Thursday, November 30, 2017 ... //

Semi-jammed cryptoexchanges may be making huge semi-legal profits

Stiglitz is right that the Bitcoin should be outlawed, for many reasons

The Bitcoin price has continued in its persistent, irrational mania that saw a 10% increase almost every day. Yesterday, it hit some $11,500 before it collapsed to some$9,300 within five hours. About one-half of that drop has been recouped.

The fever was on steroids and the trading volumes were huge. Some cryptoexchanges, starting from Coinbase.com (considered the the Americans' most important online wallet) and including the anti-Zuckeberg Winklevoss twin brothers' Gemini exchange, were down for a large fraction of their users. The traffic was huge (a factor of 8 higher than a June peak, Coinbase reported) and it's understandable that their infrastructure may be genuinely overwhelmed.

But you can't be sure it's the right explanation because there's unavoidably a competing one.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 ... //

Pop science meets Edward Witten

Off-topic, science: China's DAMPE's dark matter signal

Natalie Wolchover is among the best popular writers about theoretical physics. But when I read her interview with Edward Witten at the Quanta Magazine,

A Physicist’s Physicist Ponders the Nature of Reality,
the clash of cultures seemed amusingly obvious to me. Witten is much smarter than myself and he also loves to formulate things in ways that look insanely diplomatic or cautious to me but I can still feel that his underlying sentiments are extremely close to mine.

They have discussed the conceptual and, I would say, emotional aspects of the (2,0) theory, M-theory, dualities, Wheeler's "it from bit", tennis, a hypothetical new overarching description of all of physics, and other things. It looks so obvious that Wolchover "wanted" to hear completely different answers than she did! ;-)

Co-father of voucher privatization Tomáš Ježek died

Tomáš Ježek (=Thomas Hedgehog) was born here in Pilsen, in Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, in 1940. He was one of the important men who led the transformation of the Czechoslovak economy from communism to capitalism after 1989.

As a young man, he fell in love with economics – like his classmate and basketball teammate Václav Klaus. Ježek did lots of things related to economics. For example, he translated Hayek's texts to Czech. He also belonged to the generation of pro-reform members of the Czechoslovak Communist Party in the promising 1960s. He left the party in 1969, in the wake of the occupation and restalinization ("normalization") of Czechoslovakia.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 ... //

Associahedron: Arkani-Hamed + 3 men unify auxiliary spaces for amplitudes

Linguistics, brackets, Jacobi's patents unify hedrons, Hebrons, Chevrons, amplituhedrons, colors, and open strings ;-)

Nima Arkani-Hamed, Yuntao Bai, Song He, and Gongwang Yan – apologies to the brilliant Chinese folks for having represented them by a Persian name, no harm was intended and the evil of such abbreviations is appreciated on my side, it was just for the sake of simplification – have published a 77-page-long preprint that lots of people were surely waiting for for months:

Scattering Forms and the Positive Geometry of Kinematics, Color and the Worldsheet
In a recent paper, Nima promised some research that shows the relevance of the generalized amplituhedron for perturbative string theory and this is the paper!

I do hope that as many people as possible actually try to read the paper but let me say a few basic and sketchy words.

"Disruptive technology" means "I will impress dimwits among you by hype"

John Archer is rather conservative, isn't he? He normally doesn't drink kool-aid. But he surprised us by his love for a one-hour-long lecture by Mr Toby Seba about the disruptive technologies that will eradicate cars within a decade – because we will have solar panels and electric cars everywhere. And that's because those things are improving exponentially, just like Moore's law improves circuits with transistors.

I haven't watched the whole talk so there may be something amazing over there which I have missed. But I've listened to first 3 minutes plus 10 times random 10-second-long excerpts throughout the talk and I think that the dumb summary in the previous paragraph captures the content of the talk. So my impressions are the same as those of Fer137. The analogy between Moore's law and the progress in lithium batteries or electric cars is bogus because the latter has seen and will see a much slower progress than the transistor circuits in recent 50 years.

There will be a greater number of electric cars in the world in 2027 but I have serious doubts about the forecasts that they will dominate. And even the increased production of electric cars may be just a matter of evolution which mostly takes place in the good old rich car companies such as BMW which has introduced its "Tesla killer". At any rate, I don't see anything staggering that is going to happen. After all, electric cars aren't new – they're about as old as the combustion engines. And photovoltaic energy isn't new, either. I – a kid constrained by communism – had my first photovoltaic Casio calculator in 1980. What's the big deal?

And why would one talk about the cars' being clean? Electric cars may look clean but they still run on electricity – with extra losses – and that one is most reasonably produced by coal power plants. On top of that, much more toxic materials are needed for batteries and their production or the assembly of solar panels.

Monday, November 27, 2017 ... //

Quantum mechanics invalidates naive dimensional analysis

Anomalous dimensions are counterintuitive for beginners, important, and omnipresent

I have mentioned this subtle surprising consequence of quantum mechanics in the blog post against the Lagrangians two days ago. Too many people think that the quantization only means to add elegant hats above all the degrees of freedom and increase the frequency at which they say words like "weird" or "entanglement". But they still think classically.

That's not what you have needed to do to think scientifically after 1925. Quantum mechanics is a fundamentally different theory whose framework is very different conceptually and whose quantitative predictions may sometimes be similar as in classical physics but sometimes they can be different or totally different. And even when quantum mechanics ends up with the same or similar conclusions as classical physics, the derivation or argumentation may be very different. One of the omnipresent changes that quantum mechanics forces upon us is a new, modified dimensional analysis in field theory. What's going on?

In classical field theory, you have the action $$S=\int d^D x\,{\mathcal L}$$ if one exists at all. Because the action is dimensionless (in SI units, it has the dimension of the action i.e. the same as $$\hbar$$ but I will set $$\hbar=1$$) – exponents e.g. in the Feynman integrand $$\exp(iS/\hbar)$$ have to be dimensionless – the Lagrangian density $${\mathcal L}$$ has the dimension of $$M^D$$, the mass to the power of the spacetime dimension. The mass has the dimensions of $$[M]=1/[L]$$ in the $$c=\hbar=1$$ units.

Sunday, November 26, 2017 ... //

Mike Hughes cancels his rocket proof of Flat Earth

As some media reported, Californian constructor Mike Hughes – MadMikeHughes.com – canceled his Saturday experiment which he scheduled to prove that the Earth was flat.

The cancellation was justified by some refusal of the Bureau of Land Management to give him a permission for the area.

I find this guy unbelievable in many respects. The interpretation of the rocket launch that could be used to argue that the "Earth is flat" isn't clear to me – I am not even sure whether I want to listen to such a planned argumentation. But what strikes me is the incredible combination of this utterly ludicrous, anti-scientific belief in the Flat Earth; with his demonstrable status as an extremely skillful guy, basically a rocket scientist.

Saturday, November 25, 2017 ... //

Competent formal theorists know they can't rely on the existence of the Lagrangian

An Ising model example of non-Lagrangian CFT methods

Japanese string theorist Judži Tačikawa (100% racially clean Czech nationalist Mr Tomio Okamura got over 10% in Czech elections so, as Luboshi Nakamotl, I plan to take over Japan with my Japanese nationalist party as a revenge) gave a talk somewhere at IPMU where he mentioned quantum field theories that don't have a Lagrangian – see the last page – while many courses use obsolete textbooks that pretend otherwise, namely that the Lagrangians are enough. This has attracted some interest of the TRF readers. The interest is fun but I am disappointed that something that I consider basic conceptual lore of modern physics is still so utterly unknown in the broader community of people who are interested in physics.

Lagrange. I admit it was my nickname during the introduction summer camp preparing and baptizing the soon-to-be freshmen at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the Charles University. The camps take place in Albeř, a village in Czech Canada on the Austrian border (not to be confused with Czech Switzerland on the Saxon i.e. East German border LOL).

Five days ago, I discussed some general and perhaps surprising insights about symmetry in Nature that theoretical physicists made in recent decades. In quantum gravity, exact symmetries have to be gauge symmetries while gauge symmetries may be emergent and their identity generally depends on the point in the configuration space. Everyone who hypes his theory of quantum gravity with global symmetries is probably an incompetent amateur. Everyone who assumes one particular gauge group for his theory of everything, including quantum gravity, is an incompetent amateur, and so on.

It's similar with the Lagrangian. Theoretical physicists who are up to their job know that Lagrangians are extremely useful but they simply cannot assume that the theories constructed from Lagrangians exhaust the list of all interesting, relevant, promising, or possible quantum theories of Nature. And even more obviously, they know that the methods and descriptions based on the Lagrangian aren't the only ones they have to master and use – simply because they're using different methods than the Lagrangian ones all the time.

So everyone who assumes that every quantum theory – it doesn't have to be one with gravity – must start with a Lagrangian is obviously not an expert who understands the lessons from recent decades in physics.

Thursday, November 23, 2017 ... //

When you should jump out of a (Bitcoin) bubble

No reliable answer may be said, of course, but the math is still interesting

Let me assume that the reader agrees that there is some probability of a huge, fast enough, cataclysmic collapse of the Bitcoin price – when the long-term sentiment dramatically changes, most people agree that the future trend is "down" so they try to escape as quickly as possible, or some big ban in an important country is enacted etc. That's the bad news. Let's assume that the probability of the sudden death is described by the mathematics of the decay of a radioactive nucleus.

On the other hand, there are good news: Let's assume that before the sudden death, the Bitcoin price will grow exponentially. We neglect some 20% fluctuations away from the growing line which are the "normal error margins" in the Bitcoin world. OK, what does mathematics tell you about how quickly you should sell your Bitcoins and how much you should hold at each moment? Surely smooth mathematics recommends you some nice algorithm quantifying what percentage you should sell tomorrow, what percentage you should sell next month, and so on.

Well, it doesn't. It tells you something less smooth and simpler. ;-)

Number of papers goes up quickly, number of readers doesn't

Number of readers per paper goes down, it's bad, and should be fixed

Someone asked the following question at Quora:

Does the number of academic papers grow faster than eyeballs are available to read them?
Jay Wacker – whom I have known at Harvard – has responded with a funny joke (which I will tell you more concisely). "If you stack all the papers that are written, the top of the pile will move faster than light in 2 years. It looks like a conflict with relativity but it isn't: relativity only prohibits information from moving faster than light."

But he – and others – basically uniformly denounce the worry that is implicit in the question. Lots of people are reading papers etc. I just don't think so. I would love to know the numbers – how many readers a median paper in one or another discipline has – but I've followed some trends and the approximate numbers seem to make it obvious that the number of papers grows faster than the time in man-hours that people dedicate to reading them, which makes it unavoidable that every page is read by a substantially smaller number of eyes than years or decades ago.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 ... //

Thankfully, Alphabet's chairman realizes Google can't determine which side is right

Plus some disillusionment from suggestions that the truth must be profitable

Willie Soon sent me a link to a yesterday's CNBC article,

Alphabet's Eric Schmidt: It can be 'very difficult' for Google’s search algorithm to understand truth
Eric Schmidt, a boss of Google's parent company, expresses his opinion that Google isn't capable of determining which side of news is right and which is fake when two sides vigorously and fundamentally disagree about something. Hopefully, it should also mean that Google won't try to play the "minister of truth" in a foreseeable future.

Ivo Lukačovič, the owner of Seznam.cz, a Czech local competitor of Google's, has been saying for years that he won't be dragged to politics etc. and be abused as a stamp of the truth by one side or another.

I think that Trump's victory has helped to calm down these worries about the Orwellian evolution in the U.S. 1984 may still be coming but I think it seems more distant now than it looked a year ago plus two weeks, before the latest U.S. presidential election. This optimistic description applies to the U.S. as a whole, not to some worst environments: for example, many universities already live in 1984.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 ... //

Feminism and Bitcoin: two faces of Millennials' emptiness and relative truth

When increasingly ludicrous rewriting of the reality becomes a source of pride and identity for a whole generation

The generation born around 2000 – the Millennials – have been brainwashed by some stunningly stinky extreme left-wing lies at schools and outside schools. The consequences for their thinking have been devastating. Socialism is more popular than capitalism among those. Lots of these people are attracted to mass killers such as Che Guevara. They don't have any respect for freedom, the free market, and democracy.

And so far I only mentioned that old-fashioned, 19th century type of the extreme left-wing ideologies that used to worship the workers. These young folks have been much more contaminated by the postmodern left-wing ideologies – the cultural Marxism. That includes teachings such as feminism, homosexualism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, global warming alarmism, and others. The first goal of all this indoctrination is to make these people doubt the most self-evident facts out there, e.g.:

Most of the civilization has been built by men and, at least in recent 500 years, white men.

Heterosexual contact is more healthy and aligned with Nature's original purpose than alternative sexual orientations.

Carbon dioxide is a gas that is absolutely vital for the current life on Earth.

$$\pi$$ is a perfect mathematical constant.
And others. After this lobotomy or simultaneously with this lobotomy, the teenagers have been encouraged to believe lots of would-be analogous but "more politically correct" counterparts of these statements such as
The civilization was equally built by all sexes and skin colors and if it wasn't, it's only because the white men are hardcore oppressors who need to be suppressed.

Gays are cooler than straight people, there also exist 28 additional genders, and everyone can choose zer own.

Carbon dioxide is a top villain and we must work hard to remove it from the atmosphere and punish those who emit it.

$$\pi$$ is just a white male construct and its value actually depends on the degree of oppression by that evil group.
And others. Everyone who verbally prefers the latter statements over the former is demonstrably either a brain-dead, scientifically illiterate moron, or an optimized liar and shameless demagogue who probably spreads these ludicrous lies in order to elevate himself and his ideological and political allies. At any rate, the number of people in these two groups is staggeringly high and it kept on growing.

Monday, November 20, 2017 ... //

Big advances in our understanding of the character of symmetries in Nature

Exact symmetries can't be global and all similar qualitative predictions of string theory seem to be getting experimental confirmations

Luke and Don tried to read

Symmetry and Emergence,
a written version of Edward Witten's talk for the American Physical Society in Utah, April 2016. Luke has decided that the stuff is hard and the text is not too comprehensible. I read it and it's a nice, comprehensible summary of the progress in physicists' understanding of symmetries in Nature. Well, I know this stuff so everything is comprehensible to me. Can I do better in explaining these things? Am I more patient than Witten? I am not sure. My texts about similar topics e.g. in 2009 and 2011 were not significantly more popular than Witten's.

But let me try.

What is a symmetry? Symmetry is an important idea in mathematics and physics. In the mathematical and physical understanding of the word, the symmetry isn't just "any kind of beauty" or "aesthetically pleasing virtue" of an object – which could be imagined by someone who is really detached from the exact content of the phrase. Symmetries are transformations you can do with an object – or the history of the Universe – so that the object looks the same afterwards (in the case of the object) or the history still obeys the same laws of physics (in the case of the symmetries of the laws).

Saturday, November 18, 2017 ... //

Dark matter source of cosmic ray positrons more likely: a paper

The old intriguing PAMELA experiment and perhaps newer ones by Fermi-LAT and AMS-02 have discovered lots of positrons – the antiparticles of electrons – in the cosmic rays whose flux is generally higher than expected. Such positrons may originate from dark matter and would amount to an "almost direct detection" of the particles that make up dark matter.

That would be very exciting. However, there may also be more boring, astrophysical, sources of these positrons, and pulsars in particular (magnetized neutron stars or white dwarfs emitting a beam of electromagnetic radiation). Some pieces of matter may emit lots of junk and these processes may be completely compatible with the Standard Model – i.e. just slightly more extreme than when you cook a food in your kitchen.

Margining Bitcoin futures is possible

I sold all my cryptocurrencies two days ago – the second SEPA transfer arrived to my bank from AnyCoinDirect.EU just 5 hours after my Ethereum payment which is rather incredible – and the time I waste by watching movements in the cryptocurrencies has dropped significantly. In fact, I believe that the mankind wastes an insane amount of time by watching the events and wiggles of the Bitcoin and this time multiplied by a minimum salary could easily trump the whole Bitcoin capitalization every year by itself.

CME should start the Bitcoin futures in the second week of December. As Coin Telegraph informed its readers, big investment VIP Thomas Peterffy wrote a letter saying that "it's impossible to margin such a [Bitcoin futures] product" and the unlimited swings, especially the upside swings threaten the broker and all of its clients who hold safe products, too. So these things should be isolated.

I agree with him that aside from some continuity, the Bitcoin prices are a sequence of basically random numbers where no reasonable limits may be placed on the day-to-day price changes etc. And I agree with him that this "asset" is immature and its advocates are financially illiterate imbeciles. But I don't quite agree that it's impossible to offer a safe product based on such flimsy foundations.

Friday, November 17, 2017 ... //

The most frustrating anniversary of Velvet Revolution since 1989

November 17th is a major Czech holiday. We celebrate the "Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy". This definition was a compromise codified by some lawmakers to point that the the celebration reminds us both of

• November 17th, 1939, when Nazis closed the Czech universities in response to the anti-Nazi activities by the students, especially during the funeral of Mr Jan Opletal who was fatally injured during the previous October 28th (1918 anniversary) rally. For this reason, this day became the International Student Day, the only widely celebrated international holiday fully inspired by the modern Czech history. Communists celebrated that day as well – which is why it became softly but perhaps unfairly connected with their regime.
• November 17th, 1989, when students of the Charles University in Prague (my Alma Mater) reminded themselves of the 50th anniversary of the event above. They were also dissatisfied with many things about the totalitarian regime, they were beaten by the police, and the protests against the police action kickstarted the Velvet Revolution i.e. the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia.
I only remember the latter rather well – and I actively participated in the events as a high school student. I have written numerous blog posts about the Velvet Revolution in previous years. It seems to me that I could take the basic changes made in 1989 for granted. In 2017, on the 28th anniversary, I am no longer confident.

Some really good 2017 time lapse video of Prague, by a Russian.

In the Parliament that arose from the most recent elections, about 1/2 of the lawmakers represent parties that openly prefer the communist regime over the post-1989 capitalism. As recently as one year ago, I was torturing myself with the nightmare of a coming government of the communist party (which hasn't participated in any government since the June 1990 elections, not even indirectly) and ANO, an anti-capitalist party led by a communist apparatchik and a communist secret agent who also became a billionaire because of his communist-era contacts, special knowledge, and his predator status based on the absolute absence of any morality (and because he escaped Slovakia before they would put him to jail for a long time).

Thursday, November 16, 2017 ... //

Author of Czech tramping anthem dies

An hour ago, everyone was told that songmaker Mr Wabi Daněk died at 70. He has recorded lots of songs but the most famous one was his 1970 song "Dew on the Tracks".

It has become the anthem of the Czech tramping. Now, the word "tramp" surely sounds like a perfectly English word – sometimes, Czechs pronounce it "tramp", sometimes they read it like a Czech word, e.g. "trump" (which makes it even more relevant nowadays). I have heard or said the word every other day for 5 years before I learned how to say "I am" in English. ;-) Nevertheless, Wikipedia basically tells us that the word "tramping" is either from Czechia or from New Zealand, see a disambiguation page. Kiwis consider tramping to be "a style of backpacking".

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 ... //

Scandalous EU behavior towards Poland reminds us of the Third Reich

As various news outlets told us, the European Parliament approved a resolution slinging mud at Poland that may be used to launch the process against the member state.

The Polish anthem has the music (by an unknown composer) of the pan-Slavic anthem – check e.g. Hey Slavs, the Czech edition with Samuel Tomášik's lyrics (written in Czech by a Slovak priest who was terrified to hear so much German during his 1834 trip to Prague LOL), or the defunct Yugoslav anthem as well as the Slovak Clerofascist State's ruling party's anthem.

I am absolutely shocked by this development and especially its contrast with the EU's support for the recent Spanish fascist campaign against the basic civic rights of the Catalans. 438 "deputies" supported the resolution, 152 were against, 71 abstained. (Almost one-half of MEPs have bought by Soros and Soros brags that they became "reliable friends". Note that he recently gave shocking $18 billion to his sick Open Foundation. How many such sluts may he buy when there are many sluts who will work for$50?) Polish prime minister reacted on Twitter: she will discuss the "scandalous developments" in the European Parliament on Friday. Hungary has used the same adjective. The foreign minister was shocked by the debate
in the EU Parliament.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 ... //

Escaping the crypto-world: links for you

During the recent months, I spent a lot of time with the cryptocurrencies – studying what they are technologically, economically, as well as sociologically, how the people feel, why they believe what they believe, and so on.

Tony was very kind and brought me to the crypto-world as a practical person, not just a theorist, by his generous donation denominated in the Bitcoin. About one-half of that donation quickly evaporated by random conversions and depreciation of Bitcoin Cash at some moment etc., it's a wild world. I converted one-half of the rest to the Czech currency and played with the remaining half – unfortunately, it was in the tetherized dollar during the recent big growth of the Bitcoin price.

Sunday, November 12, 2017 ... //

Bitcoin congestion singularity may be coming

The Bitcoin is under pressure since Friday.

According to CoinMarketCap.com, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – the cheaper, faster would-be main Bitcoin with bigger blocks that was created in August – is already the #1 cryptocurrency by trading volume – over $10 billion a day. Much of the trading takes place at Korean exchanges. But maybe it's not Koreans behind the purchases of Bitcoin Cash; it could be Chinese with accounts in Korea, too. Bitcoin Cash is also the #2 cryptocurrency after Bitcoin Core (BTC) by capitalization – ahead of Ethereum (although it's a statistical tie most of the day and ETH may occasionally get above BCH). I was always sure that it was the most promising cryptocurrency and held a lot in it – but I was too impatient and sold when it was$400. It's over $1,800 now. These changes aren't unusual. The number of BTC unconfirmed transactions is around 160,000 – on Friday evening, it was already bad, 80,000 – doubling in less than two days. There are some 250,000 transactions on a weekend day. Clearly, the number is growing and I believe that by Monday, the unconfirmed transactions will actually surpass the 240,000 record high from May 2017. Saturday, November 11, 2017 ... // An attack on BTC may be underway A dangerous November 16th "SegWit2x" Bitcoin hard fork has been suspended indefinitely according to an e-mail by the organizers who were unhappy that they couldn't persuade the true Bitcoin cultists – which is basically impossible. However, the widely perceived probability that the fork will take place anyway hasn't dropped to zero at all. The BT2 futures jumped above$300, more than by 50%, in the recent day, while the SegWit2x futures remain above $400. These two probably differ by their behavior if the fork doesn't occur at all. On top of that, a website bitcoin2x.org – which may be just bogus but publicly, nobody is sure – says that a group will proceed with the fork, anyway. And the user nicknamed BitPico has posted a message somewhere claiming that 30% of the miners will work on the SegWit2x fork. Friday, November 10, 2017 ... // Japanese planned ILC collider shrinks to half In 2013, I discussed the Japanese competition choosing the host of the International Linear Collider The folks in the Sefuri mountains who created this catchy music video lost and Tohoku won instead – those had more credible, respected, and boring physicists behind themselves, not to mention a 5 times longer video with the 20 times smaller number of views. ;-) Thursday, November 09, 2017 ... // Brain-dead green nut jobs attack Kathleen Hartnett White Donald Trump has nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, an experienced Texan female politician focusing on the environment, as the boss of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She is a noted climate skeptic and a defender of CO2 and the energy industry. Last year, she and Stephen Moore wrote the book Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy. CO2 is the gas of life, the fossil fuels basically ended the slavery, and so on. I agree with all these statements. Every sane person does. But somewhat unsurprisingly yet still shockingly, White immediately became a target of a coordinated vicious attack by the far left, by insane brainwashed and brain-dead whackos who deny basic scientific facts such as the key role of CO2 in the life processes. Wednesday, November 08, 2017 ... // CME Bitcoin futures: rules, forecasts, recipes Greatly reduced volatility, smooth exponential decrease of the Bitcoin price, regulators' and short sellers' profits, boredom, even higher Bitcoin fees, exodus One week ago, I discussed the plan of the CME group to allow trading of Bitcoin futures. See a CME web page, a press release, and its review in Business Insider, underlying reference rates (BRR real-time and BRTI daily rate). Last night, Business Insider brought us [We just got] a glimpse of how bitcoin futures will work There are many details over there. Let me look at them first. Tuesday, November 07, 2017 ... // Huge fees and related shocking Bitcoin facts Pure mathematics prevents the Bitcoin from becoming a payment method for tens of millions of people In my Bitcoin texts, I have discussed the flawed economic reasoning of the users, the ludicrous idea that a new currency is created as a bubble of hot air, the crime- and similar reasons why government are going to ban it, the fact that the Chinese (most miners) are ultimately capable of decide even though most of the young Bitcoin cultists deny this basic feature of the non-currency, and irreversibility and anonymity which are serious flaws of the currency often presented as virtues, among other big practical problems with the notion that the Bitcoin could be the future of the money. The average fee for a Bitcoin transaction today But I haven't paid too much attention to some mundane technical properties of the Bitcoin as a system to make payments. Well, the simplest shocking number I want you to pay attention to is that the average Bitcoin transaction costs you$10 in fees these days. It's virtually impossible to bring the fee beneath $5 – you may order cheaper transactions if you're willing to increase the confirmation waiting period by something in between hours and days. And it's a lot. It's a "wow", especially because the Bitcoin is often promoted as being a good method to make payments. Monday, November 06, 2017 ... // October Revolution in Russia: 100 years Tomorrow, it will have been 100 years since the start of the Bolshevik coup in Russia. In agreement with the plan, cruiser Aurora fired a blank shot in the harbor of St Petersburg, Bolsheviks began to occupy the palace, and the provisional government quickly surrendered. Long years of a civil war followed to confirm the transition to the regime of Lenin's muzhiks. To some extent, the Chinese lantern marches were the communist counterparts of the Halloween events and their cancellation meant we became further both from communism and from America. ;-) These days, we're surrounded by acronyms. It sounds sort of incredible that just 30 years ago, the Czech acronym VŘSR (Velká říjnová socialistická revoluce, Great October Socialist Revolution) was among the 5 most important ones – it surely doesn't make it to the top 100 today. ;-) In Czechoslovakia, we the kids would be forced to go to a Chinese lantern march in the evening. Search Google Images for the Chinese lantern march for VŘSR. It was a relatively boring event. The lanterns don't emit much light so they're not spectacular. The fireworks at the end was the only thing that was worth mentioning. But these marches played the same role as the May Day parades – except that May Day parades took place during the day and all industries as well as communist apparatchiks were proudly attending. For VŘSR anniversaries, kids had to draw pictures of Lenin or stuff like that. The generally promoted belief stated that the communism was there forever. In the mid 1980s, we wouldn't believe that there was going to be no celebration of the 75th anniversary let alone 100th anniversary of VŘSR. Sunday, November 05, 2017 ... // Chinese communist bosses may poison, abuse, or cancel the Mao collider Some questions must be asked because the freedom-loving Western scientists could soon be sorry As Etudiant pointed out, Asia Society's ChinaFile (and ForeignPolicy.com) has published a fascinating essay, The Future of Particle Physics Will Live and Die in China, by Cornell particle physics postdoc Yangyang Cheng who is self-evidently a profound political junkie – a homo politicus (with a physics PhD plus some political training at University of Chicago) who knows what she's talking about. The number of physicists, and especially female physicists, whose thinking about politics is this refined is tiny. That doesn't mean that I agree with her views about most questions. Her view on the "march for science" is clearly something I wouldn't sign, for example. She discusses the political implications of the Chinese collider that may be built near the Great Wall of China – surrounded by the Great Firewall of China. Maybe she finds the ideological purity of the project (I mean the neutrality with respect to national and ideological interests) even more important than I do but otherwise she's clearly on a very similar frequency as your humble correspondent. OK, so she interviewed an unnamed official of the Chinese Academy of Sciences by phone. After some problem-free exchanges, her last question was: "Will there be a unit of the Communist Party of China that supervises the collider project?" Now, this is clearly a rather fundamental question. Everyone who understands some politics and is interested in the project would like to know the answer. At some level, I think that especially the Chinese folks have a kind of a right to know the answer. The CAS official responded with a 20-minute tirade, personal attacks, and suggestions that Dr Cheng was killing the project because "politics is too sensitive". Wow. Can't you even ask simple questions like that? Saturday, November 04, 2017 ... // Allanach, You apply for a$50 collider to find $$Z'$$ or leptoquarks

Assertive implications of an LHCb beauty-muon deficit

How many articles about flavor physics have you published in the Grauniad? Well, it turns out that Dr Allanach and You have written the essay

Anomalous bottoms at CERN and the case for a new collider
in which they derive an appealing interpretation from an anomaly seen by the LHCb Collaboration. As I discussed in March and April, the LHCb detector insists on a deficit of $$B$$ mesons decaying to $$K^* \mu^+\mu^-$$. My previous texts are somewhat technical, Allanach and You are a bit less technical, and Futurism.com is arguably even more popular.

As Allanach and You put it, if you build 16,000 LHC colliders, you not only pay $160 trillion but you also get approximately one collider in which the agreement with the Standard Model in this single quantity is as bad as this actual single LHC collider of ours actually shows (or worse). When I mentioned the money, I can't resist to mention that the money that will evaporate when the Bitcoin bubble bursts are enough for a dozen of LHC colliders – and even more if there will be additional growth before it bursts. ;-) OK, there's some 4-sigma deficit. Among U.S. millennials, socialism beats capitalism Tobias Sander has pointed out an article in Fox News (and elsewhere), Millennials think socialism would create a great safe space, study finds As shown in a PowerPoint presentation, YouGov and Victim-of-Communism-Memorial-Foundation have surveyed over 2,000 millennials. 45% would prefer a "socialist country" while only 42% would prefer a capitalist country. When the system is called "communism", the support drops to 7%, much like for "fascism". A major motivation seems to be that the "capitalist economy works against them". The poll shows lots of other troubling things, ignorance about most things – over 60% have never heard of Maduro, for example – but it's far from the first one of its kind (see similar results from February 2016, for example) and the U.S. is far from the only country spoiled by this mental disease selectively targeting the youth. Friday, November 03, 2017 ... // Political prisoners in Spain are unsustainable There are 10 political prisoners in Spain. They have been segregated to 5 different prisons in Greater Madrid. Two guys with the beard are from some pro-independence organization. The remaining 8 are members of the Catalan government. 1 more member of the government, Santi Vila, "fully cooperated" so he or she wasn't jailed. Catalan president Puigdemont and 4 other government members stay in Belgium, cooperate with the Spanish courts remotely, but won't visit Spain because they don't trust the fairness of the trial. I don't trust it, either. And I agree with lots of dissatisfied comments addressed to the EU apparatchiks, e.g. Exactly. The political prisoners in Spain shed completely new light on things like the political prisoners in China that various European and EU politicians sometimes complain about. Interestingly enough, political prisoners in China are bad – but political prisoners in Spain, which is still an EU member country – seem to be completely fine for the hypocritical šitty likes of Mr Tusk, Mr Juncker, and this whole gang. HEP: what was written, cited in 2017 TV: Don't forget that aside from S11E06 episode of The Big Bang Theory, the S01E02 episode of Young Sheldon finally aired yesterday – it's full of cool boy genius stuff – Sheldon was using Carnegie science to find friends. If you search INSPIRE, a particle physics database, for find topcite 50+ and date 2017, you will get 102 hits – papers timestamped as 2017 that have already earned at least 50 followups. An unusually high percentage are experimental papers. Various papers were published by the LHC collaborations – ATLAS, CMS, LHCb (various properties of mesons) – as well as LIGO and direct searches for dark matter such as XENON1T. LIGO has found the gravitational waves – from black holes and kilonovae – but otherwise the results of all these experiments have confirmed the null hypotheses. The number of papers submitted to hep-th (pure particle physics theory) in this list is just 15. They include some papers about the microscopic information of black holes, soft hair, matrices in them, as well as the SYK model – a microrevolution of recent years – and Erik Verlinde's irritating abolition of dark matter. Except for SYK, these or similar papers have been covered in various TRF blog posts. Thursday, November 02, 2017 ... // Wall of grief: Putin is courageous to question Stalin Days ago, Vladimir Putin unveiled the Wall of Grief, a sculpture by Georgy Frangulyan which will be a memorial to the victims of communism in Moscow – the first such a memorial in Russia. See the pictures. The sculpture shows many people – probably victims of Stalin. In this sense, it's analogous to the memorial to the children of Lidice, a Czech village razed by the Nazis. Well, the kids in the Czech sculpture look a bit dull and too similar to each other while the people in the Russian sculpture don't quite even look like people at all. But I know, it's arts. For me, the political message is more important. Wednesday, November 01, 2017 ... // CME futures should stop, drive Bitcoin price towards zero The judgement day could be December 18th when the trading starts Update: CBOE will start earlier, on Sunday December 10th at 5 pm Chicago time The Bitcoin price has set new records above$6,500 and nothing seems capable of stopping it on its way towards the infinity. As you know, I think that the only justifiable price of it is zero and everyone who doesn't see it is a moron. The whole capitalization of over $100 billion is a measure of the people's irrationality, a herd instinct worshiping a virtual ill-defined brand. But as Keynes said, The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. So I am unlikely to bet and short the cryptocurrencies although I am very tempted. Between November 13th and November 20th, Bitcoin may collapse or cease to exist due to the disputed fork. BTC should divide to a new BTC and B2X, one with a doubled block size. Bitcoin exchanges have different attitudes to the question whether they will give the users B2X at all, which of the cryptocurrencies will be called the Bitcoin etc. It's possible that no fork will take place at all. But it's possible that it will and any of the four possibilities – B2X will [not] survive and BTC will [not] survive – is possible. So be sure to have your Bitcoins at a place where you can access both BTC and B2X – some exchanges won't allow you that. B2X futures are currently at$1,167, you don't want to lose that even if you managed to keep the remaining $5,400 of BT1. I think that much of the price growth of BTC and BCH in recent days is due to the expected fork that the financially illiterate "Bitcoin traders" consider to be "dividends for free", being completely unaware of the ex-dividend price drop (note that the BT1, BT2 futures linked to in the previous paragraph do realize that the numbers should add up i.e. there will be an ex-dividend drop). This panic buying may be mirrored by panic selling after the forks. On top of that, the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) group plans to offer its clients trading with Bitcoin futures by the end of 2017 (see press release). And that could be a game-changer, I think. (Two Bitcoin real-time CME indices have been available since November 14th of the last year. See them now.) Czech public shocked by gender programs at schools OK, yes, I edited the time so that this text was posted on 1/11 at 11:11. ;-) Three weeks ago, I discussed the politically correct indoctrination at schools. The number of subjects without any real beef – which just downgrade the pupils to stupid and obedient politically correct sheep – is growing every day. But lots of people keep on reporting that it's "not bad" at actual schools. Children and other witnesses don't report everything we may want to know. It would be interesting to see a whole week at contemporary schools. Yesterday, readers of center-right iDNES.cz were shocked by the article Ministry of education teaches its employees about the genders, the project costs millions We learn that the Czech ministry of foreign affairs has hired various experts – including a woman from an Olympic organization, Ms Knorre, whose "expertise" about anything related to education seems non-existent. How similar female outsiders may become "de facto bosses" is something I can't possibly understand. A particular project costs$300,000 which is not negligible but it's not a lot – I am sure that much more money is being wasted for similar junk.
Monty Hall: Off-topic: I noticed that Dr Roy Spencer wrote about the Monty Hall Paradox last month. Nicely enough, his solution "it depends on why Monty Hall does what he does" is exactly the same as mine in 2006. ;-)
The employees at the ministry, principals, teachers, and children are told that "children are choosing occupations according to gender stereotypes" and that should be changed. So hundreds of comments mock this attitude. The most popular comment simply says "it remains to milk the billy goat now". An overwhelming majority of readers is against this kind of stuff, they point out why it's natural for men and women to do different things – we could say "to have different statistical distributions in diverse occupations". The article mentions that some "gender equality experts" have been put in charge of censoring and editing all textbooks and they have the power to chastise all employees of the ministry who realize that this whole gender equality stuff is stinking garbage. These attitudes only exist because "these employees haven't been sufficiently educated to appreciate the gender equality". What an outrageously arrogant statement from these deluded despicable parasites.

I am pretty sure that all these programs are basically forced upon us by the European Union because I think it's obvious that in any larger, sufficiently random group of Czech citizens, you will find an overwhelming majority that opposes this kind of gender orthodoxy. The number of feminists in Czechia could probably be counted on one hand – it's plausible that I have already met most of the Czech feminists in my life.