Saturday, September 30, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Private keys, RSA, digital signatures, blockchain: rudiments of cryptography

The Bitcoin cultists completely misunderstand economics – and the magic of the (fiat) money – but I've noticed that most of them completely misunderstand the point of the blockchain itself which is a pity because it's a clever idea, indeed (although not a terribly useful one).

There are some basics of cryptography that aren't really taught but people should understand them. In practice, most people don't even get why anything should be crypto-, why there should be any keys, and what all these things are good for. Do you have a relative who believes that it's fine for his or her Google account to be unprotected and for the password to be basically public? I do! ;-)

Passwords, encryption

But the reader is expected to understand what passwords are good for. You may need to be sure that only you – or people who know the password – access your files. They contain sensitive material that allows you to manipulate your wealth (you don't want everyone to read the message "dear son, I have digged the bricks of gold under the 34th tree next to the crossing at the Niggerville forest"), that stores the information about your private life, private parts of your body and soul, and other things.

Passwords may be employed so that the operating system prevents you from logging into the computer unless you type the correct password. However, the hard disk still contains the files and there could be a way to avoid the operating systems and get to the content of the files, anyway. So files may also be encrypted. It means that they're transformed in some way that depends on the password. It's important that the resulting encrypted file doesn't allow an attacker to guess the password or the unencrypted file, not even with a reasonably huge amount of CPU power and time.

Friday, September 29, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Catalan tensions will grow: no sensible Spaniards

There exist two official truths about the events that will take place on Sunday, October 1st, in Catalonia. According to the Spanish government, there will be no vote in Catalonia. According to Catalonia's vice-president, however, a majority of the eligible voters will participate in the referendum that will ask the Catalans whether they want Catalonia to become an independent republic: Yes or No?

We will see who is right. I can't know for sure. I would bet that the Catalan folks are right, mostly because of the locality of the laws of physics. It seems clear that an overwhelming majority of the people on the territory want to organize a referendum and participate in it. And it's hard for some remote government (in Madrid) to enforce a very different scenario against the wishes of most of the 7.5 million Catalan people, their president, government, and others. So I think that they have printed some extra ballots somewhere – or they will print additional ones – that haven't been seized yet and the local people will simply make it insufferably painful for some non-Catalan enforcement officials to prevent the people from entering the schools and other polling booths.

Catalan farmers brought tractors to defend polling booths. Firefighters will pour water on the Spanish cops if needed.

Some polls could have indicated that close to 50% of Catalans could have been okay with the setup within Spain. I believe it's no longer possible to obtain such a balanced result now.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Proposed experiments seeking hidden sectors, millicharged particles

Off-topic I, LIGO: Virgo, the Italian sister (guess why she isn't a brother and what's the name of her bed partner), has finally joined her two LIGO brothers and they observed the GW170814 black hole merger together. Her signal is clearly weaker but it's there. Three detectors allowed precise localization of the event in both directions and will allow to test new consistency conditions that follow from GR. See LIGO's Twitter for more.

Off-topic II, quantum computing: a new PLB article promotes a faster hardware for quantum computers, with some photon pulses running around a room many times. See Science Alert for a summary. Because the qubit is embedded in an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space, the scheme may be easily made fault-tolerant.

Bob Henderson wrote about two proposed experiments to search for new (particle) physics outside the LHC's detectors:
How the Hidden Higgs Could Reveal Our Universe’s Dark Sector (Quanta Magazine)
There may be new Higgs-like bosons, superpartners predicted by supersymmetry, but completely new things – no physics beyond the Standard Model has been found as of today.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Catalonia: Spaniards should realize their arrogance is real, unsustainable

I just read a new issue of the Newsletter of the Václav Klaus Institute – it included lots of answers of politicians and pundits to the question whether the dissolution of Czechoslovakia 25 years ago was just an arbitrary destructive act by two politicians who were thirsty for power (you can sometimes hear similar hints from the "Havloids" even in 2017), or the culmination of old Slovaks' efforts to gain independence. Needless to say, almost everyone answered the latter.

During the 19th century, Czechs simply experienced more autonomy within Austria-Hungary than Slovaks and Czechoslovakia as established in 1918 was primarily "our", Czech country. Slovaks were just more thirsty for their independence – perhaps for very good reasons. They've never had it. So they agreed to join Czechoslovakia – it looked like a move closer towards emancipation. And they have exploited most of the key events in the history of Czechoslovakia – 1938, 1968, 1989 – to struggle for independence.

After 1989, Czechs were excited about the fall of communism and how it could help the economy and other productive aspects of the society. Slovaks were primarily thrilled that it was an opportunity to gain independence or more of it. That was true for most of the ordinary Slovaks but with some makeup on the surface, it was basically true for the Slovak intellectuals, too.

I came to the Charles University in Fall 1992 – exactly when the fate of Czechoslovakia was sealed. We were the last freshmen who began the college as Czechoslovak citizens – well, a month earlier, I returned from Moscow where our, last Czechoslovak team attended the International Mathematical Olympiad. I've had numerous Slovak classmates – just to be sure, Slovaks are still widespread at Prague schools. Some of them, usually those who would love to earn the best grades, were trying to be as pro-federation as possible. Some others were quite self-evident Slovak nationalists. I had friends among both. For example, I attended a Prague-vs-Bratislava soccer match with Š.P. The fanaticism with which he supported Slovan Bratislava was totally amusing to me.

Given these differences, it was simply unavoidable for Czechoslovakia to split soon or later. The main 1918 "real" justification for Czechoslovakia, the need to outnumber the Germans by the Slavs, was gone along with the Sudetenland Germans. Czechs no longer needed Slovaks for such reasons and vice versa. Well, maybe another necessary condition making it unavoidable was that the Czechs ultimately didn't care much – we're simply not a nation that can get enthusiastic about the empire building (too bad, I would be almost certainly interested in these things way more than the average Czech). Various people remember assorted – subtle and not so subtle – signs of hostility of Slovaks towards Prague, their desire to gain independence that manifested itself sooner or later if you talked to them, especially while drinking wine.

Monday, September 25, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Relativization of gender inflection is an assault on Czech character of my country

In the German Parliamentary elections, CDU won with 32.8% (246 seats), close to the worst results since 1949, followed by SPD with 20.4% (worst result ever in FRG, 153 seats), and the moral winners, AfD with 13% (94 seats) that have beaten the expectations (as we expected) but not enough to make it to the #1 or #2 place. Would-be pro-business FDP (10.7%, 80 seats) trumped the leftists in Die Linke (9.1%, 69 seats) and the Greens (9.0%, 67 seats).

Czechia has won the global contest seeking the most unhealthy country in the world. Congratulations to ourselves! The interpretation by the leftists is upside down, of course. Recheck why the beer nation is actually the healthiest one.
The change from the previous elections is unambiguously in the anti-PC, anti-migration direction. Nevertheless, the actual outcome will be the Jamaica coalition (colors on the flag), CDU+FDP+Greens. Yes, the totally unhinged far left Green Party will probably get to the government led by a party that considered itself conservative just a decade ago. I agree with Mr Jan Skopeček of ODS that this practical victory for the Greens is the most terrifying outcome of the elections. Recall that e.g. the top German lawmaker Ms Ska Keller wanted to relocate whole Syrian villages to the post-communist Europe. I think she would be rightfully lynched if she said such a thing on a Czech rally.

But I want to discuss something seemingly less important, at least for most readers, namely the Czech language. The social democratic minister of foreign affairs Mr Lubomír Zaorálek wrote:

It means "The election victory of A. Merkel is a proof that satisfaction has prevailed in Germany. Congratulations to A. Merkel and I am looking forward to the next cooperation between DE and ČR".

Sunday, September 24, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

All world's Bitcoins belong to the government of China

Nationalized Chinese miners will turn the government into the sole decision maker
See 51% attack at Investopedia for an independent description what a majority miner can do.

In recent days, lots of adult men commented on the stupidity of the "Bitcoin economy" – JP Morgan boss Jamie Damon, biggest hedge fund founder Ray Dalio, ECB vice-president Vitor Constancio, and many other big shots.

They pointed out it's a bubble, a tulip mania, a pure speculation, the actual value of the Bitcoins is zero – and independent of the intellectual worth of the blockchain ideas, and it's not a currency because you can't buy anything for it (especially tomorrow or later for prices you could rely upon) and it doesn't store value because of the volatility. The Motley Fool explained why it's laughable that the Bitcoin could become a safe haven like gold. Not bad for a fool – although his being Motley makes him a very smart fool, indeed, almost like the Einsteinian Moron.

Sane people have realized the facts like Dimon for a long time. What's changing most abruptly are actual steps that a government is taking these days. And I don't mean Ukraine and Indonesia that won't allow the Bitcoin payments, as we learned today (governments have lots of reasons to ban it). I mean the government of China. China banned the ICOs – the jokingly named would-be counterpart of IPOs where real money is collected for new cryptocurrencies. It is in the process of banning cryptocurrency exchanges.

But it seems very likely that it will strip the private Chinese Bitcoin miners from their freedom, too. And things get much more interesting here for certain numerical reasons.

Spencer Bogart started a Twitter thread claiming that things will get much worse. Some other users claim that local Chinese governments have stopped power going to the mining farms. Something is probably going to happen. See also

NYT writes about Silicon Valley's anti-feminists

Nellie Bowles is a reporter located in San Francisco who covers the Silicon Valley's culture for the New York Times. It seems to me that she has displayed not just some journalistic integrity but also courage when she wrote an insightful article

Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far (NYT)
on Saturday. James Damore became the mascot for that article. Some comments make it clear why it could have been important for the anti-feminists to finally get a soft-spoken, in some sense delicate, boy as a representative who may collect soulmates. When someone like Larry Summers speaks out against the feminists, it's much easier for them to whine that he is a bully – because he surely looks like one. Sorry Larry.

Bowles has covered lots of opinions – from a growing subculture that fights for a complete segregation of men (not too many things would change about these men-powered companies if women were completely banned there) to the people who say that they don't give a damn about the topic (Eric Weinstein – who works with Peter Thiel in some way – is close to that group but he and his brother have become a target of the extreme leftists so things are changing) to some feminists. The people who know that the struggle for the 50-to-50 parity is insane, unjustifiable, and unrealistic have suddenly realized that they have been way more cowardly than they should have and many of them aren't afraid of expressing their thoughts or at least their 100-to-1 solutions.

Saturday, September 23, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Germany: AfD could win the bronze medal

Update: And indeed, it did, beating expectations. Congratulations to AfD! CDU, SPD have some of the worst results since 1949. Jamaica coalition – CDU, Greens, FDP – is most likely now.

In the previous Parliamentary elections of 2013, AfD (The Alternative for Germany) was a new party that was mostly opposing the efforts to save the Euro at any cost. They scored 4.7% and stayed out of the Parliament.

A speech by the Czech ex-president at an AfD event last April. The German sounds impressive enough to me – e.g. in comparison with the German of his ex-classmate.

Things have changed, a million of migrants was added to Germany, and AfD has redefined itself as the only party in Germany that respects common sense and the European roots of their country. Aside from the EU and migration issues, AfD is the only party that opposes the Energiewende – which translates as the ecoterrorists' witch hunt against energy from coal and the nuclear power plants.

They seem to reasonably address a wider spectrum of political topics than they did 4 years ago – and, correspondingly and fairly, they're expected to score a much better result tomorrow than they did in 2013.

Pariah moonshine

Erica Klarreich wrote an insightful review

Moonshine Link Discovered for Pariah Symmetries (Quanta Mag.)
of a new paper by Duncan, Mertens, and Ono in Nature,
Pariah moonshine (full paper, HTML).
That discovery is a counterpart of the monstrous and umbral moonshine – but instead of the monster group and umbral/mock modular forms, it deals with a pariah group and weight 3/2 modular forms.

The historical bottles of Old Hunter's, a Czech whiskey, indicate that the hunter was getting younger as a function of time. ;-)

The paper was originally sent to me by Willie Soon – who wasn't the only one who was entertained by the terminology. This portion of mathematics really uses very weird or comical jargon, maybe one that is over the edge. But I believe that the playful names ultimately reflect the unusual degree of excitement among the mathematicians and mathematical physicists who study these things – and I believe that this excitement is absolutely justified.

I don't want to cover their discoveries in detail but it may be a good idea to remind you of the three kinds of moonshine and how big a portion of ideas they cover.

Friday, September 22, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

CMS: a locally 2.8-sigma diphoton excess at \(95\GeV\)

Finally, a paper from the LHC shows some interesting small deviation from the Standard Model again. The CMS collaboration published their

Search for new resonances in the diphoton final state in the mass range between \(70\) and \(110\GeV\) in \(pp\) collisions at \(\sqrt{s}= 8\) and \(13\TeV\)
and the key graph is seen on page 16.

Thursday, September 21, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

UC Berkeley is breeding intellectually worthless crybabies

Sane employers should better not hire the alumni

Events at UC Berkeley have often shocked us but they always find a way to surpass our expectations. I actually learned about the newest free-speech-related events from Echo, a Czech mainstream right-wing journal, where brilliant student Ms Lucie Sulovská wrote about the University Whiners: What You Should Better Be Silent About In a College.

Much of the content is similar to Elizabeth M. Economou's article about Poor Babies at Lifezette.

OK, so conservative pundit Ben Shapiro gave a speech last week. The police maneuvers resembled 9/11 or something like that. Barricades, checks of purses and backpacks, permission to the cops who may have used pepper spray. The university had to close the upper rows in a hall because of worries that the students would be throwing chairs to the front of the hall... No Islamic terrorists were involved. The place only needed the security during Shapiro's speech "Say No to violence in the academic environment".

Tether & two pals: the only currencies among cryptocurrencies

Over the recent weeks, I occasionally spent some time by thinking about new cryptocurrencies, how a central bank could buy them into reserves, guarantee a floor under each of them, issue its own, make some crypto-payments monitored, and so on. I've also analyzed the historical data of the Bitcoin price.

It's fun to think how $130 billion of the Czech National Bank may be spent or wasted, what can be done. The possibilities are limitless – "yes, we can" applies here. At some moment, however, a rational person also asks whether these computer games are good for anything – whether they have improved someone's life or the efficiency of the economy or something like that. And the result is much worse then. ;-)

The Bitcoin price in USD, \(P(t)\), as a function of time seems to be nicely described as\[

P(t) = \exp(R(t))

\] where \(R(t)\) is a random walk – Brownian motion. In fact, all the vanishing Markov-like correlations make this function \(W(t)\) one of the best random walks you can find in all of financial markets. When we talk about the random walk, we should also mention the typical time scale at which \(R(t)\) changes by \(1\). The time scale is several months in average. Moreover, by tracing some correlations, one can see that this time scale is a "somewhat slowly changing" function of time. When one enters a more volatile period in which \(R(t)\) and therefore \(P(t)\) changes more quickly, it typically lasts between half a year and one year.

Also, there is some slight positive correlation between \(R'(t)\) and \(|R'(t)|\). That means that the periods of higher volatility are generally tending to be good for the price of the Bitcoin, too. You're invited to make these analyses, it's fun. Nevertheless, the conclusion is that the bets for/against the Bitcoin are pure lottery.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

The European Union bans 43% of cartoons, wants to ban domestic rum

The Telegraph tells us that French and Greek cartoonists have submitted 28 cartoons for an exhibition. Well, a Ms Catherine Bearder, the only representative of her party in the European Parliament, blocked 12 of them – whopping 43% – because it isn't allowed to make fun of the European Union anymore and these cartoons were therefore blasphemous.

What's the name of her party which has this kind of a harsh attitude towards freedom and democracy? Is it the Dictatorial Totalitarian Party of the Fourth Reich Censors? No, it's called the Liberal Democratic Party! Cool.

But two weeks after another brutal ban on high-power vacuum cleaners (at most 700 watts are allowed now, wow! My Sencor bought a few years ago has 1800 watts consumption), a ban that would be considered way more serious by most Czechs may be getting prepared in Brussels. As the Czech media informed us, the European Commission may be preparing a universal ban on the domestic rum. Wow.

Morgan Freeman declares war on Russia

Yesterday, actor Morgan Freeman – who has starred as the U.S. president in some movies – was hired by a bunch of pro-Hillary and neocon, anti-Trump operatives and recorded an incredible monologue. America is at war with Russia because KGB agent Putin, grumpy about the fall of the Soviet Union, has hacked the U.S. computers and attacked 241 years of the U.S. democracy. This is no movie script.

Paul Joseph Watson and Marty TV gave some sensible responses.

Mr Freeman, this is indeed no movie script which is exactly the reason why you shouldn't have agreed to play it. It's no movie script, it's plain war propaganda. You've been an actor so you should play according to movie scripts and not according to war propaganda recipes. And if you and your comrades in the "Committee to Investigate Russia" – what a stupid and Soviet-like name for such a gang – managed to kickstart a big U.S. war against Russia, you should be treated as war criminals and probably killed.

You've been a great actor but the peace between the U.S. and another world's nuclear superpower is much more irreplaceable than you, Mr Freeman.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Wealth can't be created out of thin air

Jamie Dimon isn't missing anything

The New York Times published a diatribe by a Jeremy Philips,

What Jamie Dimon Is Missing About Bitcoin.
The question mark is missing and the answer to the question is "Nothing". The CEO of JP Morgan Chase, the 9th largest company in the world by its capitalization, isn't missing anything.

Philips, an adjunct janitor at Columbia, is even questioning Dimon's simple thesis
You can’t have a business where people are going to invent a currency out of thin air.
Philips teaches us that gold, the Euro, and almost everything else has value that was created from nothing, so it's natural when the same happens in the Bitcoin case. Oh, really? Were these values created out of nothing?

Monday, September 18, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Five good reasons why the governments will ban "independent" cryptocurrencies

Before I start to enumerate them, let me mention that the governments obviously can ban cryptocurrencies. This ability has nothing to do with some technical virtues of the crypto-technology. The governments can ban, look for, prosecute, and punish particular patterns of human behavior they declare illegal.

So just like it may be illegal to sell or even hold drugs, it may become illegal to sell or even hold cryptocurrencies. In principle, you may have cryptocurrencies in your living room – just like you may have hashish – but there may obviously exist laws that will send you to prison for XY years if a court gets some evidence that you're selling the cryptocurrencies, e.g. if you happen to sell them to a provocateur hired by the police. At that moment, almost all people will simply abandon cryptocurrencies – much like most people avoid hard drugs. They don't want to have anything to do with illegal things because they don't even want to take the risk of years in prison.

Cryptocurrencies are a classic example of a pyramid scheme in which the founders or early adopters make the largest and safest profit, the profit is diminishing, and the promotional search for new participants is what keeps it going. The ICOs, the offerings of the new "altcoins", are activities by which some people try to keep the positive exponential expansion rate of the bubble. The bubble may keep on expanding up to some point that we can't predict. It's equally plausible that the $5,000 price of the Bitcoin was a historical maximum and we won't see it again.

Now, let's look at the reasons why it may be a good idea, if not a vital decision, to ban the cryptocurrencies.

1. Protection of citizens against too risky trades

I started with that justification not because I consider it the most important one but because that's the justification that China has used to ban the cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. The documents say that these exchanges involve too huge an amount of risk, it's an extreme gambling, and the Chinese citizens need to be protected against it. They need to be protected for the same reasons why gambling is regulated by governments – not only Chinese governments. Some gambling addicts may lose their last money. They become a liability for their families or the whole society. They become screwed. And if there were too many victims like that, it could be a threat for the financial system or the fiscal balance of a whole country. The governments may very well take this attitude and the Chinese government has started with it.

Sunday, September 17, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Bavaria: third Afghani guy couldn't complete the act

FOCUS, Bavaria [CZ news] – On Friday night, a 16-year-old girl was trying to catch a train in the Upper Bavarian town of Höhenkirchen-Siegertsbrunn [Tallchurch-Winnerswell], ten miles South of Munich.

While she was walking, she was joined by three extremely friendly migrants from a nearby integration facility. A man of age 27 followed by a teenager of age 17 raped her on the street.

The third future German citizen of Afghani ancestry, who was 18 years old, couldn't get a hardon – his excuse was a passer-by. Police started a manhunt in order to reward the heroes. A helicopter was used and the three men were quickly found.

Nima et al.: making the amplitude minirevolution massive

Nima Arkani-Hamed (Princeton), Tzu-Chen Huang (Caltech), and Yu-tin Huang (Taiwan) released their new 79-page-long paper

Scattering Amplitudes For All Masses and Spins
a few days ago. They claim to do something that may be considered remarkable: to generalize the spinor-indices-based uprising in the scattering amplitude industry of the previous 15 years to the case of particles of any mass and spin, and to deduce some properties of all possible particle theories out of their new formalism.

Is it possible? Does it work? What can they learn?

First, they remain restricted to the case of on-shell, i.e. scattering amplitudes, not general off-shell, i.e. Green's functions. They have a cute self-motivating semi-heuristic argument why they don't lose any generality by this constraint: the actual off-shell amplitudes are being experimentally measured by the analysis of some on-shell scattering that involves the particles as well as some new very heavy particles, namely the detectors and other apparatuses.

Nice. I guess that the numbers showed on the apparatuses' displays must be considered as labeling different particle species, not just polarizations of spin. If your Geiger-Müller counter shows "5" at the beginning and measures something and shows "6" at the end, it was a scattering in which the "Geiger-Müller-counter-type-5 particle species" collided with some small particles, got annihilated, and produced a similar big "*-6 counter" particle. Cute. ;-)

Saturday, September 16, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Mr Juncker, Czechia won't leave the EU because of cocoa in chocolate

North Korea's Kim III has promised to place his country's military on par with the U.S. Good luck with that, comrade. Meanwhile, a similarly ambitious leader, Jean-Claude Juncker, the general secretary of the commissars of the European Soviet, gave his "State of the Union address", probably in order to claim that this unelected drunk clown is on par with the U.S. president.

He also mentioned my country, Czechia, once in his speech. It was about the double "standards" of food products in the post-communist and old EU member states. Slovaks and Hungarians should have the same high meat content in some products while the Czechs should have as much cocoa in the chocolate as others.

I have always disagreed with the hysteria exactly because this hysteria contradicts the national idiosyncrasies, the rules of the free market, and it's an ideal "cause" for clowns such as Juncker to become more important. To violently unify and centralize Europe, it's exactly what similar politicians want to do and what they want to be paid for. So I totally expected that Juncker would become a warrior-in-chief against the "double standards in the quality of food".

There exists a small percentage of packages whose content is different e.g. in Czechia and Austria. I believe that it's not about an unambiguously lower quality in the post-communist world. In particular, I do believe that we Czechs actually prefer meat-like products that contain a higher fraction of fat and meat that isn't just the ordinary protein-based muscle, perhaps including some grounded skin, organs, if not parts of bones. It tastes more yummy. Our nation may be genetically predisposed to eat such food because our ancestors, maids and stableboys working for a German farmer (if I simplify things), have gotten used to such food. We may also prefer weaker spices, more milk-like and less bitter taste of chocolate, and many other things. At any rate, if products obey health standards and they are sold well, no one should be allowed to prevent the food companies and their consumers from the mutually agreed purchases.

Friday, September 15, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Can decoding of Hawking radiation be easy?

Last month, I discussed a fresh paper by Kyriakos Papadodimas about the creation of objects inside a black hole using operators that exist outside, if I put it in catchy words.

Since that time, I was returning to my old tempting ideas that the black hole complementarity – the dependence relating the black hole interior and the black hole exterior – could be much simpler than we thought, given by some formula, and that this formula could be rationally justifiable or provable by a rock-solid, physically understandable, nearly rigorous argument.

Thursday, September 14, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

McAfee's irrational pro-Bitcoin arguments

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, said that the Bitcoin was a fraud. JP Morgan would fire any employee who trades the Bitcoin for his being stupid. Dimon was also asked about some alternative great economy that will run on the Bitcoin and avoid taxes and other aspects of the government supervision and he said that it obviously won't happen. The Bitcoin is used as a mechanism for tax evasion and other crimes and when the lost taxes get too high, the governments will simply ban the Bitcoin.

Some cultists say that the Bitcoin cannot be banned because people make the payments in their living rooms, just with their computer, and the exchanges are in principle unnecessary. This claim is exactly equivalent to saying that hashish cannot be banned as a currency. Hashish is banned as a currency. You can use sell it and buy it – use it for payments – and quite often, no one will see you. But if someone sees you, e.g. if your other party turns out to be a policeman or agent-provocateur, you are in trouble! It may be exactly the same with the cryptocurrencies and indeed, if those would expand the black economy, the status of the Bitcoin and hashish will have to be put on equal footing (as El-Erian of Pimco said, the governments won't allow the mass adoption that is already priced-in in the Bitcoin's price).

I agree with every single word by Dimon, he is an adult in the room. Well, I added some words and I am confident that Dimon would agree with those, too.

John McAfee, the antivirus legend has promised to cut his dick if the Bitcoin doesn't cost $500,000 in a few years is afraid of his little friend. So he tried to contradict Mr Dimon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Decentralized blockchain and subjectivity of the wave function

A quantum-cryptocurrency analogy

Unlike some other people, I am not a real member of the cryptocurrency cult.

I think that the economics orthodoxy as imagined by the founders as well as champions of the Bitcoin is deeply flawed. Also, I don't find the key "virtue" of the cryptocurrencies – decentralization of the list of transactions – terribly important or practical. By the way, JP Morgan boss Dimon said that the Bitcoin was a fraud (something that most of the financiers may agree with) and the currency instantly lost almost 10% of the value. Not too resilient! BTW I have written exactly the same thing as his 1-minute monologue. When the tax losses etc. become significant, the Bitcoin will simply be banned, will drop to near zero, and this "economy" will be over.

On the other hand, I think that the switch from classical physics to quantum mechanics was the most important event in science of the last 100 years. And I generally dislike vague analogies. For these reasons, you would think that I just can't possibly sell the following analogy. But the analogy looks so self-evident and catchy to me that I simply have to dedicate a blog post to it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Merkel: we must accept an infinite number of invaders

Apple: off-topic: to watch the Apple event showing iPhone 8 and iPhone X (a $1,000 beast that looks like this) etc. since 1 pm Boston time, open this page in Microsoft Edge on Windows, or in an Apple browser
Gourmets may be convinced that e.g. Konrad Adenauer or Helmut Kohl were great leaders but the most famous German leader in the last 100 years was unquestionably Adolf Hitler. And because insanity seems to be what counts and what makes the tenure of the German leaders long-lived, Angela Merkel is quickly becoming the number two.

We thought that we have already heard everything but last night, Czech readers were generally stunned after we were told about some exchanges of opinions during the otherwise super-boring German campaign. The Christian Social Union CSU, a semi-autonomous subsidiary of Merkel's CDU that only operates in Bavaria, the "Texas" of Germany, has proposed 200,000 immigrants as the upper limit of approved asylum seekers per year, in order to establish some pressures that will make sure that the year 2015 – when 1.2 million immigrants invaded Germany – wouldn't be repeated. CSU are therefore somewhat "softcore welcomers" who realize the sheer magnitude or at least the very existence of the problem that Germany has created.

The current and presumptive future chancellor, Angela Merkel, answered a question from the audience in Lübeck about the proposed upper limit on the number of immigrants.

Monday, September 11, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Why vanishing commutators imply there's no action at a distance

I believe that an extremely similar blog post has been written in the past but I can't find it or what I can find isn't quite the same so that's why I decided to write this one again.

Lots of people say that there must be non-local influences or some action at a distance in the real world, and this claim is implied by Bell's inequalities or something like that. This statement is completely wrong. Since the 1905 special theory of relativity, we have known that the non-local or superluminal influences would be equivalent – by the Lorentz transformation – to the influencing changing one's past, and those are logically inconsistent.

So why don't entanglement experiments imply any action at a distance?

In quantum mechanics, events are predicted probabilistically. Unless all the probabilities are calculated to be 100% or 0%, and they're usually in the middle, we can't say that the outcome will be something or something else with certainty. We can only say that the outcome will be something with some probability; and something else with some other probability.

In this setup, the action at a distance obviously means that the willful action at one place which we will call Alaska (A) will modify the probabilities of some properties of outcomes of measurements at another place which we will call Boston (B). OK, let's imagine we have an entangled pair of particles or other physical objects that were created as entangled somewhere in Texas, to make it general, but the subsystems have propagated to Alaska and Boston, respectively.

I chose Alaska and Boston for them to be on the left and on the right. Alabama's position didn't look convenient enough.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Klaus: alarmists have won the climate debate

Czech ex-president Václav Klaus was visiting Nuremberg, Bavaria, where (an uncle of mine lived from 1980 and where) Klaus supported the Alternative for Germany (AfD) before the parliamentary election where they're expected to get 9-10 percent.

The city hall wanted to ban the event because of the presence of an AfD boss who had previously said that Germany should get rid of a PC politician. Klaus' support for AfD was criticized by the boss of the Sudeten German Patriotic Organization Mr Bernd Posselt, affectionately known as "a Hitler who returned from a fattening station" (a nickname invented by the current Czech president Zeman). Posselt said that Klaus and AfD hate the EU and it's bad.

As you can read on German Google News, Klaus responded, on the contrary, Sir. AfD – representing a fraction of Germans who have been silenced – and he are doing what they're doing because of their love towards Europe, its traditions, and its future.

German nuclear bomb on TV

Norwegian "Heavy Water War" on Heisenberg et al.

Last night, I accidentally caught the first episode of the Heavy Water War on TV, a (mostly) Norwegian 6-episode series from early 2015 about the Norwegian heavy water sabotage during the Second World War.

The program was produced in Norwegian-Danish-British coproduction, the budget was $10 million or so, and it was shot in Norway and Czechia. See a 6-minute trailer.

My understanding is that the program was mainly created to promote this courageous picture of the Norwegian folks during the war. Such "Old Norwegian Legends" are particularly needed probably because the Norwegians have become the ultimate symbols of collaborationists with the Nazis, and the word "a quisling" – named after the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling – became a synonym with a traitor who maximally cooperates with a Nazi or similar force.

OK, in this program, we can watch a different Norway, a nation of brave chemists – such as Leif Tronstad, a Norwegian career chemist, heavy water worker, and warrior on the British side – who were saving the world from the German nuclear Armageddon.

Saturday, September 09, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Theories can't secure patents, copyrights, and monopolies

Mikael and many others sometimes say things like

...a physical system evolves in some way, then a measurement occurs and a sharp classical value comes out of it.

Therefore, quantum mechanics relies on classical physics and it's unsatisfactory, not a self-sufficient or standalone theory.
Similarly, assorted critics of string theory often say
...quantum mechanics made predictions for the LHC collisions and other low-energy processes. It follows that string theory already predicts nothing about the LHC.
The basic logic is the same in both cases. The logic is that an older theory – either classical physics or quantum field theory – has achieved something or defined some concepts. It follows that this Miss Older Theory walked to a patent office and asked the patent officer to register the patent. In this way, the older theory acquired a patent, copyright, or monopoly over the ideas, concepts, achievements, or rules and no other theory has the right to do the things in the same way, at least not without worshiping Miss Older Theory and without permanently acknowledging its own inferiority.

If you want to have a sharp result of a measurement anywhere, dear quantum mechanics, you can't have it. Classical physics has already secured a monopoly. Do something else, dear quantum mechanics. For example, you can clean the toilets. Similarly, dear string theory, quantum field theory has already predicted the low-energy LHC phenomena. So you obviously can't do it again. Do something else, dear string theory.

Czech calendar forecasts: Irma's big day is Sunday

TRF folks are praying and motling for Tony and Charles Wilson in Florida

Cuba is just experiencing Irma as a Category 5 hurricane, winds over 170 kilometers per hour are common. Tourists who came there for the Sun weren't given what was promised.

Everyone who is close enough to Florida should watch the nice animations at and Earth.Nullschool.Net and maybe the National Hurricane Center.

But look at this. It's the Czech calendar for September 2017. Just to be sure, the weeks start on Mondays and end on Sundays. The words written under each day are first names. The people with that name have their name day on that day – which is almost as good for them as the birthday. They get gifts.

Thursday, September 07, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

ECJ, top EU court, losing credibility in Central Europe

Czech leader: right to refuse migrants is more important than all EU funds

A year ago, Hungary and Slovakia sued the European Union because of its plans to forcefully Islamize territories of all EU member countries, including Hungary and Slovakia themselves. The decision about the "refugee quotas" was accepted by a majority of the EU countries but the dysfunctional policy is unacceptable for numerous European nations, including V4 – Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary.

Other V4 countries didn't join the lawsuit. On one hand, it looked unfortunate that we wouldn't support our Slovak and Hungarian partners. On the other side, we felt 95% certain that the European Court of Justice would side with the other central EU authorities – so the whole appeal looked like a futile effort. And make no mistake about it, the European Court of Justice did side with the pro-Islamists yesterday. They said that the policy was "proportionate" and a modest majority was enough for the European Union to decide to turn Hungary and Slovakia into another Syria despite the opposition of almost all citizens of these countries.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Nine wasted hours of the lawmakers but Babiš is available to police

Two months ago, police asked the Czech Parliament to strip the presumptive future prime minister (after the October 2017 elections), the Slovak-born billionaire and ex-communist snitch Andrej Babiš (and his top deputy, both in the corporation Agrofert and the political movement ANO), of his (or their) immunity because of their apparent subsidy fraud.

The fraud was explained by a Spanish employee of Babiš above. ;-) A decade ago, Babiš decided to build the best project of his life, the luxurious farm the Stork Nest with the dominant building resembling the Olympic Bird Nest in Beijing. He found out that it wasn't profitable, by some $2 million, but he noticed an EU subsidy for small and medium companies working in tourism. So he moved the company constructing the company to a separate company with anonymous stockholders, which were first his kids and his current wife's brother, to agree with various criteria, and five years after the $2 million EU subsidy was received, he reincorporated the company back to his personal company Agrofert worth some $3 billion.

Morally, it was clearly wrong because neither he nor his family was eligible for a subsidy addressed to small and medium companies. His exercise was a sequence of superficially kosher legal steps except that when you look more carefully, and the police did look more carefully, they weren't really right. The application for the subsidy was mentioning false or distorted data about the funding and true ownership while some other key facts were being hidden.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Hate speech or how to silence the voice of the Internet

Guest blog by Pavel C. about his shocking encounter with an anti-hate-speech sect
The full name of the author, with his engineering degree, may be found in the original Czech text

What is being prepared behind our backs?

A few days ago, a screenshot [see above] landed among my messages. It came from Nyx, a discussion server. The user nicknamed ZUZKAOU (Ms Zuzana Ouhrabková, from NGO named PostBellum) is trying to find volunteers. Volunteers who will help the NGO InIustitia. The help will include the mass writing of criminal complaints because they're running out of their capacities. Criminal complaints, denouncements, against fellow citizens. To make sure that they will face prosecution, they will have a problem, and they will have to be careful next time. They will have to watch... their tongue.

I am a coder. I have been on the Internet since the beginning, from 1995. [I have been on the Internet since 1992, LM.] At the beginning, it was a squarely scholarly-intellectual infrastructure. The Internet underwent its puberty later, when the high schools joined. Then it became harsher and more folksy when the dial-ups were added. These days, it's often a cesspool. But on top of that, it also remained a free source of the information where, aside from total stupidities, you may also find some facts that you couldn't learn from the official media.

And that's why the Internet became inconvenient for someone. Proposals how to censor it belong to the official agenda of contemporary political parties as well as NGOs. An instructing seminar on this topic addressed to the pedagogic workers took place today, in the Scouts' (!) Institute on the Old Town Square in Prague. I am also a teacher who has taught machine codes and assemblers on the Czech Technical University for 17 years. I am also involved with the pedagogic issues of the leisure time, I am doing slam-poetry and theater improvisation in DDM. So I am the target group. That's why I registered myself for the event.

Monday, September 04, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Thermonuclear Korean EMP may send America back to the Stone Age

North Korea is a rogue country but whether you like it or not, it's also a country that has achieved certain things and it could be extremely unwise to overlook, deny, or mock these achievements.

Last January, when I wrote the blog post North Korea goes thermonuclear, we weren't actually sure whether the latest explosion was due to a Hydrogen bomb.

Well, yesterday's Magnitude 6.3 earthquake wasn't too natural. Because the estimated power is more than an order of magnitude above the previous one, I guess that this time, the explosion was almost certainly thermonuclear.

I can't say "welcome to the club" because Czechia hasn't managed to build even the most ordinary nuclear weapons. So maybe "welcome, our new overlords". ;-)

Sunday, September 03, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Caring about math of equations and math of solutions

A reader of the Tetragraviton blog named nueww highlighted an interesting footnote on page 126 of Polchinski's memories (arXiv):

Morrison came to UCSB from Duke about ten years ago, with a joint position in math and physics. He plays a unique role in tying these subjects together. He and I have an ongoing friendly dispute about whether I know much math (I claim not). I think that the difference goes back to Susskind’s distinction between the mathematics of the equations and the mathematics of the solutions, where I care only about the former.
David Morrison is a very smart string theorist who was trained as a mathematician. Well, he – and others – weren't just trained as mathematicians. I think that they were born and hardwired to think as mathematicians. The memes in the quote above – invented and promoted by Susskind and Polchinski – seem to crisply demystify the difference between the psychology of a mathematician and the psychology of a theoretical physicist.

Friday, September 01, 2017 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Lidl supermarket chain desecrated churches† in Greece

Last time when I talked about the Lidl discount supermarket chain – which should be opening its first shops in the U.S. now – it was about the Czechs' legitimate preference of models that look like us.†

Well, it's a Greek Week in Lidl right now. The next week is the Bombshell Prices Week. See the Lidl fliers. I like these events so among other things, I bought four frozen packages of Eridanous food. It's a brand that belongs to Lidl, the products are made in Germany, but otherwise they're supposed to look perfectly Greek.†

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