value in the future, you are inclined to keep it – and not convert it to the real world currencies.

Exactly one month ago, on July 17th, BTCUSD bounced from lows around $1,800 and it went to $2,150 or so. Those values looked incredible but in the following month, as we can see today, the price has doubled again. Exactly. One Bitcoin is worth some $4,300 or CZK 96,000. You may watch the prices and capitalizations of top 1,000 cryptocurrencies (by capitalization) if you click at this sentence.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Czechs amazed by a PC lawsuit against a Czech Swedish writer

Czechia's economy grew by impressive 4.5% yoy and 2.3% qoq in Q2 of 2017, brutally beating estimates. Donald Trump made a speech about Charlottesville that has offended many – surely not me. Most importantly, I agree that both sides, "alt right" and "alt left", need to calm down in Virginia and elsewhere in the U.S. And yes, the removal of Confederate heroes' statues is bound to produce lots of understandable anger.

But I want to mention a seemingly irrelevant story about a lawsuit. Rossana Dinamarca is a Swedish student (a very old one for a student, she was born in 1974) who came to Sweden from Chile. She is a lawmaker for the Left Party which is, despite the impressively general name, a tiny communist party that has never made it to the Swedish government.

Swedish newspapers and their Czech counterparts such as iDNES and Echo24 informed us about a lawsuit that Dinamarca filed against Ms Kateřina Janouchová (picture above), a Prague-born writer (in Swedish).

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A future proof of \(P=NP\) or \(P\neq NP\) may be far-reaching or not so much

A few days ago, Norbert Blum, a professor (and a chair) from Bonn, the ex-capital of West Germany (picture) whose publication record looks good released the preprint

A Solution of the P versus NP Problem
claiming to contain a proof that \(P\neq NP\).

John Baez and Alon Amit, a brilliant mathematician at Quora, have offered their opinions. The preprint isn't "self-evidently wrong" according to some basic "smell tests" that may be used to "sniff" for wrong proofs of this kind, Baez concluded. In fact, a bunch of computer scientists has so far reacted in the same way: it looks rather credible so far. So it's good enough news for Blum.

At the same moment, neither Baez nor Amit could tell us "I have found a clear mistake" or, on the contrary, "I have verified the proof and joined those who claim that a proof has been found". Francis Villatoro, Gary Knife, and Scott Aaronson claim to know about incorrect statements "proven" at places in Blum's proof, however, although they don't know where's the error in Blum's proof. Sadly for Scott Aaronson who offers you $200,000 if he is wrong, he was mindlessly building on a statement by Luca Trevinsan who has already renounced his own criticism (he misunderstood what Andreev's function was).

James Damore: aftermath

I find Edwin's ideas worth listening to (I am sure he is annoyed by calm comments about "worth" and "blah blah" and would prefer warmer ones, so yes, I love you, Edwin LOL) which is why I have watched this 80-minute video recommended by Edwin:

Prof Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux (both from Canada) are two main individualist YouTube pundits who have previously interviewed James Damore, the former $162,000-a-year Senior Google engineer who became a hero of freedom. So in this discussion, they talked to each other. They covered a lot of ground. You may see that their thinking and values are close enough to each other. But you may still see that they're individualist and they want similar audiences to dedicate time to their videos, so to some extent, this insightful debate still sounds like a competition of a sort.

Saturday, August 12, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Arctic mechanism: a derivation of the multiple point criticality principle?

One of the ideas I found irresistible in my research during the last 3 weeks was the multiple point criticality principle mentioned in a recent blog post about a Shiu-Hamada paper.

Froggatt's and Nielsen's and Donald Bennett's multiple point criticality principle says that the parameters of quantum field theory are chosen on the boundaries of a maximum number of phases – i.e. so that something maximally special seems to happen over there.

This principle is supported by a reasonably impressive prediction of the fine-structure constant, the top quark mass, the Higgs boson mass, and perhaps the neutrino masses and/or the cosmological constant related to them.

Czech trams in Pyongyang

Tough words directed against North Korea have been a pleasant distraction for Donald Trump because the negative attitudes towards North Korea seem to be uncontroversial in the U.S. and beyond. There's a problem: North Korea may hypothetically erase several cities from the map but no one seems to care.

Americans generally support a strike against North Korea. But do they know where the country is located? That's what the folks at the Hollywood Boulevard, a major avenue in L.A., were asked. The answers were all over the map, literally, but the consensus seems to be that North Korea is in Northeastern Canada. Prepare your bunkers, Mr Kim IV Trudeau!

Friday, August 11, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

GR=QM paper shows Susskind isn't a real co-father of ER=EPR

I have always appreciated that in comparison to other top physicists, Leonard Susskind was among those who deserved to be called heuristic thinkers, creative mavericks, talkers rather than calculators, and to a large extent, I have found this spirit inspiring. Susskind was always a role model for me. The number and diversity of ideas he helped to emerge from the darkness was amazing.

Of course, as the well-known lore says, physics depends on the delicate balance between the hot, bold, philosophical speculations on one side; and the cold, hard, boring facts on the other. When this balance is broken, physics degenerates either to philosophy or to botany (or stamp collecting). This lore is not meant to be an insult when it says that philosophy and botany are inferior because they self-evidently are inferior.

Well, the first outcome seems to be a good description of Susskind's new paper

Dear Qubitzers, GR=QM
The 15-page paper is free of equations, begins with "Dear Qubitzers" (a hybrid of quantum bit and kibitzers) and ends with "Best regards, Lenny".

Thursday, August 10, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Police finally asks lawmakers to enable prosecution of Babiš

Will he win the October elections while arrested?

Andrej Babiš, a Slovak billionaire, a former communist cadre, an ex-agent of the communist secret police, and the Czech finance minister up to Spring, was fired by the social democratic prime minister Sobotka a few months ago, in a series of events that looked like a farce mainly because Sobotka repeatedly changed his opinions how to deal with the problem named Babiš. The reasons were numerous.

At least at the level of economic morality that Babiš – and Sobotka – loudly demand from everyone else, there was no doubt that Babiš has done too many immoral things.

He has done lots of strange things to fool his former business partners, evade taxation of CZK 1 bonds by tricks with the rounding to the nearest integer etc. but the most famous wrongdoing is the subsidies for his Stork's Nest, a luxurious farm and rural tourist resort I saw a year ago. He temporarily moved the company owning the project to his relatives, they secured $2 million of EU subsidies that were meant to help small and medium businesses, and then Babiš – who owns a $3 billion company – restored the ownership of his Stork's Nest company.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Women are neurotic: research

Almost none of the critics of James Damore's memo has actually read it and virtually all negatively sounding statements that have been made about the memo have been malicious, outright lies mindlessly screamed by fanatical lynch mob. But several people who actually wanted to find something wrong about Damore's text found the following statement to be among the most controversial ones:

Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).

This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.
Women are more anxious in average, he dared to point out. Well, everyone who is at least slightly interested in related disciplines of biology and psychology – and even most people who aren't interested but they just observe the people around them – must have known it for many years. Let me mention several papers, popular reviews, and facts.

Monday, August 07, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

James Damore deserves $100 million as a compensation from Google

His observations about the stifling PC culture may be necessary for reforms that Google needs to survive

Updates: "$1 million in bonuses" was changed to "$100 million as a compensation" after Damore was "fired" by a Mr Kunda Píča whom I have never heard of; Damore plans to sue Google; he had previously complained to NLRB and wants to argue that his dismissal was a revenge which would be illegal. See a Damore's defiant answer to Reuters.

Donations up to $60,000 to JD. I haven't verified that website.
Recently, James Damore (here's where I learned his name) has studied towards his PhD in systems biology from Harvard but just like some other young men with numerous talents, this 23- or 28-year-old Gentleman immediately went to Google (in 2013, Damore's team won a computational challenge to evacuate a big city; more awards; he's been at Google since 2013) and became a Level 5 Senior Engineer – a position somewhere in the middle of Google's corporate hierarchy – focusing on the infrastructure of the search engine.

(I decided that a photograph of James isn't needed. Imagine a picture of Mark Zuckerberg's twin brother over here.)

Last week, he wrote an e-mail to some internal list of recipients at Google which was both relevant for the future of the company as well as related to the topic of his PhD program that he had previously undergone from a university that isn't quite unknown, ;-) either to me or to the world.

The full text of his 10-page-long essay, Google's Ideological Echo Chamber, may be found at Gizmodo (along with some less valuable appendices) if you click at the link in this sentence. See the original 10-page Damore's PDF file with charts and references; or a special website of the memo (later, a new Damore's domain). The stifling atmosphere of political correctness has largely conquered Google, Damore argues, and people who just suggest that they would prefer a more serious discussion about the actual causes of the gender gap in STEM fields are immediately demonized, threatened, and silenced.

Damore, a centrist and a sensibly self-described classical liberal, explained some characteristic features (which may become vices in too high concentrations) of the leftwingers and rightwingers, argued that the left-wing bias at Google has become staggeringly obvious, and this bias is increasingly preventing sensible people from saying self-evident facts such as that women's have a greater focus on people and emotions while men's focus on things and hard reasoning, aside from other biological differences he discussed eloquently.

Sunday, August 06, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Vanderbilt: mathematics is sexist

In the 1990s, left-winger Alan Sokal wrote a bogus paper mocking his fellow leftists who were also postmodernists, feminists, or otherwise mentally crippled beyond the usual standards of the Left. Just because Sokal was licking their rectums and amplifying some of the most stupid propositions by these pompous fools, the reviewers of a "prestigious" journal have accepted the paper despite its complete absurdity.

Related to this topic: at least one engineer wrote at least one 10-page essay titled Google's Ideological Echo Chamber arguing that the STEM gender gap is natural. Let's hope that Google won't Bing him. One should be afraid – assorted parasitic neurotic vice-presidential bitches for diversity at Google immediately began to threaten the wise gentleman (and prove his thesis in a clear way). Ranting monkey ran a great story about it.
One of the recurrent themes in his funny paper was the idea that mathematics was sexist and the discipline would look very different if we stopped the discrimination against women etc. Serious papers weren't quite saying these things at that time – yet.

Now, two decades later, papers claiming to be serious are saying the same things as Sokal's hoax from the 1990s. Andrzej pointed out the following Tweet

which promotes a article about a remarkable paper Unmasking the Male Superiority Myth... The author, Luis Leyva, is a junior professor at the Vanderbilt Peabrain University.

Saturday, August 05, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Gary North, Mojmír Hampl on fatal volatility of cryptocurrencies

...and my thermodynamic metaphors...

Mojmír Hampl is one of the 7 members of the Czech National Bank's board – which determines the main interest rates in Czechia etc. He was the key hawk-turn-dove in 2013 whose vote decided about the interventions against the previously strengthening crown and the alleged deflation threat. And he's arguably the most outspoken pundit among the seven. I've had a lunch with him some years ago.

Parallel Polis, a Bitcoin café in Prague

Days ago, he published his opinion about the Bitcoin:

Don't be afraid of bitcoin
It was published on the Czech National Bank's website – and elsewhere. Others in the board probably agree with him. By the "fear", Hampl means that the cryptocurrencies don't really represent any "competitor" to the fiat currencies. In particular, the Czech crown – the currency only used by 0.15% of the people on Earth – is used in a 6 times larger volume of transactions than the Bitcoin – almost 50% of the cryptocurrencies' capitalization over $100 billion and a global mania.

Friday, August 04, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

T2K: a two-sigma evidence supporting CP-violation in neutrino sector

Let me write a short blog post by a linker, not a thinker:

T2K presents hint of CP violation by neutrinos
The strange acronym T2K stands for Tokai to Kamioka. So the T2K experiment is located in Japan but the collaboration is heavily multi-national. It works much like the older K2K, KEK to Kamioka. Indeed, it's no coincidence that Kamioka sounds like Kamiokande. Average Japanese people probably tend to know the former, average physicists tend to know the latter. ;-)

Dear physicists, Kamiokande was named after Kamioka, not vice versa! ;-)

Muon neutrinos are created at the source.

Thursday, August 03, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Dark Energy Survey rivals the accuracy of Planck

Yesterday, the Fermilab brought us the press release

Dark Energy Survey reveals most accurate measurement of dark matter structure in the universe
celebrating a new result by the Dark Energy Survey (DES), a multinational collaboration studying dark matter and dark energy using a telescope in Chile, at an altitude of 2,200 meters.

DES wants to produce similar results as Planck – the modern sibling of WMAP and COBE, a satellite that studies the cosmic microwave background temperature in various directions very finely – but its method is very different. The DES telescope looks at things in the infrared – but it is looking at "regular things" such as the number of galaxy clusters, weak gravitational lensing, type IA supernovae, and baryon acoustic oscillations.

ČNB finally notices that the Czech economy is overheated

Europe's first rate hike in many years

Since the November 7th, 2013 anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Czech National Bank (ČNB) artificially weakened the Czech currency and kept it weaker than 27 crowns per euro. During the 3+ years up to April 6th, 2017 when the cap was finally abandoned, the Czech National Bank quadrupled its Forex reserves so right now, Czechia's $143 billion of foreign reserves make us the 18th "most reserved" country in the world, almost tied with Italy, and safely beating the likes of the United States of America or Europe (ECB). ;-)

Ms Emmy Destinn née Kittlová (almost like Motlová) on our $90 banknote. She and Dinh Gilly uploaded a nice audio to YouTube in 1914 with the Czech anthem, 4 years before it became the anthem. The lyrics were a bit different.

The CZKexit came too late – but it was because the board members had unwisely extended a commitment back in 2016. On April 6th, there was no doubt that it was needed to remove the weird Chinese-style policy. Since that time, the EURCZK rate went down more or less smoothly from the cap level of 27 to 26 or so, confirming all my qualitative predictions and debunking many analysts' delusions about "a huge volatility with rate jumping between 24 and 30" and similar crackpottery.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Italy seizes the first NGO ship of human smugglers

Czech readers were somewhat pleased by the news that at least some sanity is returning to Italy. A Sicilian prosecutor has ordered to confiscate Iuventa, an NGO ship that has been shown to "cooperate" with the human flesh traffickers.

Iuventa belongs to Jugend Rettet (Young Saviors), a German NGO originally founded by some high school students in 2015. The prosecutor announced he has serious evidence of repeated encounters between Jugend Rettet and the recognized traffickers close to the Libyan border. Well, you may see it – a video of June 18th and June 26th incidents.

Two Czech anti-Daesh veterans sentenced to 6.25 years in a Turkish jail

Turkey is a country in between Europe and the Islamic anticivilization which has been increasingly self-confident, increasingly Islamic, and has done lots of questionable things. Last November, Turkey caught a Czech couple that was fighting against the Islamic State along with the Kurds in Rojava, i.e. the Northern Syrian Kurdistan.

Amusingly relaxed and outspoken Ms Všelichová talks since 1:44. "If you wanna help," the Kurds told her, "here you have some clothes, here you have a Kalashnikov, and you can go with us" which is how she got to the battlefront.

Some other folks were released but Ms Markéta Všelichová (codename Zelane Botan) and Mr Miroslav Farkas (codename Sniper Serxwebun Botan 007) weren't too lucky. Their punishment could have been even more severe and lots of people were predicting it. However, we could learn today that they should go to prison for 6 years and 3 months. The most serious formal charge is their membership in YPG, the Kurdish People's Protection Units, which are classified as a "terrorist organization" by Turkey.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Bitcoin split shows the stupidity of the concept of cryptocurrencies

...and why the central, transparent control over a currency is a key advantage, not a vice...

Today, the Bitcoin (BTC) was split into two new cryptocurrencies. From now on, you may convert your cash to Bitcoin or Bitcoin cash (click and try to distinguish their symbols LOL). For quite some time, people were using the acronym BCC for Bitcoin cash before most began to appreciate that BCC was already taken by BitConnect, the 15th largest cryptocurrency by capitalization (which lost 20% today), so BCH began to spontaneously propagate instead – the new acronym originated after the currency was created! The very naming of the old and new currency is a complete mess: a minor example of a situation in which some "adults in the room" would be helpful.

If you held 1 BTC at a given moment, you were eligible to get one new BTC and one new BCH. In principle, the rule "when" you should hold the old BTC should be absolutely and universally specified – because you surely want to know whether you're buying or selling an "asset" that is eligible for this BCH "bonus" – which is worth some 10-20 percent of the old BTC. It's exactly analogous to the splitting of a stock to two, or the payment of the dividend. The price of the "main" stock is expected to decrease exactly by the value of the smaller stock or by the dividend at the very last moment when you still have the right to get the "bonus" – the new stock or the dividend.

But the people trading this stuff don't care about details such as 10% of their wealth., best online/offline map app+server

Update: The superb maps app released as "Windy Maps" for Android and iOS.

LIGO-VIRGO: The European 3/4-size, LIGO-like detector, VIRGO, has finally joined its two larger American siblings and they collect the data together. was and probably still is Czechia's most visited web page – and the company behind it, a formidable, locally stronger competitor of Google's.

I am proud to have spent an hour chatting to Ivo Lukačovič, its founder and owner, in the early 1990s. We participated at the Liane BBS Session – a real-world gathering of folks who would otherwise only chat through the telnet-based Bulletin Board Service. We were talking shortly before he founded the company, during our walk to the summit of Ještěd, a Northern Bohemian hill (Sudetenland) with a famous hyperboloid structure at the top.

"Seznam" means a "list" or a "directory" and the company began as a Yahoo-style "list of all Czech websites". You can imagine that this approach to the Internet has been somewhat obsolete for quite some time. So gradually embraced a full search engine and – usually with some delay – most of the other services that non-Czechs mostly associate with Google. The map server and application, ("mapy" is "maps", the plural from "mapa" i.e. "a map"), is one of the most successful projects of this big Czech company.

I recommend you to
try website, download Android app, iOS app, WM app.
This blog post is being written right now because the Android map was just upgraded to version 5.0 which contains offline maps of the whole world. That new version will come to iOS soon, too.

For example, after you tap the three-dots (other commands) and "offline mapy" (the web exists in Czech and English, the apps only in Czech so far, as far as I know), you may download the whole U.S. to your Android phone – it is some 22 gigabytes – or you may download each of the 142 U.S. maps separately (states but also various districts, groups islands etc.). In all these applications, you will face the language barrier. The first thing the American readers should know is that "Spojené státy americké" is the phrase for "The United States of America". The U.K. starts with "Spojené", too. But you will see flags and it's not hard to use the functions even if you don't understand the Czech.

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