## Tuesday, April 24, 2018 ... /////

### It's wrong to summarize the multiverse as "left-wing"

And Keating's proposed Nobel prize reforms are left-wing lunacy

Nick has asked whether Brian Keating, the designer of BICEP1 and the author of "Losing the Nobel Prize" (which will be released today), was conservative. At least according to some methodologies, the answer is Yes.

His 50-minute interview in Whiskey Politics, a right-wing podcast, has shown that he had the courage to hang the picture of George W. Bush in his University of California office – where most of his colleagues would prefer to hang Bush himself. Well, he didn't support Trump throughout most of his campaign, however.

He deplored the Che Café at UCSD where lots of taxpayer money is being spent to renovate the business and celebrate the mass killer by drinking coffee (which is a carcinogenic substance according to the Californian law but I guess that Che's café may get an exemption). And Keating has also followed me on Twitter so he can't be too left-wing. ;-)

## Monday, April 23, 2018 ... /////

### For SJWs in education, I became a template for villains

Since the February 14th conference, the media have approached the "revolutionary methods to teach" in a somewhat more balanced way – equivalently, a conflict of a sort continued. H-mat.cz is the website promoting Hejný's method or the VOBS method (the acronym means "Education Oriented to the Building of Schemes" in Czech) and they post various press releases.

Several recent press releases are dedicated to the debate about the right ways to teach mathematics.

The newest one reposts some text published in Lidovky, the global pseudointellectuals' preferred daily, on Thursday. The daily chose a following title:

Children have to be pressured to do some math, critics of the playful method claim
LOL, that's a textbook example of a manipulative title. Needless to say, they quote your humble correspondent to justify the title.

## Sunday, April 22, 2018 ... /////

### Brian Keating's Nobel prize obsession surprised me

Brian Keating will release his first book, "Losing the Nobel Prize", on April 24th. I don't own it and I haven't read it. But I was still intrigued by some of the discussions about it.

Backreation wrote a review and Keating responded.

I used to think that the title was just a trick to emphasize the importance of Keating's work: He has done work that could have led to a Nobel prize but Nature wasn't generous enough, it has seemed for some 3 years. But the two articles linked to in the previous paragraph suggest that Keating is much more obsessed with the Nobel prize. That's ironic because the book seems to say that Keating is not obsessed, and he doesn't even want such a lame prize, but it's his colleagues, the spherical bastards, who are obsessed. ;-)

## Saturday, April 21, 2018 ... /////

### Tractor, paint, and what kids should learn about pi

Days ago, Czech kids who are 14-15 years old were trying to pass their high school entry exams designed by CERMAT, a centralized institution producing exams for schools. The most difficult problem was an exercise involving a tractor and a tube of paint in mathematics.

This El Risitas parody got over 100,000 views. El Risitas' German counterpart, Adolf Hitler, was just a little bit less successful.

Zetor Major

The problem is the following:

A tractor ran over a tube of paint. The tube exploded, paint was all around, and the tractor was leaving a mark on the road every 252 centimeters. What is the height of the center of the contaminated tractor's wheel?
Many people who follow the education of mathematics agreed that it was an easy enough, well-chosen, yet "somewhat nontrivial" problem that the good enough kids really should be able to solve. Just to be sure, the solution is $252\,{\rm cm} / 2\pi \approx 40.16\,{\rm cm}$.

Tons of kids whined and claimed that it was harder than a year ago – and it was like a problem in an entry exam for a university. Oh, really?

## Friday, April 20, 2018 ... /////

### Door to door energy vendors: I actually called police

Minutes ago, I called police and complained about the door-to-door energy vendors because among dozens of similar incidents, they were by far the most aggressive ones. I have never had anything resembling a real "argument" with such visitors – and there have been many. I made a search and decided that door-to-door vendors have been banned on the whole territory of Pilsen which is why I reported it.

This approach to "connect to the people" is widespread. Jehovah's Witnesses frequently come in pairs, they ring the bell – outside the building – and they're very pleasant. I have actually allowed them to get in about 10 times in my life, both in the U.S. and in Czechia – the experience was very similar in both countries. Also, some utility and communication companies did the same thing. That's why I switched from ČEZ to Centropol (energy) a few years ago, from O2 to Czech Radiocommunications (later bought by T-Mobile, but now I use the services of UPC) also a few years ago, and so on.

## Thursday, April 19, 2018 ... /////

### A two-hour introduction to the climate change

Last night, I gave a "Science Café" public talk about global warming and climate change and stuff like that (in Czech) which was substantially longer than any previous presentation of mine about the topic – it was something like two hours plus a discussion.

One may talk about lots of the sociology and history of the movement and it's interesting – and often infuriating. But I still think it's more relevant to focus on the hard science and the physical basis of all the phenomena.

## Tuesday, April 17, 2018 ... /////

### Can kids learn to think mathematically from granddaddy's animals?

On Saturday night, we had a reunion – the end of elementary school after 30 years. Lots of beer, memories, personal stuff. I always discuss some serious topics. So one classmate (DS) holds impressive 3 bitcoins and is a full-blown hodler ;-) while your humble correspondent and another classmate (JK) were arguing why the Bitcoin pricing was a bubble and what it meant.

I asked lots of people about Hejný's method to teach mathematics. (Teachers must be silent in the method, kids must invent everything by themselves, they solve some 10+ types of problems in recreational mathematics for 8 years, without any conceptual progress, and at the end, they tell you how much they love and understand mathematics because of this method.) By the end of the exchanges, 10 people were familiar with the topic, 8 of them were familiar to start with. Only 2 were sort of positive about that "constructivist" method in education – and one of them (VK) arguably changed his mind to a large extent. The rest was highly critical, just like I am.

In March, I discussed particular problems, as seen on the matika.in website. All of them are recreational mathematics of some kind and they are supposed to be solved by guesswork – by the trial and error. That brute force strategy is a typical non-mathematical approach to the problems – mathematics is all about searching for patterns and clever things to solve otherwise hard or unsolvable problems.

## Monday, April 16, 2018 ... /////

### Einstein's amateur popularizer in Florida sketched 10D (stringy) spacetime in 1928

Thanks to Willie Soon, Paul Halpern.

St Petersburg Times, Sunday, November 11th, 1928
Guest blog by John Nations, 3141 Twenty-sixth avenue South, City (St. Petersburg), Nov. 9, 1928

Mr Nations played with glimpses of string theory in 1928 and in that year, Lonnie Johnson recorded "Playing with the strings" about that achievement.

Open forum (on the right side from the picture)
UNDERSTANDING EINSTEIN

Editor The Times:

A lot of people believe that Einstein is as transparent as boiler iron, one able authority estimating roughly that at least eight people in the world understand him.

## Sunday, April 15, 2018 ... /////

### Green fanaticism kills, fossil fuels prolong lives

An important pro-gay-marriage New York lawyer David Buckel – who was portrayed in the 1999 movie "Boy's Don't Cry" – committed suicide by self-immolation. In his farewell letter, he claimed that he was blessed to be completely healthy (which we can't properly verify) and the act was done to protest the people's usage of fossil fuels. He prepared a graphic scenery for joggers and bicyclists in a New York park.

First, condolences to his relatives and friends.

Second, regardless of my deep disagreement with everything he wanted to promote, I have respect for a certain kind of courage that is needed for such an act. After all, Jan Palach was a Czech student who protested the 1968 Soviet-led occupation in the same way and I tend to be among those who call him a hero.

Third, this act unmasks the degree of radicalization within the movement that fights global warming. Because the green people are ready to sacrifice their own lives and the benefits seem to be non-existent, we may claim that they are as radicalized as the Islamic suicide attackers.

## Saturday, April 14, 2018 ... /////

### Bad news: bombardment of Syria, Michael Cohen in Prague

Last night, it seemed that the Syrian tension was fading away. Erdogan also claimed that it did. Suddenly, we woke up on Saturday to see the news. In a 7-minute speech, Trump announced a new bombardment of Syria justified by the alleged chemical attacks. Friday 13th looked like a lucky date for that to him.

Damascus in 2010: more crosses than in the West

America, Britain, and France are participating. I was terribly angry at the beginning but was careful not to prematurely add fuel to the fire.

After a few minutes, details emerged suggesting that it's not so bad. First, Trump et al. are trying (so far successfully) to avoid the bombardment of any Russian interests and personnel – because Russia has promised to defend those. (It seems clear by now that Russia isn't defending all Syrian interests and only Syria's own defense missiles have been used to counter the 103 attacks – and in 71 of them, Assad turned out to be the winner and Trump was the loser.) Second, Trump et al. bombard "just" some (civilian and military) "chemical infrastructure". That would be bad but not so bad – not even for Assad.

The attack is being justified by claims about Assad's chemical attack in a suburb of Damascus that has targeted some 500 people. Now, I am uncertain about the very existence of such an attack let alone its perpetrator. I am half-persuaded by the Russian claims that Russia has evidence that this was staged and Britons helped in the false flag operation. In fact, even months or years ago, some people have said that a false flag chemical attack was being prepared by the best and the White Helmets (a P.R. group designed to whitewash the Islamic terrorists), see e.g. this February 2018 claim.

## Friday, April 13, 2018 ... /////

### Sheldon and pals visited Grothendieck in his cabin

If you missed Young Sheldon, the main hero decided to temporarily become adult from his mother's perspective after his mother didn't like some blue superhero's nude buttocks in a magazine. The adulthood was abruptly ended after a tornado in Eastern Texas.

Saint-Lizier on the Salat River, near the Spanish border. Grothendieck didn't pick such a bad place to spend a part of his life.

Meanwhile, the Big Sheldon had some correspondence with Dr Wolcott, a top topologist who is interested in Sheldon's work in string theory and who lives "off the grid" in his cabin in the mountains.

## Thursday, April 12, 2018 ... /////

### Frauchiger-Renner: trivial to see that QM has no contradictions

Click at the pirate icon above the title for a no-nonsense mobile version of this blog post.

Maken has pointed out the new paper

In Defense of a "Single-World" Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
by Jeffrey Bub which negates a 2016 paper by Frauchiger and Renner (see a superficial comment at TRF or a PI journal club by barefoot and hot Lídia del Rio; she's the first girl from the obnoxiously PC Renner's political video).

Bub is right about the main claims – there is a single world, there is no contradiction, quantum mechanics is consistent etc. – and he presents a wonderfully concise explanation of the alleged Frauchiger-Renner paradox. But I am still dissatisfied with Bub's paper as well. He doesn't really address some incorrect formulations by Frauchiger and Renner – about "stories" etc. – and he adds some unfortunate new non-quantum sentences involving super-observers (quantum mechanics only has observers and all of them follow the same rules), measurements of wave functions (wave functions cannot be measured), and others.

## Wednesday, April 11, 2018 ... /////

### Wrong thinking behind MOND and climate hysteria

MIT mindreader: AlterEgo is the new MIT device that monitors nerves going to speaking muscles and knows what you think about. It can recognize 100 words now. I guess it would work for Hawking. Too bad he's gone.
Solution aversion often has very good reasons

Ohwilleke has promoted the Wordpress blog TritonStation written by Stacy McCaugh, a MOND cosmologist. He claimed that some speed was incorrectly calculated in the recent paper about a galaxy without dark matter and a better calculation is compatible with MOND predictions. I have no opinion about that but I think it's unwise to trust such blog posts uncritically; at least, you should also read lead author Van Dokkum's polite response to McCaugh and others. (My previous blog post was about the ludicrous claim that in MOND theories, the MOND effect may be turned off by changing the initial conditions.)

However, McCaugh's blog also has a climate change category – with one text, Solution Aversion. In his opinion, it's a logical mistake to be skeptical about MOND and the climate hysteria because such a skepticism amounts to "solution aversion" which he claims to be a logical fallacy of a sort.

## Tuesday, April 10, 2018 ... /////

### Hossenfelder's deceitful babbling about dark matter, a MOND killer

One of the things that have always driven me up the wall about the postmodern would-be scientific media was their constant promotion of people who were or are absolutely self-evident hacks, crackpots, and scammers as if they were good scientists. Sabine Hossenfelder is one of the greatest examples I know.

In her newest rant she screams

No, that galaxy without dark matter has not ruled out modified gravity
and attacks the recent paper "A galaxy lacking dark matter" (TRF, Nature, arXiv). That paper has simply observed a (rather small) galaxy where objects seem to move exactly as general relativity predicts: there is no need for MOND or dark matter in that galaxy.

### The Simpsons acknowledge an attack by an insufferable Indian SJW

The political correctness in the U.S. is surpassing all previously imaginable red lines.

A frustrated unlikable Indian pseudointellectual named Hari Kondabolu who is visiting places and giving embarrassing would-be funny speeches has been attacking the Simpsons for some months or years, see e.g. The Problem With Apu, 50 minutes of whining. (The fact that the title sounds just like Lee Smolin's "Trouble With Physics" is no coincidence, these far leftists could live in the rectums of each other and nothing would change about the scent they are spreading to their environment.)

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is the main target of this deluded criticism. Apu is an immigrant from India who has a convenience store. He speaks just like the Indians do. The accent is deliberately exaggerated – which is exactly what you expect because cartoons are supposed to be cartoons, deliberately exaggerated caricatures that make something more visible and more funny.

## Sunday, April 08, 2018 ... /////

### A well-deserved triumph for Viktor Orbán

In recent years, Viktor Orbán became much more than just a reliable leader of Hungary. He became an important representative of the European people – and an important defender of the Old Continent and the European civilization who isn't just a symbol or a talking head. He has dealt with nontrivial tasks and had to do lots of nontrivial things that have earned a lot of sympathy for him in other European countries besides Hungary, too.

I didn't have the slightest doubt that his Fidesz would win the today's parliamentary elections. Well, I did find it more likely that he would improve his result. And even though some unpleasant Hungarian trolls dared to disagree with me, the reality has confirmed my words.

## Saturday, April 07, 2018 ... /////

### A nice video challenging Bohmian mechanics

After numerous wonderful videos about the Bible, Jesus, and the Big Flood that you've hopefully watched ;-), the Inspiring Philosophy YouTube channel released another video about the foundations of quantum mechanics eight hours ago (thanks to Werner Heisenberg for the URL):

Because I've praised numerous other videos on that channel in the past, it shouldn't be surprising that I liked it – and more or less agreed with everything that was said in the video. After all, a 2013 blog post by your humble correspondent is quoted at 4:33 in the video above.

### Blockchain is a fundamentally flawed vision for society

...because trust is so valuable and trusted is better than trustless...

Bitcoin and the cryptocurrencies have clearly been some of the most insane and irrational fads in the history of mankind. Since the December 17th, 2017, all time peak above $19k (and around$20k at some exchanges), the Bitcoin price dropped some 66.6% to $6666 or so (Devilish numbers). Since the January 7th peak, the cryptocurrencies' capitalization dropped from$0.819 trillion to $0.260 trillion i.e. by some 70%. The cryptocurrency daily trading volumes dropped from$67 billion on January 5th by some 80% (in USD), too. The searching for the Bitcoin on Google dropped by 82% since December 18th.

Note that it's been over 3 months since the recent Bitcoin peak which means that everyone knows that 3 months of patience often fail to be enough to get at least over 35% of the initial investment back. Bitcoin could have looked like a safe recipe for an easy profit 3 months ago but it's demonstrably no longer one.

Articles in the media and even on this blog cooled down by similar brutal percentages. Most of the sane people share the expectation that the Bitcoin won't see the price $10,000 again. The amount of dollars invested in the shorting of the Bitcoin is at an all-time high. John McAfee is already planning the sauce he will add to his penis when he eats it on TV, after Bitcoin fails to be worth a million dollars in two years as he promised. ;-) Unbacked cryptocurrencies are indeed worthless and the very slow decline of their prices only shows the low intelligence of those who are still holders. Bankers and financial analysts generally agree with the claims about the bubbles surrounding the Bitcoin and other non-currencies and about the financial illiteracy of most of the people who have joined such de facto pyramid games. But it's still fashionable among the bankers to criticize the Bitcoin; but praise the blockchain technology. This attitude is a matter of group think; the financial experts think that they sound cool and hip when they praise some modern esoteric technology. But the claim that the blockchain will be important in the future is just rubbish. I wrote some texts arguing why the decentralization of trust (which defines the blockchain) is an idea that makes things worse, not better, but Kai Stinchcombe did a much better job than I did: Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future (Medium.com) Stinchcombe mentions some embarrassing stories – Ripple and other "key companies hyping the blockchain" abandoned the usage of the blockchain and/or payments through cryptocurrencies simply because it didn't work well. It seems clear that there's not a single person in the world who had a pre-existing problem that was solved by the blockchain. But his main observations are more general and "political", "social", or "psychological" in character. ## Friday, April 06, 2018 ... ///// ### Microsoft picked the best city to build a Majorana quantum computer Windows Report informs about Microsoft's strategy to become the leader in the race to build the first usable quantum computer (i.e. their method to beat IBM, Intel, and Google, this contest is getting tense): Microsoft tries to create qubits and lead quantum computing research (2 minute read) The boss of their research is Charlie Marcus who was at Harvard (and therefore my colleague) between 2000 and 2012. He moved to Denmark and since 2016, he's a principal investigator at Microsoft, too. What is the best city where you should try to do groundbreaking research involving quantum mechanics? A hint: The city carries the name that anti-quantum zealots use as an insult, a slur representing the universal postulates of quantum mechanics they hate, and the institute is named after a man who is painted as the greatest villain in the pamphlets written by anti-quantum zealots (such as the recently published "What Is Real?" by crackpot Adam Becker). ## Thursday, April 05, 2018 ... ///// ### Arrogant feminist astrophysicist forces Aspen to pay for a kindergarten in the mountains Yesterday, two Twitter users whom I follow have retweeted a sequence of tweets by an American female astrophysicist working in Amsterdam, Ms Anna Watts, that I found shocking. She complained that the Aspen Center for Physics – which is located in the ski resort in Rocky Mountains in Colorado – has a discriminatory policy because... because it requires the theorists to visit at least for two weeks. Experimenters maybe there for one week. ## Wednesday, April 04, 2018 ... ///// ### We're all quantum mechanics, only we didn't know it Off-topic, Hawking's resurrection: Stephen Hawking's death and resurrection encouraged him to write lots of papers. In a new paper with Gordy Kane, they argue in favor of a Chinese collider. Luke and Edwin wrote this nice promotional summary of quantum mechanics: Like I said, we're all quantum mechanics only we didn't know it! All the vague but tremendously useful "intuitive physics" we do in our heads, all the knowledge we have about the world, all the fuzzy understanding of what things are: it has been quantum mechanics all along. "We" just didn't notice until 1926 and we just didn't notice until we were told about the great papers from 1926. If you want to know how a real table feels in the quantum world, just stretch out your hand and press down on the table in front of you. That's how it feels to live in a quantum world! This is the perfect reaction to the anti-quantum zealots' claims such as "How do you fix the ill quantum mechanics to turn it into classical physics which is what we ultimately perceive, which governs the world around us?" Well, we don't perceive classical physics and classical physics doesn't govern any world we know. The world is governed by quantum mechanics and our perceptions and justifiable logical reasoning about the world are only justified by quantum mechanics. Only in some very special limits, both quantum mechanics and classical physics are usable. But there's no situation in which only classical physics would be right. ## Monday, April 02, 2018 ... ///// ### A version of many worlds that works And why and how you should erase all the other worlds The many worlds interpretation vaguely envisions some splitting of the world, at special moments that cannot be determined – because there are no special moments in quantum mechanics; according to observables that cannot be determined – because there are no special observables in quantum mechanics; to an unknown number of worlds – because probabilities in quantum mechanics aren't rational in general. And there are other reasons that guarantee that no meaningful many worlds interpretation can exist. But one may design a many world interpretation that works. However, it's useless: the interpretation may be described as an overly redundant "visualization of subjective probabilities". How does it work? At every moment $t$, for every state $\ket\psi,$ for every linear Hermitian operator $L,$ for every $\mu\in(0,1),$ there exists the world $W(\psi,L,\mu)$. What do the arguments mean? The time $t$ is just some time. The wave function $\psi$ is a state vector associated to the world. Most nontrivially, $L$ is the first observable that may be measured. When it's measured, the world splits according to the eigenvalues of $L$ to a continuum of new extra universes labeled by $\mu$. And in the fractions of the $\mu$ interval $(0,1)$ corresponding to the measured eigenvalue of $L$, one collapses the wave function $\ket\psi$ to $P(L=\lambda_i)\ket\psi$ at the following moment. ## Sunday, April 01, 2018 ... ///// ### Stephen Hawking writes a post-mortem paper Stephen Hawking had a funeral in Cambridge yesterday. Some 500 people attended. I think that the family members were wise not to completely destroy the body because it could also include the soul. Hours later, the decision already produced its fruits. Stephen Hawking just posted a new paper to the arXiv: Imaginary time as a path to resurrection (screenshot) It's just five pages long but it's using some very hard mathematics so I haven't had the time to fully comprehend it yet. ## Saturday, March 31, 2018 ... ///// ### Boyle-Finn-Turok anti-universe paper is plain moronic I usually capitalize the universe but in this whole blog post, I chose to be compatible with them Neil Turok has been among the men who have spent years by hyping theories about "cyclic universes" and related laymen's ideas that have never explained anything in physics and that are really not capable of explaining anything, for very good reasons. So this enterprise became a religious activity of a sort – he needs to publish new papers just to create the illusion that the previous papers weren't a stupid waste of time. The latest, 5-pages-long paper by Boyle, Finn, and Turok is called CPT symmetric universe. The birth of a universe from nothing is bad, they effectively claim. Instead, the universe should be pair-created. It's the universe and the anti-universe that are created out of nothing which is nicer. The pair, universe plus anti-universe, are supposed to preserve the CPT. The anti-universe is interpreted as the "universe before the Big Bang", they propose. Concerning the anti-universe, I can never fail to quote a favorite joke of mine which I learned from my diploma adviser in Prague. Aside from the universe, there also exists the anti-universe where everything is anti-. For example, the hardest science over there is anti-physics and it's researched by anti-Semites. ;-) OK, let us return to the Turok et al. paper. ## Friday, March 30, 2018 ... ///// ### California coffee cancer warning: wrong Warnings became dishonest in the alarmist direction A Californian judge had enough power to decide that all coffee sold in California has to carry a warning: coffee causes cancer. Starbucks restaurants are among those where you probably encounter the warning everywhere now. I think it's virtually certain that this regulation will cause much more harm than good – especially because the people get terrified. On top of that, there are serious doubts whether the warning is true in any meaningful sense. Geoffrey Kabát [Jacket in Czech] works in the Albert Einstein Institute of Medicine – a good enough name for this blog – and he explained some basic facts about coffee and cancer. ## Thursday, March 29, 2018 ... ///// ### Dark matter probably exists because in a galaxy, it doesn't Galaxies seem to rotate much like the vinyl records – the angular speed or at least the normal speed is pretty much independent from the star's distance from the galactic center. That's very different from planets in the Solar System where the speed of Mercury vastly exceeds that of Neptune, the most distant planet (apologies to the dwarf planet Pluto and its fanatical fans). Even with a more realistic, non-central distribution of the matter, one can determine that it indeed means that the motion of stars in galaxies is different from what is predicted by Einstein's equations (which predict the dependence closer to the Solar System) – assuming that only the visible mass (shining stars and gas) is substituted as $T_{\mu\nu}$, the stress energy tensor, on the right hand side. But the discrepancy may be fixed. You just add another term to the tensor so that the total one is equal to whatever Einstein's curvature tensor you determine from the spacetime geometry. (I can't guarantee that the total or partial stress-energy tensor will always obey energy conditions and other inequalities expected from general physical considerations but it seems to be so in reality.) Zwicky figured out his colleagues were spherical bastards – which are defined as people who are bastards independently of the direction from which you observe them. For almost a century, it's been a dominant explanation – Fritz Zwicky gave the first similar arguments (based on the virial theorem) that dark matter had to exist. It's not shocking that some matter in the Universe is invisible or different from the hydrogen in stars. It may be a new elementary particle such as a WIMP, SIMP, or an axion, or some MACHO or a small black hole, or something else. Some options are being eliminated by terrestrial direct search experiments but lots of them remain viable. ### An investment show Last night, I went to an investment show of ČSOB, a major Czech bank owned by the Belgian KBC. In essence, it was similar to some 10 previous investment seminars that I have attended – and things are getting a bit repetitive if you attend these things too many times. But this time, there was a genuine progress in the format. The place was more luxurious – a multifunctional room at Techmania, the local science museum that I know rather well (also because I have given a few lectures there). The speaker was supported by a big canvas, projector, and it seemed that via videoconferencing, some 4 extra ČSOB investment experts were available. They were closing their own windows by grabbing the cross in the corner by their hands and there were lots of other cool effects. They also repeated a quiz. This time, it was much more controlled. Normally, one fills answers with a pencil, people around me cheat with the timing, so many people win the symbolic prices even though they shouldn't. But I was always among the winners. This time, the quiz was evaluated using people's smartphones connected to a website, mentimeter.com. Everyone started by entering a code and his name. There were 7 questions with 4 options each. Correctness mattered but so did the speed. That was a wonderful rule. People who can't use phones are screwed, people who cheat are screwed, people who aren't ever fast are screwed, and of course, people who don't know are screwed. So I would have been willing to bet 1-to-1 that among the 100 or so people in the room (only 30 or so have answered a typical question, however), I had to be the #1 at the end. And yes, make no mistake about it LOL, I was. A bottle of Portuguese sparkling wine was the prize. ## Wednesday, March 28, 2018 ... ///// ### Einstein's ETH Zurich develops girl physics Renato Renner works as a professor of quantum information (he is also if not primarily involved in irrational "interpretations" of quantum mechanics) at ETH Zurich, the Swiss polytechnic where both Albert Einstein and Mileva Marič studied. A few days ago, Erwin showed us this wonderful video. The guy who speaks at the beginning sounds more or less like a professional but the testimonies get increasingly female and ludicrous. Renner was praised by the women – he makes a totally female environment for us. We can do whatever we want in any hours and drink coffee. In fact, I am just pregnant for the second time, and if I need a third baby, I will simply tell Renato. And so on. The video reminded me of the dystopia about equality. If the video above isn't enough for you to see that the women are there mainly for the gender quotas, you must have watched a different video. ## Tuesday, March 27, 2018 ... ///// ### Anti-Russian pogroms on the Kemerovo day: death of humanity Two weeks ago, we were surprised by the speedy, knee-jerk reaction to the poisoning of a double agent and the instant accusations that followed. Incidentally, here you have a Czech paper from 2011 (from the Anti-WMD Institute in Vyškov, an army's place) telling you how to prepare your own novičok, an organophosphate. Well, even one sentence on TRF can tell you. To produce Novičok A 232, N-[1-(diethylamino)ethylidene] amido-O-methyl-phosphorofluoridate, start the reaction of precursor methyl-fluorphosphorocyanidate and follow it with the reaction of acetonitril with diethylamin. Details attached in the paper. Despite the denials, Czechia – the cradle of Semtex (and, off-topic, EU's most stable economy according to Allianz Euro Monitor) – is a textbook example of a country with advanced applied chemistry that could have been the source of the chemicals. Maria Moroz (13) wrote: "We're burning. I love you. All of you. Maybe farewell." She died from the injuries. The anti-Russian hysteria continued and the unhinged Russophobes who are spread across the Western civilization chose a very delicate date for the expulsion of diplomats: the day when Russia mourned the death of 60+ people in the Keremovo (500,000 inhabitants) mall in Siberia. The fire may have started in the children's area where teenagers set fire on foam cubes, lots of victims are kids. Putin came there to attack the sloppiness and corruption that could have been responsible for the faulty anti-fire regulation and dozens of casualties. "They will sign anything for the money," he claimed and he surely had a point. ## Monday, March 26, 2018 ... ///// ### White House's John Kelly, Chevron officials are the new Al Gores Donald Trump is a climate skeptic of some sort, he has mocked the hysteria, and there are positive changes taking place under his presidency. To say the least, some government websites have erased the phrase "climate change" from most of their web pages. He has appointed lots of secretaries that are climate skeptics as well. Rex Tillerson, an ex-boss of Exxon, was paradoxically the main alarmist in Trump's team. Now, Tillerson is gone and replaced by Mike Pompeo who is a great climate skeptic. But something is still wrong. I think that we're still bombarded by news de facto prepared by climate alarmists that still consider themselves a part of the establishment. ## Sunday, March 25, 2018 ... ///// ### What is real? An experiment with Wigner's friend Stephen Hawking Half a week ago, I discussed Adam Becker's new book, What Is Real?, which is another attack on standard quantum mechanics or the "Copenhagen interpretation", if I use a slur popular among the haters of quantum mechanics. In the book, all the founders of quantum mechanics are villains or criminals who have organized a cabal that has forced the scientists of the 20th century to repeat claims that quantum mechanics was correct even though, in reality, the Earth was flat (as Mad Mike Hughes proved today by launching a rocket with himself in California; by the way, from the height of 1875 feet, he must have seen that the Earth was round and "terminated" at the distance of some 40 miles from him). Everyone who has opposed the cabal is a hero. The more alcohol he has drunk, the greater hero he is. Peter W*it has published a blog post titled "What Is Real" which has attracted some 40 comments. If you want to participate in that discussion about "What Is Real", you must just accept the rule that any discussion about "what is real" will be ruthlessly suppressed. It reminds me of the elections in the communist Czechoslovakia: people could express their views about politics but any discussion about politics was ruthlessly suppressed. ;-) ### Fascist behavior is in Spanish, German DNA Heraclitus argued that you could not step twice into the same river. Spanish and German authorities are working hard to prove the philosopher wrong. In 1940, Catalan President-in-exile, Lluis Companys, was traveling in Europe. He wanted to stay in Paris because his son was there in the hospital. German authorities caught him and extradited him to Spain where he was executed. It's 2018 and Carles Puigdemont, the 130th President of Catalonia and Catalans' top leader right now, was de facto expelled from his country by the Spanish occupation forces – which were clearly unaffected by the fascists' loss in 1945. He traveled from Finland to Belgium – through Denmark and Germany. Spanish crouts have charged him with sedition, rebellion, disobedience, heresy, and blasphemy – up to 40 years in prison – and maybe even political incorrectness – 400 years in prison. All countries could have caught him but it just happens that it was the Gestapo (or Stasi or what is the exact name they are using these days) once again that did it. Is it a coincidence? I don't think so. There's some clear pattern of behavior that couldn't have been eliminated by Adolf Hitler's suicide. Several larger, "ambitious" nations like that simply don't want to allow any analogous sovereignty to smaller ones – and they often team up and use very brutal tools to make sure that they control the neighbors. What is particularly shocking is a comparison of the vigor with which Puigdemont was arrested today; and the complete indifference with which hardcore criminals such as Anis Amri, the Christmas 2016 Berlin truck killer, were ignored. And be sure that Anis Amri is just a major example – there have been tons of similar, less famous examples. ## Saturday, March 24, 2018 ... ///// ### Hejný's method: solve the problems Most of the problems aren't the problem, the framing is I want some of you to spend some time by playing the games – or solving the mathematics problems – at MATIKA.IN (English, play now) The website includes the interactive environments or "schemes" which are mostly equivalent to everything that pupils exposed to Hejný's method, the most prominent orthodox constructivist education method we know in Czechia these days, have to solve during their 8 years in the elementary school. Helpfully enough, the website is available in English (and 7 other languages). It was coded by Andrej Probst, a young guy doing these things as a charity (who is mostly independent of the movement that spreads the method, as far as I can say), and is used by schools in Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary. In Czechia, there are some 4,100 elementary schools. 800 of them teach mathematics by Hejný's method. 200 of those have learned about the website and at least recommend it to the kids. The website is some straightforward JavaScript but it looks fresh and helpful, partly because of illustrations by kovidesign. I surely believe that such websites should be used in conventional mathematics education – and in other subjects, too. ## Friday, March 23, 2018 ... ///// ### Path integrals, Feynman path integrals, and functional integrals are synonyms Generic quantum physicists won't reserve "Feynman integrals" for a finite-dimensional integral Sometimes, one must write things because someone is wrong on the Internet. And sometimes, even physics bloggers seem to be excited enough to publish an apparently wrong blog post whose only purpose seems to be to promote the opposite of an important truth. Almost exactly one year ago, Jacques Distler published some bizarre comments claiming that quantum mechanics of relativistic particles is consistent even without the introduction of antiparticles and/or multiparticle states – i.e. without quantum fields. Well, they're not. Quantum fields – and therefore antiparticles (or creation considered along with annihilation) – are an unavoidable consequence of quantum mechanics combined with special relativity. If you try to define any theory that evolves one particle's wave function, it's unavoidable that it has a positive probability to spread superluminally. To stay inside the light cone, you simply need both contributions with positive and negative frequencies: you need to create particles and annihilate antiparticles, too. Today, Tetragraviton posted a bizarre text claiming that path integrals and contour integrals are "totally different" things. ### GDPR: the latest example of EU's tyrannical idiocracy The GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is a new system of bans, restrictions, duties, and fines that will come to force on May 25th, 2018 and whose claimed goal is to protect the personal data of the European citizens, especially against the abuse by large and non-European companies. It should replace a data protection regulation from 1995. In reality, it's another regulation penned by nasty folks whose skulls are full of šit but who believe that they should govern whole continents, anyway. Fines may be up to €20 million or 4% of the global turnover of the company. While it's easy to see that the fines are almost infinite, it's basically impossible to find out what these aßholes want from the companies. I have spent some hours trying to understand the logic and requirements of the regulation. What does it really want the companies to do in any of the mundane situations that deals with the personal data of the Europeans? ## Thursday, March 22, 2018 ... ///// ### Humans can't locate discrete patterns in random analog pictures I am getting a nontrivial amount of mail from "alternative thinkers" who believe that they have discovered something groundbreaking. Much of it is repetitive but a few days ago, I was dealing with something new. An artist of a sort who doesn't have any mathematical or science education has claimed to have found some "pattern in everything" which isn't quite normal science but it isn't pseudoscience, either. Imagine that 30 random white lines are added to the picture above and it's animated. I don't want to embed his picture with the lines because I think he's insane enough to sue me for copyright violations. ;-) To make the story short, he would add dozens of straight lines to any picture – women, smokes from cigarettes, clouds, ocean waves, dozens of other things from the real life, as well as the random colorful cloudy picture of mine that I sent him. ## Wednesday, March 21, 2018 ... ///// ### An alcoholic story of Hugh Everett's fantasies Adam Becker, a guy who wrote "What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics" which was released yesterday, posted a blog post about Hugh Everett at Scientific American today: The Difficult Birth of the "Many Worlds" Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics I think that the people who worship this irrational set of ideas must have some pre-existing perverse personality, especially because the person they worship isn't the kind of a person that a decent person would normally admire. In Fall 1955, Danish physicist Aage Petersen came to Princeton and debated two local grad students, Charles Misner and Hugh Everett. At that moment, Hugh Everett was energized by ethanol. This compound could have caused Hugh Everett to see many worlds instead of one. (Everyone sees the Czech towers above twice because there's some mirror or glass on the wall.) Aage Petersen said some wrong things to provoke the other guys. In particular, he said that quantum mechanics didn't apply to macroscopic objects. Drunk Everett got upset and he decided to debunk this heresy in the most straightforward way. And because he saw multiple worlds at that moment, he chose many worlds to be the method to debunk Petersen's claim. ## Tuesday, March 20, 2018 ... ///// ### Conference on alternative math did spark a war, after all On Valentine's Day, I attended the conference on the alternative methods to teach mathematics. I was honored to stand on the same side as some top authorities of the Czech mathematics "establishment" who gradually realized what's going on. Mr Milan Hejný's method is arguably the key "brand" in Czechia that is worshiped by those who want to reform the education of mathematics along the SJW lines, as in this 9-minute-long satirical video where a good old-fashioned teacher existentially suffers after she dares to tell her pupil that 2+2 isn't equal to 22. (The video ludicrously paints the old-fashioned teacher as a liberal and her critics as conservatives but I think that everyone who knows something about the real world knows that the reality is basically upside down.) Advocates of Hejný's method seem to be universally brain-dead, they contributed nothing interesting to the conference, and there couldn't have been any meaningful conversation between the "two camps" over there. However, the conference exceeded my (and other people's) expectations, anyway. The number of ideas and observations from "our camp" was rich and diverse, I learned a lot, and I also hope that the people on our side have understood some things, too. That was really what I have been secretly hoping for – not some unrealistic enlightenment of the SJWs – and I think that we came closer to that goal than expected. ### Cambridge Analytica and pals should be banned I have serious worries that my homeland was the most affected one Physicsnut has posted the fresh British Channel 4 video which is a result of investigative journalism par excellence, I believe. As far as I can say, the "doubly scholarly" named organization was shown to be a bunch of criminals who should be arrested for a very long time. Steve Bannon has been among the key founders and whether they have violated the law in the U.S. is a matter of accusations now – 50 million people's Facebook data could have been abused. But Channel 4 has sent a fake "client" to Cambridge Analytica and they recorded the offer. What the "client" was offered included fake discrediting materials against the political foes, using pretty Ukrainian prostitutes hired for that special purpose; basically fake videos proving corruption because Cambridge Analytica's representative makes an offer that almost no one can refuse (I would refuse any offer!); and many other things. Some of these tactics surely are illegal in many countries right now. ## Sunday, March 18, 2018 ... ///// ### When people promote the one-party system and bully the opposition On Saturday morning, I was randomly directed to a Facebook post about the need to support Babiš's ANO that was written by an FB contact of mine. It has severely increased my blood pressure and because that state of affairs lasted for another hour, I clicked at "unfollow" which returned the pressure close to the normal. ;-) I knew that the man had some tendencies to root for Babiš (and he has met him and talked to him) but what I saw just exceeded my expectations because the post looked just like the demagogic attacks by Babiš against all of his political opponents (and against the system itself) that is apparently enough for the bottom 1.5 million of our nation. After some opposition to the anti-communist rallies 2 weeks ago that I attended (they were sparked by the appointment of a former communist street cop with a baton – who was beating anti-communist demonstrators in 1989 – as the Parliament's supervisor of GIBS, the police for policemen), we could read: Everyone [probably in the writer's Prague environment] is saying bad things about ANO [the movement of the billionaire Babiš, the acting prime minister] but what are the real alternatives? Who is bringing a meaningful vision? The communist party that should have been banned years ago? SPD led by the Führer of the Asian appearance? ODS with Klaus Jr who would prefer his country outside the EU and is the expert in demagogy of the most brutal kind? TOP09 and STAN which will be out of the Parliament after next elections? KDU that is making so frequent U-turns that it could have a fidget spinner in its logo? Or social democrats which consider self-employed people parasites and have grandiose plans to increase the taxes? In fact, only the technocratic Pirates are left but should they have the power to lead the whole country? And the text continues by saying that only Babiš must be supported to guarantee the rosy future with lots of investments and other great things, Babiš cannot possibly go away because of game theory, and stuff like that. ## Saturday, March 17, 2018 ... ///// ### A new book on Czech climate skeptics Lisa, Hawking, and TIME: Lisa Randall wrote an obituary in the Time magazine. Hawking managed to have fun in sex, black holes, space travel, and he has even saved a seat for Lisa Randall. The main thing she worries about is that because of Hawking's heritage, people will think that to be a great physicist, you need to be handicapped and you can't be e.g. a hot babe from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Did I understand it well, Lisa? ;-) In 2011, I went to a café with Petr Vidomus who described himself as a humanities student at the Charles University who was working on a project "How the Czech climate skeptics bring the global Armageddon closer". At least that's how I understood it – despite his intense efforts to preserve a "neutral image". In 2014, we had some additional online exchanges. Because of a new Facebook post by Alexander Ač, an occasional TRF commenter who has only gotten into the book through a comment by your humble correspondent, I have learned about a newly published book. ## Friday, March 16, 2018 ... ///// ### Bitcoin dominance is an irrational faith ...or a mostly dishonest marketing slogan... Peter Thiel has bought the Bitcoin for some$20 million which is really just some one percent of his assets (and/or his fund's assets) so this amount may be considered a silly, homeopathic part of his image.

But according to CNBC, he is neutral to skeptical about all other cryptocurrencies. For the Bitcoin, there's a 50-80 percent chance that it will be worthless (which is a reasonable estimate of the probability, up to a factor between 2 and 1.25) and a 20-50 percent chance that it will be moving higher, whatever that statement exactly means.

He is a Bitcoin bull despite the fact that the Bitcoin is "cumbersome for payments". But it will be the "Internet equivalent of gold". It must be the gold because it's the largest one. And that's why everyone will always be attracted to it. Thiel isn't the only rich supporter of the Bitcoin who says such things. They're slogans that aren't repeated just by the most stupid Bitcoin cultists but also by numerous smart folks like Thiel. I think that he's being nutty.

## Thursday, March 15, 2018 ... /////

### Jester's unconstructive recommended HEP reforms

Yesterday, Adam Falkowski published his first blog post since September 2016, Where were we?. He starts by saying that particle physics is in crisis – which is no longer a prohibited word – because the LHC hasn't found any physics beyond the Standard Model.

He mentions texts by Hossenfelder, Giudice, and the Economist to prove that the "crisis" is being used. But there have always been people who preached about crises. More than two decades ago, in 1996, John Horgan published his "End of Science" diatribe. Ten years later, Šmoits introduced their own crisis hype. Adam, if you think that you're still substantially different from these three imbeciles, you might be wrong.

According to Falkowski, the continuation of particle physics as we knew it would be like the prolonged existence of the Soviet Union. Wow. Another troubling aspect of these assertions is that Falkowski continues to write business-as-usual papers on particle physics. Adam, maybe it's normal in your environment to do things that you consider worthless and be paid for them. But I think that you're showing the absence of academic integrity by doing so and I will always emphasize that this behavior is immoral.

## Wednesday, March 14, 2018 ... /////

### British witch hunt against Russia is immature, unfair, myopic, and dangerous

A week ago, a former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal (the name looks like the rare Czech surname "Skřípal" which means "he was squeaking") was found poisoned, along with his daughter, in Salisbury, UK where he moved in 2010 after a swap of agents. (The U.K. had insisted they had to get him.) They remain in critical condition. His sons and/or other relatives have already died years ago in suspicious circumstances.

Britain's PM is surely preparing her marine Davids to attack the Russian Goliath, too.

British PM Theresa May has "determined" that it must have been the Russian state that is "culpable" over the poisoning of the agent with the nerve agent, novičok (=novice), which was found there (she claims and we doubt), or Russia has lost the control over this "most effective" nerve gas that has ever been used which is a scandal, too.

So Russia was given an ultimatum – which Russia intentionally ignored – and the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, freezing of Russian assets in the U.K., planned ban of Russia Today in the U.K., ban for the royal family that may have wanted to visit a sports event in Russia (World Cup 2018), and other things are already underway. Russia reacts by saying that the British steps are unprecedented provocations and there will be some revenge if those steps are adopted. For example, the answer the RT ban would be the ban on all British journalists in Russia. Wow.

### Stephen Hawking: 1942-2018

The world's most famous scientist of the current era was born on January 8th, 1942, exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo Galilei, and – sadly – he died today after the midnight, on March 14th (Pi Day), 2018, exactly 139 years after the birth of Albert Einstein. He could clearly choose the dates well. Well, I can actually imagine that he was planning the date of his death.

The Guardian's Ian Sample must have prepared the obituary before the announcement from Hawking's kids (see also Google News). At any rate, it contains lots of things about Hawking's life and Hawking's science, indeed.

## Tuesday, March 13, 2018 ... /////

### What erases and can restore the interference patterns

LHC anomaly: look at this fresh paper on Higgs decays, page 26 (28 of 35), top. The graph shows $\sigma_{VH}/\sigma_{SM}$ to be $12.88\pm 5$ instead of the expected $1$. A dramatic difference but it still translates to a 2.5-sigma deviation.
Under the latest discussion about the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment, the basic questions kept on coming. Can you replace the beam splitters by humans who press switches? Will the interference pattern reappear? Does the consciousness of these humans matter? And so on.

OK, let me discuss the experiment and its pieces again. On the picture above, you see the laser beam on the left upper side. The parent photon enters a double slit – there are two slits, the red slit (in San Francisco) and the light blue slit (in Los Angeles). If that parent photon just continued, it could contribute to an interference pattern on a photographic plate. Here I assume that you know the basic double slit experiment.

However, we want to make the experiment more complicated and combine it with an entanglement experiment. So the parent photon actually undergoes a process with a complicated name in the BBO crystal. That splits the parent photon to two photons of lower energy.

That splitting is applied to every parent photon. The upper daughter continues through some (yellow) lens towards the detector D0 where the coordinate $x$ is measured – just like in the simple double slit experiment. Some values of $x$ should be more likely (interference maxima), others should be very unlikely or prohibited (interference minima).

### An incredible racist restaurant in New Orleans

Restaurant charged white customers more to combat ‘racial wealth disparity’.
A Nigerian man in New Orleans has invented a new scam that actually isn't using e-mail. He created a restaurant where white consumers have to pay extra $18 because they are white. Well, this "tax for being white" is optional but if you are white and you don't pay, the owner isn't treating you equally cordially or professionally which is why 78% of the whites do pay this "tax". His justification for this scam was that whites are wealthier so they must pay more. Well, that's not the case. Not so dear guest from Africa, you have clearly misunderstood the concept of money. When someone is wealthier, it means that he can buy more, not that he pays more for the same thing. ;-) ## Sunday, March 11, 2018 ... ///// ### Users of the Bitcoin are sponsors of organized crime Forbes has published musings by Jason Bloomberg, We Need To Shut Bitcoin And All Other Cryptocurrencies Down. Here's Why. He's the president of a company of tech analysts. Bloomberg is expected to publish a corresponding article by Jason Forbes. ;-) Well, here's a nice anti-Bitcoin story at Bloomberg by Paul Ford (from Friday). Bloomberg (that one at Forbes) argues that the cryptocurrencies with the public blockchain – Ripple is the only possible counterexample of a semi-permissioned blockchain – should be banned for one reason he focused on: every user funds anonymous criminals. In particular, he's concerned with the criminals who run illicit cryptomining on computers that they attack. Needless to say, the Bitcoin cultists have overwhelmed him with kilotons of nasty personal attacks containing zero worth of ideas (well, perhaps this text has an infinitesimal amount instead of zero). ## Friday, March 09, 2018 ... ///// ### Aspects of Lawrence Krauss' alleged sex attacks In his newest blog post, On Lawrence Krauss, BuzzFeed, And #MeToo, Tommaso Dorigo cited me twice and he probably expects me to cite him, too. ;-) So as you can see, I cited him. But I did not cite him back because it's wrong to mutually cite each other. He discusses the women's complaints that they've been sexually attacked – or led to uncomfortable situations – by famous men, especially cosmologist Lawrence Krauss. To introduce himself, Tommaso brags that he once analyzed the clothes and underwear of a hot babe named Lisa Randall. You must have read these tedious analyses many times because the Washington Post and all the mainstream media have been repeating Dorigo's views on Randall's underwear for years. In the new blog post, Dorigo prefers the freedom of speech over excessively strong regulations on the sexual misconduct; and he wants you not to see things as black and white. I surely agree. Dorigo is the Italian man who went to Malta and, when facing an attractive waitress, he demanded t*o f**k on the table. She replied that everybody wanted to f**k on the table. But you know, when you compare guys like Dorigo (or me, for that matter), there is a difference from the likes of Lawrence Krauss: Dorigo is mostly talking and writing while Lawrence Krauss is acting. If you're at least slightly sensible, you will surely agree that Krauss is a different league. I sincerely hope – but I am not sure – that Tommaso is sensible in this sense and understands that the accusations against Krauss are ultimately somewhat more serious than Krauss' joke about the Queen and Krauss' nipples. Buzzfeed has presented Krauss as a predator who has basically tried to rape several young ladies if I have to avoid the term "girls" before they overpowered him using a combination of tools. Krauss has tried to defend himself against the claims and you're expected to decide for yourself whether he has succeeded. ## Thursday, March 08, 2018 ... ///// ### No superstitions in the delayed choice quantum eraser People should listen to arguments of different types than they expect or they're used to I've noticed that lots of the people's annoyingly irrational, stubborn approach to rational arguments – that are relevant in very many diverse topics, from multiculturalism to the quantum entanglement – may be blamed on this tendency of theirs: Just attack every kind of an argument that you're not used to, that you don't expect, and don't listen to it at all. Only the statements or arguments you are used to repeat should be repeated. In effect, I am often talking to a wall. When I try to explain why the energy carried by a strictly periodic configuration is quantized in quantum mechanics, the recipient of the explanation just doesn't like the conclusion. So he often attacks every piece of your explanation by irrational fog and hostile chants, effectively pretending that you haven't made any argument (and sometimes, it's basically a complete proof) at all. He effectively assumes that he already knows everything even though he knows and understands almost nothing. Even if one knows lots of facts, arguments, derivations, and proofs, there always exist additional facts, arguments, derivations, and proofs. To say the least, there exist other ways to look at a problem, other ways to deduce something new about the problem, other conclusions that may be deduced. And curious, impartial people are interested in those. But the people who just don't listen and assume that what they "know" is the only correct thing or the only thing worth knowing are just arrogant idiots. ## Wednesday, March 07, 2018 ... ///// ### Gravity surely changes relative quantum phases Easily doable "tests of quantum gravity" won't teach us anything new Natalie Wolchover wrote an article about quantum gravity, Physicists Find a Way to See the ‘Grin’ of Quantum Gravity which eclectically mixes people and idea associated with the phrase "quantum gravity" who otherwise belong to totally different layers of the scientific community. The interwar Czechoslovak artist Joseph Čapek, the brother of Karel "Robot" Čapek, is also known for the fairy-tales on doggie and pussycat. One of them is "How Doggie and Pussycat Were Making a Cake". To celebrate the doggie's name day, they added bones, cheese, sausages, caviar, cucumbers, strawberries, everything they liked to the cake. They ate it and felt sick. I think that at the end, an evil dog-thief stole the cake and felt sick, too. Czechoslovak kids could learn that it's not a best idea to mix everything. I am afraid that Wolchover hasn't been exposed to this fairy-tale. She starts with the Soviet physicist Matvei Bronstein who proposed an early derivation of effective field theory of quantum gravity involving gravitons in 1935. Joseph Stalin said that there was a threat that this quantum gravity could grow to string theory – which Stalin's comrades Smolin and Woit (whose birth was already planned by the party at that time) won't like – so he executed Bronstein at the age of 31. ### A chip from Nokia Bell Labs touches the Shannon limit Around 2000, I bought several computers and printers from Hewlett-Packard and that company was naturally overrepresented in my perspective on the tech world. Well, since 2007, it's been Finnish Nokia – a previously non-existent company. I have used the Nokia 1600 dumbphone for years, before switching to Nokia Lumia 520. And I still think that even this (now extremely cheap) phone was better in many ways than my current otherwise great Xiaomi Android phone. The purchase of the smartphone section of Nokia by Microsoft was promising but ended as a financial failure. However, the Nokia brand got resuscitated. These days, Nokia is earning 90% of its profits from equipment to transfer data over the Internet. That's because Nokia bought Alcatel-Lucent some 2+ years ago. Well, Nokia also began to produce smartphones again – this time with Android. Well, Nokia is actually getting$10-\$30 trademark royalties per smartphone from HMD, a nearby Finnish phone maker that has bought this contract to use the brand. Nokia, HMD have headquarters across the street in Finland and you should avoid the temptation to confuse HMD with HTC – the latter is Asian. ;-) At a recent MWC 2018 event, Nokia was the most talked about brand – because of 5G (discussed below) as well as new phones including a modern resuscitation of the Nokia 8110 4G "banana phone" from the Matrix movies and a visually stellar flagship Nokia 8 Sirocco based on stainless steel.

Along with Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia has also bought the Bell Labs, the wonderful New Jersey-based deeply scientific engineering lab that has produced eight Nobel prizes. Note that in 2008, The Bell Labs' theoretical physics center was formally abolished but as far as I can see, they keep on doing scientifically high-brow stuff which was another reason (along with my exposure to the products above; and the preparation of the 5G networks) why I bought a nontrivial amount of Nokia stocks and you should consider the same. (The price of the stock dropped by a factor of five since iPhones stole the fame from Nokia.)

## Monday, March 05, 2018 ... /////

### A trade war won't ever make America great again

To prove that he's the world's most powerful user of social networks on the Internet, by a single tweet, Donald Trump managed to erase two percent from the value of the global equities. We learned that he was ready to impose tariffs or taxes on steel imports.

China responded in the most mature, pro-trade way among the economic powerhouses – well, maybe it's not quite a paradoxical exception. China will revenge if something like that happens but it "doesn't want a trade war". Theresa May has also tried to persuade Trump to reconsider.

Well, the European apparatchiks speak a bit different language. They're enthusiastic and eager to join the post-Olympic trade war games. Europe will impose tariffs on jeans, bourbon, and Harley-Davidsons imported from the U.S. Nice. But Donald Trump really loves such pissing contests. So he tweeted that if bourbons are restricted, America won't allow European cars to be imported which is fair because U.S. cars can't really be sold in Europe at all (which is rubbish but OK).

And so on and on. Quite a slippery slope.

## Saturday, March 03, 2018 ... /////

### Czech communists' self-confidence has just skyrocketed

Czechoslovakia has removed most of the communists from power quickly and peacefully in late 1989 and early 1990, in the so-called Velvet Revolution. Throughout the decades, communists were getting some 10-15 percent in the Czech parliamentary elections which wasn't enough to think about the re-conquering of the government.

And no other party in the Parliament really wanted to cooperate with them in these 28 years. So while they were allowed to be represented in the Parliament – a choice that our politicians made after 1989, and I don't think that it was the only imaginable one – they were a dead chunk of meat. Coalitions had to be formed within the remaining 80% of the deputies. At most, the social democratic party discussed "how dogmatically" their resolution not to cooperate with the communists should be interpreted. But they've never found a majority to actually start to return the communists to the power.

Paradoxically, now, in the wake of the October 2017 elections in which the communists scored the worst result in their history (7.5%), they came out of the isolation and, in fact, became the essential party in the establishment of the new coalition.

## Friday, March 02, 2018 ... /////

### General strategy of naturalness is just plain logical inference

Backreaction has launched another crusade against naturalness in high-energy physics.

Who is crazy now? (In which I am stunned to encounter people who agree with me that naturalness is nonsense.)
It may be appropriate to start with an answer to the question in that title. Sabine Hossenfelder isn't crazy. Instead, these statements are yet another almost rigorous proof that she is a 100% incompetent, fake physicist – a layman who has no clue about modern physics. It's something else than being crazy. Over 7.5 billion people in the world misunderstand naturalness but they're not "crazy".

We're offered a picture of white teeth with the rhetorical question: Are they natural? Well, sometimes one can feel that the whiteness has been enhanced (but sometimes by very natural procedures and stuff!). But lots of people have really natural white teeth. And things like fillings are surely a symptom of unnatural, artificial interventions into the teeth, aren't they? So if the dental context were discussed cleverly, it could provide us with good enough analogies to particle physics: violations of the "beauty" such as the dental fillings surely betray an unnatural intervention. But she doesn't want to do that.

I won't discuss her suggestions that some hassles with her tooth crown demonstrate a point in particle physics. They don't and the suggestion is so dumb that I won't honor it with a response. The color and slope of the teeth follow from some (statistical) laws of biology, chemistry, and physics. And these laws may be discussed from the viewpoint of naturalness, too. The idea that naturalness fails in these contexts is as wrong as all of her other statements about contemporary particle physics.

## Thursday, March 01, 2018 ... /////

### Sean Carroll: denialists have been extraordinarily effective

Climate skeptic Willie Soon has bragged ;-) that he (and Sallie Baliunas) once co-authored a paper with left-wing activist, cosmologist, and anti-thermodynamical and anti-quantum mechanical crackpot Sean Carroll – well, one that has almost 1,000 followups now – and he pointed out a tweet by Carroll from yesterday

that's been liked more than 1,000 times. Carroll praises us, the climate denialists, for our extraordinary effectiveness. We have managed to persuade most of the people that the panic about climate change is scientifically indefensible and indeed, it is just a tedious political argument, not a planetary crisis.

### Slovak crackdown on Italian mafia

Ján Kuciak, the Slovak analytical journalist who was murdered with his girlfriend (a young archaeologist), has written about 150 articles for Aktuality.sk in recent two years. Various suspicious Slovak entrepreneurs – who may have committed economic crime that could have been covered by the ruling party – became the suspects immediately.

However, the format looks too harsh for any Slovak villains. Cartridges around the corpses and stones around the house seems like a visit from a "different culture". On top of that, there's one article that was much more likely to be linked to the assassination – the uncompleted, final article by Kuciak. That uncompleted but extensive article was published yesterday – pretty much by all Slovak dailies. And I would agree it was a bombshell.

## Wednesday, February 28, 2018 ... /////

### 1,025,438 grandkids of a six-dimensional theory

String theory is like evolution, bottom-up QFTs are creationism

Jacques Distler and three co-authors (CDTZ, Austin and Maryland) have published an impressively technical paper "classifying" certain exotic beasts,

Tinkertoys for the $E_8$ Theory.
Their paper is accompanied by a cool interactive website which you should investigate. In particular, if you're asking why they didn't include "all the stuff" from the website in their paper, try this subpage on four punctured spheres. Pick a combination of the four parameters and press "go". What you get are some diagrams of S-duality frames (1,025,438 of them) where you see two circles with some objects and left-right arrows connecting them. You can click at the objects and get additional data on the "fixtures".

If you don't understand what the data means and how to use them, don't worry. 7 billion people don't understand it and my estimate is that 30 people in the world may deal with the data – to the extent that they would have a chance to discover a typo if one were artificially introduced. ;-)

## Tuesday, February 27, 2018 ... /////

### Draining several parts of the swampland simutaneously

In 2005, my office was next to Cumrun Vafa's so I could watch him while plotting his plans to drain the swampland, more than a decade before Donald Trump (well, "drain the swamp" has been used for very different goals since the 19th century). His work preceded the main wave of the anti-stringy hysteria – that came in 2006 when two notorious cranks published their books – but I think it was at least partly motivated by various ludicrous claims about "unpredictive string theory".

He pointed out – and tried to clearly articulate and decorate with a new term – something that all string theorists always saw. The effective laws of physics that you may derive as long-distance approximations of string theory aren't just "any" or "generic" effective field theories. Effective field theories allow too many features that are prohibited in string theory. String theory seems to imply some extra conditions and regularities that couldn't have been derived by effective field theory itself.

## Monday, February 26, 2018 ... /////

### Slovakia turns into Sicily

...if not Calabria...

On Sunday, a 27-years-old Slovak investigative journalist Mr Ján Kuciak and his roughly 23-year-old girlfriend Martina Kušnírová (who planned a wedding) were found dead in his home in Veľká Mača, a village in the center of Western Slovakia.

The journalist employed by the web Aktuality.sk (owned by Ringier Axel Springer) was shot into his chest, she was shot into her head (after she tried to run away and hide). Cartridges were arranged around the dead woman to suggest a Mafia-style assassination – it's a message to others, "don't look into it again". The bodies were found last night after the dead woman's mother complained to the police that she hadn't come home and she's probably in her BF's home. But the murders took place on Thursday night or so.

A police boss has already confirmed that the double murder was related to Kuciak's work – although I am not 100% sure what kind of evidence they may have to be sufficiently certain about this (likely to be true) statement.