Sunday, June 17, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

SJWs insist on abolishing variables in elementary schools

I became a favorite source of quotes for the journalists who write about the constructivist methods to teach mathematics – although they sometimes fail to mention my name. But when they address a critic who thinks that the exercises in those classes are analogous to Sudoku; and that some kids like those classes simply because they're more similar to gyms than mathematics, you can be sure it's about me.

The Euro, a Czech weekly currently belonging under The Youth Front (and therefore owned by PM Babiš through a trust), has published two new texts promoting the Hejný method. One of them is an interview with Milan Hejný, the son of the "inventor" of the method. The title reads

First commandment: don't reveal any wisdom to the schoolkids, Milan Hejný urges teachers
Because, you know, the first thing that the teachers can never ever do is... is to teach! Just to be sure, I would be absolutely willing to agree that students should be left to figure out numerous things – e.g. some boring steps needed to complete the details of a calculation or a proof – by themselves. However, to turn the principle "teachers don't teach" into a universal dogma is just plain insane because very many things (arguably an overwhelming majority of the things that one should learn at school) simply need some kind of guidance and if the guidance doesn't exist, the students just won't ever get it.

Saturday, June 16, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

History of the global warming scare 1980-2010

Guest blog by Prof Emeritus Cha-am Jamal Munshi, Thailand

LM: I found this itemized list rather impressive even though it's in no way complete. Whether we live in Thailand or Europe, we have been exposed to a very large amount of fearmongering and failed predictions. The explosion of these news in 2005-2010 is easily seen in the lists below. After 2010, the growth arguably stopped or reversed so this contribution may be considered the work by a historian. There's a clean mobile version of this page.

Parts of this page:

  1. Chapter 1 1980-1985
  2. Chapter 2 1985-1990
  3. Chapter 3 1990-1995
  4. Chapter 4 1995-2000
  5. Chapter 5 2000-2005
  6. Chapter 6 2005-2010 (separate text)

Friday, June 15, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Hooper: we need to contain, catch stars outside the Local Group

Many physicists are getting "broader" if not "distracted". Edward Witten wrote a nice 38-page-long introduction to information theory. The reason isn't quite clear but maybe he wants to be sure he's an expert in these matters – I had absolutely no doubts he was one – and the best way to learn is to teach.

Mistele, Price, and Hossenfelder use a neural network, quite a complex software, to find a shocking conclusion: if a paper or a physicist looked good so far, he or it will probably look pretty good in the following year, too. While Hossenfelder implicitly wants to frame this finding as some suspicious news about physics, the predictability is clearly a net positive. The fame of physicists and papers isn't changing by random criteria, at random moments, and fashions. Physics actually has some hard content that may be identified and whose value doesn't go away fast. Of course a good neural network may catch patterns that distinguish good papers from others. What's bad is that most people don't want to learn any of the things that even a neural network can do pretty well.



What is happening at the Fermilab? The U.S. facility no longer competed in the first discovery of the Higgs boson. In the recent decades, what were the top Fermilab theorists up to? One of them, Dan Hooper, gave us an amusing answer yesterday (a diagram of the project was embedded as a picture above):

Life Versus Dark Energy: How An Advanced Civilization Could Resist the Accelerating Expansion of the Universe
Looking for the basic laws of Nature and their beauty is no longer fashionable among most taxpayers. So the Fermilab is thinking about the urgent problems that face the mankind. The most urgent problem, Dan Hooper points out, is that due to the cosmological constant, all the stars outside our Local Group (of 54+ galaxies including ours) will accelerate outwards and cross our cosmic horizon and will therefore become forever inaccessible.

Thursday, June 14, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Young folks born in 1991 are 5 IQ points dumber than older ones born in 1975

Norwegian researchers blame the retrograde Flynn effect on "adaptation to the environment"

We often complain about the declining intellectual skills, deteriorating education systems, dropping focus on hard sciences and knowledge with beef, decreasing curiosity, and on the contrary, increase of the percentage of bogus knowledge and indoctrination, virtue signaling, safe spaces, and political correctness. Many of us have surely thought about the causes and fixes for many particular manifestations of these trends.

A simple title summarizing a paper, e.g. RT's

Dumbing down? New study suggests young people's IQs are in decline
has persuaded me to think differently, more simply about phenomena such as a low number of very young string theorists. And the conclusion is that it may be futile to try to solve any similar problem in isolation. It may be futile to fight against lousy "science journalists" and similar people because they're not really the isolated "cause" of these trends – instead, they're just symptoms, among millions of others.

What's going on? Two Norwegian IQ experts, Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg (and yes, Scandinavia was a hotbed of lots of eugenics a century ago), have published a new paper in PNAS,
Flynn effect and its reversal are both environmentally caused,
that has looked at the mandatory IQ tests in Norway that have been performed on 18- or 19-year-old men (or big boys) for decades in order to map the army reserves. First, let's ask: Why wasn't the Idiocracy film shot before 2006? It's because people actually observed the Flynn effect, named after a psychologist from New Zealand.

Chinese: Einstein's description of our nation is accurate

Two days ago, I mentioned a hit piece against Albert Einstein that was published in the British left-wing daily, the Grauniad (the letters are usually deliberately permuted in this way in order to emphasize the frequent typos in the newspaper as well as the editors' brains' being fudged up).



The comrades didn't like the physicist's cultural observations about East Asia during his visit in the early 1920s.

If you search Google News for Einstein and racism now, you will find something like a hundred of hysterical tirades about the "shockingly" racist and xenophobic physicist. Virtually every left-wing MSM journalist is staggeringly offended. (There are no right-wing journalists in the mainstream media.)

The anti-Einstein hysteria is similar on Twitter. Every vocal left-winger shows to his or her comrades how much xe despises the physicist now. They abuse the fact that Einstein made a mistake, died in 1955, and can no longer defend himself effectively. But their assumption is incorrect: Einstein has left some weapons – such as your humble correspondent – that will defend him.

An Indian interview with Juan Maldacena

If you have 16 spare minutes, you should listen to this fresh interview with Juan Maldacena (transcript).



The audio sucks but he says a couple of interesting things. In the 1990s, he and numerous classmates in Argentina were into string theory. They were also dreaming about not starving to death after their PhD, and they were sorry about the canceled collider in Texas.

You know, this is a setup that makes AdS/CFT-like breakthroughs much more likely. You start with some substantial pool of young people who are focusing on things that really matter, young people in a third world country or elsewhere, and approximately one of them makes breakthroughs similar to Maldacena's.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Bitcoin holders pay some 7% a year as fees to their "fund managers"

In February, I argued that the unbacked cryptocurrencies (almost all of them except for Tether) should be considered to be stocks in "companies" that simply don't produce any dividends (and have no plans to change it). Among other things, this unified treatment would simplify taxation.



People still pay huge amounts of money for these basically worthless stocks because they assume that a greater fool will buy it from them for a higher price in the future. This greater fool's theory dominates the price dynamics of the Bitcoin and others – which is why the P/E ratio is infinite i.e. very different from the expected value of 10 or so. For some reasons, lots of these would-be investors still haven't noticed that the cryptocurrency bubble has been deflating for half a year.

Now, when no one really believes that the Bitcoin is a miraculous guaranteed source of huge and safe profits (although some snake oil salesman periodically impress their sheep with "predictions" that the Bitcoin will be worth a million or a vigintillion dollars very soon), it makes sense to compare the "investment" to the Bitcoin with the investment to the stocks and funds with some extra details. I will talk about the cryptocurrencies' counterpart of the hedge fund fees and other fees.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

If you have trouble with string theory, it simply proves you're not too smart

The author of a new embarrassing anti-physics book that was released today is finally receiving the expected affirmative action from the political activists who pretend to be science journalists and who pretend that the author of the book is a physicist who is worth the name – she is definitely not one.

One of the uncritical reviews was published in Nature. She has a vagina so she must surely be right in her disagreements with Wilczek, Weinberg, Polchinski, and Arkani-Hamed – to suggest otherwise would be an example of sexism. But I had to laugh when I saw the title and the punch line of a Forbes text by Ethan Siegel:

Is Theoretical Physics Wasting Our Best Living Minds On Nonsense?
That's a nice question! Siegel must be applauded for having confronted an actual question that all other members of the organized crackpot movement have so far ignored:
What is your standing? Why do you think you have the right to question the legitimacy of the research voluntarily chosen by a few hundred or at most a few thousand people in the world who think that they're doing something important?
You know, this question is a very important one. When one of these crackpots spends much of his time by fighting against modern physics, it's hard to justify this jihad by financial considerations. Why? Less than 1,000 people are actually being paid as string theorists or something "really close" in the world now, and even if you realistically assume that the average string theorist is paid more than the average person, the fraction of the mankind's money that goes to string theory is some "one millionth" or so. Or 1/100,000 of the money that goes to porn or any other big industry. Moreover, the funds are allocated by special institutions or donors – they're too technical decisions that the taxpayer simply shouldn't make directly.

So the taxpayer money is unlikely to be a good justification of the frantic hateful efforts by which scumbags of the W*it and Sm*lin type are trying to hurt the image of physics in the eyes of the public (and, if possible, to outlaw string theory research), right?

Bohr was far clearer and more rigorous than his critics

Adam Becker and Philip Ball recently released their books against quantum mechanics, the main framework encapsulating modern science.

You don't need much time to see that Becker is a hardcore anti-quantum jihadist at the level of Tim Maudlin – it's often impossible to distinguish which of the two men wrote a given text – while Philip Ball is a moderate jihadist.

Let me discuss the text

Myths of Copenhagen
by the moderate jihadist. Like in the case of moderate Islamic jihadists, you can distinguish their rhetoric from the hardcore jihadists; but you may also see that they're really fighting at the same side of the war. Ball's main claim is that Bohr said many vague things and they're being misinterpreted. Sadly, he's among those who misinterpret them – and who pretend that they left much more wiggle room than they actually did.

Sunday, June 10, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Eggless salad emoji, bikiniless beauty contest, and boyless Scouts

...not to mention the end of the Formula One grid girls...

The pandemics of political correctness has spread like fire and most of the time, it's making us frustrated.

But sometimes the leftist scumbags are so incredibly retarded that the results of their activism are rather amusing because they really look like parodies of themselves. RT has combined three of the recent episodes to show how the PC run amok is shaping the American society in mid 2018.


So this "lady" named Jennifer that sucks money from the world's largest company has finally made a great piece of "work". She has directed her subordinates to remove the egg from the salad emoji in order not to offend vegans! Whether she offends carnivores or the people who still have a piece of the brain in their skull left isn't too important.

Just imagine that the people doing "work" like Jennifer get paid roughly $100,000 a year.

Our current president Zeman has described his relationship towards vegetables nicely:
My relationship to vegetables is utterly positive. I demand, however, that an intermediary transformative device is inserted in between me and the vegetables, and that device is named the pig.
In fact, this comment has made it to the top of his 70 best witticisms.

Friday, June 08, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Science Magazine: a surprisingly sane review of an anti-physics book

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray by anti-physics blogger Sabine Hossenfelder is going to be distributed in a few days. The book builds on interviews with big shots of theoretical physics – such as Nobel prize winners Wilczek and Weinberg and Milner prize winners Arkani-Hamed and (late) Polchinski.

However, the author of the book – who hasn't made an interesting contribution to science yet – thinks that she is smarter than all these men. So she "corrects" their opinions and "womansplains" to them that modern physics is junk and all of its pillars (and intuitive assumptions such as the elegance of the laws of Nature) are wrong.



This basic theme of the book – a complete and deluded Niemand telling the best physicists that they're idiots – always makes me think about Arthur Bolčo, a Slovak amateur physicist who wrote the book "The Ordinary Failure of One Extraordinary Theory". I was "honored" to talk to this man once – and debunk his criticisms of relativity. You may see that he placed himself next to Einstein – and adjusted his surname to "Bolstein" to highlight his intelligence.

Well, while she failed to rename herself to a Hosseinstein, Ms Hossenfelder has made progress since the times of Mr Bolstein. She is no longer placing herself next to Wilczek, Weinberg, Arkani-Hamed, and Polchinski. She thinks she's above them. And she mostly correctly assumes that no one would challenge this picture – to challenge her superior position would mean to be a sexist, chauvinist, racist, and a homophobe.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Monte Carlo fails at leptonic top pair production

The LHC collaborations have produced hundreds of papers that mostly say "everything agrees with the Standard Model, nothing new to be seen here".

Well, a new CMS preprint

Measurements of differential cross sections for \(t \bar t\) production in proton-proton collisions at \(\sqrt{s} = 13\TeV\) using events containing two leptons
says something completely different.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Dijkgraaf, parameters, and omnipresent Šmoitian trolls

MathPix is a rather amazing app for your phone. Write e.g.\[

\int_{-\infty}^{\infty} e^{-x^2} dx

\] with your hand, take a photo of this expression while it's in the rectangle, and the app will convert it to perfect \(\rm\LaTeX\) and calculate that it's \(\sqrt{\pi}\), with graphs and analyses by WolframAlpha. It's like PhotoMath for adult mathematicians. Hat tip: mmanuF@Twitter
Robbert Dijkgraaf is the director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey – he is the boss of Edward Witten and he would be a boss of Albert Einstein if Einstein avoided death in the 1950s. He's also a late co-father of matrix string theory (and once a co-author of mine).

In the Netherlands, he's a rather well-known scientific talking head. So if you search for "Robbert Dijkgraaf" on YouTube, you will get videos from Dutch TV where Dijkgraaf talks about Einstein for an hour and stuff like that.

Well, Dijkgraaf just posted the newest text at the Quanta Magazine:
There Are No Laws of Physics. There’s Only the Landscape.
He says that there are dualities in string theory which physically identify two or several seemingly different descriptions, but there's still a huge landscape of possible effective laws that are left. The article doesn't say much more – except that it's possible for a Chinese to cook a Chinese food and notice it's identical to an Italian food. ;-)

Well, dualities in the world of cousins seem rather unlikely.

Monday, June 04, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Steven Pinker vs quantum mechanics

An evolutionary psychologist cannot be as smart as a good theoretical physicist, otherwise he would be one

I've praised Steven Pinker many times. I don't think that he was the first one to discover something important. But he has wonderfully accumulated common sense on evolution – and evolution of psychology, societies, memes, and stuff like that. He knows why certain behavioral patterns have evolved and where we can expect them to drift in the future. He's right on the freedom of speech in the Academia and lots of other things.

But I have used the term "common sense". All of this is just common sense that is elaborated upon in the ivory tower. The discipline isn't really particularly intellectually demanding. And his books that are extremely close to the experts' writing on the same issues may also be classified as popular books. So he's good at some stuff that lots of rather ordinary, albeit much less famous and usually much less articulate people, may be equally good at. Sadly, it's easy to find a proof of Pinker's limitations. Luke has pointed out the following tweet:


Pinker has basically endorsed an embarrassing, supportive review by Tim Maudlin of the painful anti-quantum book by Adam Becker. It's no coincidence that the title of Maudlin's reason describes quantum mechanics (plus, less importantly, Kuhn's views about the evolution of science as a human enterprise) as a "defeat of reason". I am convinced that an undergraduate student who is getting As at courses close enough to theoretical physics simply has to see that Maudlin's diatribe can't be good enough physics.

Maudlin screams and uses strong words but screaming can't replace actual valid arguments, and Maudlin hasn't presented any.

Pinker apparently doesn't make it to the level of undergraduate students of physics who understand these basic matters. He may be one of the smartest people in the social sciences but his is still not high enough IQ to become a good undergraduate student of theoretical physics. My estimate for his IQ dropped from the vicinity of 145-150 to the vicinity of 130-135. No doubt, some commenters would object that there are different kinds of IQ. Well, yes and no. There are surely different ways to measure it, they produce different results, and none of them is really accurate or reliable. But there's only one kind of underlying skills that deserves to be called the real IQ or the g factor. Claims that the "diversity of IQs" may be a good enough excuse for huge blunders such as Pinker's support for Maudlin's rant are just politically correct fairy-tales.

Sunday, June 03, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Babchenko's staged murder proves that conspiracy theories are sometimes right

...they're increasingly often right...

Russian anti-Kremlin journalist Arkady Babchenko was announced to have been murdered in Ukraine. Some days ago, he appeared resuscitated at a press conference. We quickly learned that the death was staged by the Ukrainian authorities. Babchenko has been decorated by pig blood, spent some time in the morgue where he watched the news about his death, and so on.

The victim was fake, the murderer was fake, the middle-man was fake, everything was fake.

Caitlin Johnstone has described the situation and its implications well. Everyone was certain that the Kremlin had murdered another journalist. Not only Boris Johnson, Garry Kasparov etc. tweeted about the "murder". Some people even preemptively mocked those who might want to see the full evidence that Babchenko was murdered.

Even though no one really had enough time or courage to ventilate his doubts, all these potential doubters were already treated as unhinged conspiracy theorists.

Saturday, June 02, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Templeton's beloved priest praises Jesus raping a Muslim woman

I hope you have understood that Czechs are the world's most irreligious nation – but at the same moment, many Czechs also defend our Christian heritage rather passionately. What happens when a truly offensive theater play attacking Christianity is premiered?

Some of my compatiots are somewhat excited about a scandal in the world of culture. The National (meaning Moravian) Theater in Brno, Czechia's second largest city, has sanctioned a play titled "Our Violence and Your Violence" ["Naše násilí a vaše násilí"] by a smaller "Goose On a Rope" ["Husa na provázku"] theater.

The play was directed by the Croatian film director Oliver Frljić and the actors are Slovenian. Some sources say that most of these Slovenian actors are actually Muslims – so it's natural for them to defend Islam and attack Christianity and Muslims see nothing wrong if the lies are the key weapons to do so. Clearly, the message of the play is that we shouldn't ever criticize Muslims and violence they make – because we're doing the same thing. Well, not really. And they claim that we are ultimately responsible for the Islamic violence in Europe. But what kind of "arts" is used to convey this untrue point?

In the theater play, Jesus Christ is raping a Muslim woman. (There's no reason to think that Jesus has ever raped somebody and organized Christian soldiers weren't allowed to rape anybody for very many centuries.) Also, an actress extracted the full Czech flag out of her genitalia. You may imagine, it's a yummy play that is full of nudity. See some screenshots here.

Thursday, May 31, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

MiniBooNE confirms LSND's anomaly calling for new neutrino species

For decades, it's been almost clear that the neutrinos aren't quite massless. They have a tiny mass. Since the late 1990s, the measurement of the neutrino masses became the task for actual real-world experiments.

These masses are most obviously seen through neutrino oscillations. One type of a neutrino automatically turns into another, and then back – the probabilities of being one or the other oscillate like a sine function between two values. There have been various experimental surprises that made it clear that the oscillations existed, indeed. The solar neutrino problem was seen – the Sun only creates electron neutrinos and their number should be clear from the known reactions and the outgoing energy. But on Earth, we saw significantly fewer (by 30-50 percent) electron neutrinos than expected.

The explanation that was ultimately adopted says that these electron neutrinos from the Sun change – oscillate – into other neutrinos. It was assumed that they were muon and tau neutrinos. Similar experiments on Earth have provided us with growing evidence that there's an additional channel of oscillations involved to explain why some neutrinos disappear while going through our blue, not green planet.

EU Parliament will vote to ban the Internet

Upload filters, licenses or taxes to use a simple hyperlink

John Archer has told us about some hints that a shocking law affecting the Internet – which makes GDPR look like a lollipop in comparison – is getting prepared by the European Union's authorities. The new bill is framed as a copyright bill but if approved – and the EU Parliament is going to vote in three weeks – it would represent the most shocking censorship of the Internet that has ever been introduced in any country of the world, including China, Iran, and North Korea.



Some Czech Internet users love this meme – an answer of a female pensioner in a poll:

Ms Věra Pohlová, 72 years, pensioner: These affairs are only annoying everybody. I would ban all these internets [sic] and computers.
Well, the European Union plans to listen to Ms Pohlová, it seems.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Lesser minds hide from Richard Feynman in safe spaces

Two weeks ago, we commemorated 100th birthday of Richard Feynman.

N*t Even Wr*ng mostly focuses on criticisms and "bad lessons" to draw from Feynman's life.

First, Peter W*it agrees with Clifford Johnson that "Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman" is a user manual for "how to be a jerk". Well, I don't think so. At almost all times, Feynman behaved well towards the people around him – those that have at least slightly deserved it. Joseph Conlon joins Johnson and W*it as the third politically correct fanatic:

And while on this topic, the anecdotes in the Feynman books about his visits to strip clubs and the like read odd on first reading and even more so today. Powerful man tells stories about how he got laid; not a genre that has aged well.
On the contrary, comrade Conlon. It's a constant fact of Nature that in well-functioning societies (or even ecosystems), men who have achieved something and who stand for something get laid, and often after some amusing and creative events. These stories of Feynman have aged very well; it is your society, comrade Conlon, which nurtures lots of MeToo-style perversions, lies, and hypocrisies that has been fudged up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Belgian researchers developed a new, multicultural terrorist

Pokémon Go was one of the apps that didn't exist on Windows Phone. So when I switched to Android months ago, I had to try it (not only because of kids in the family) and yes, I've spent quite some time with it. ;-) Yes, this app can persuade you to walk in the city or Nature – tens of miles.



For an hour, Aggron has been my strongest Pokémon – his combat power is slightly above 1500. This guy needed two rounds of evolution – from Aron to Lairon and then Aggron. 25+100 Aron eggs are needed here – you may get them by catching Arons (or Lairons) or by walking with an Aron (or Lairon). It turns out that the Belgian officials managed to achieve something similar.

Monday, May 28, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

EU's jihad against straws, plastic forks etc. threatens civilization

Some unelected apparatchiks in Brussels are planning to ban plastic straws, balloon sticks, cotton buds, plastic cutlery, and stirrers – not bottles and cups, it seems – across the European Union's member states.

Demagogic media almost universally replace the subject "unelected apparatchiks" by "the European Union" as if the bunch of illegitimate aßholes disconnected from the real life were representing the whole continent. But I must admit that my reading of the Czech news servers indicates that most of the Czech public – including some communities that are often intensely anti-Brussels – actually supports this EU proposal. Maybe iDNES.cz readers are mostly on my side, however.



Shockingly enough, the corporate lobby of producers of balloon sticks wasn't strong enough to defeat several of these officials. We must live in genuinely happy times. Millions of African migrants may be waiting for their opportunity but the European Commission focuses on bans of balloon sticks.

The justification is the huge amount of waste especially in the oceans – some 70% of litter in the European seas and 85% in global seas is composed of these one-use plastic products. I totally hate plastic trash – and throughout my life, I have actually done lots of work to liberate Nature from this trash. In 1988, your humble correspondent and his friend Robert spontaneously decided to pick all the trash on a trip in the High Tatras, Slovakia. Our pioneer supervisor was impressed.

But such general bans on such products look like an extremely bad idea to me – and I have to take it personally.

As a kid, I also loved plastic straws. It's cool to drink from a straw. It also saves your teeth from excessively high or low temperatures and the impact of sugar and acids. They had diverse colors and I loved that kind of diversity. You may do some simple experiments with them, too. In fact, I feel much poorer because I have many fewer straws than I possessed decades ago. I should probably buy a big package before they're banned.

Sunday, May 27, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Most programmers think like folks in humanities, not natural scientists

Coders as a community ceased to be STEM people

A disagreement about the teaching of mathematics with several people – whom I noticed to be programmers of some kind – has led me to systematically revise my views about the "geeky and/or scientific character" of the generic coders.

I came to the college in Fall 1992 – when Czechoslovakia was just being scheduled for dissolution and when the Internet started to penetrate to the Academia. So since Fall 1992, I was using e-mail, FTP, telnet, and gopher, among other services that sound partly obsolete today.

In those times, my Alma Mater – Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the Charles University in Prague – was a classic example of a "geeky" college, one where hard science rules. No one doubted it. On top of that, everyone rightfully assumed that these people of the STEM type were also in charge of the department and they were the most important ones, too.

Saturday, May 26, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A shockingly happy Pilsen during Nazism



Right now, judging by the commenters' activity, the hottest article at iDNES.cz, Czechia's leading center-right news server, is about the collaboration of the mainstream Czech society with the Nazi overlords during the Second World War:

Pilsen during the Protectorate. It's time to get rid of certain illusions about our heroism.
Here is my translation.

Škoda Works, a Pilsen's factory, was one of the largest armories of Hitler's Third Reich. Its employees enjoyed material benefits and the actual life of the wartime Pilsen isn't overlapping with our visions about the dark years during the war. "It's time to say even things that aren't too pleasant for us," the publicist Zdeněk Roučka argues.

Friday, May 25, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Top black Harvard economist was inconvenient, is attacked by far left through harassment

I know Roland Fryer rather well in person

Roland G. Fryer Jr (*1977, pics) is a top economist. He's received the MacArthur Fellowship, the 2015 John Bates Clark Medal (second most prestigious economics prize after the memorial Nobel), and in 2008, he founded the EdLabs at Harvard – where they investigate the roots and economics of the race gap. That institution has been funded by Melinda and Bill Gates, the Ford Foundation (now a top left-wing foundation), and by Condoleezza Rice, among others.



Certain people find Fryer's conclusions such as this one inconvenient.

He has also been a fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows – and we overlapped there for a year, 2003-2004 – he was younger by some 2 years. Soon afterwards, he became the youngest black tenured Harvard professor. See some fun excited comments by Steve Sailer about Fryer from 2005; some proximity of Summers and Fryer is mentioned there, too.

Bitcoin Gold starts the era of 51% attacks

$18 million stolen, no one cares

In November, I explained to the dear readers that the Bitcoin futures trading would stop the inflation of the bubble and reverse the direction of the price towards zero. On December 9th, 2017, the cryptocurrency holders were urged to sell their holdings within a day.



Indeed, those who listened to me were lucky to choose their source of information. In mid December, the Bitcoin price was peaking at $19,900. It's currently close to $7,500. Virtually all of those who have shorted the Bitcoin futures have made a handsome profit – almost the same profit they could make by buying the cryptocurrencies before November 2017.

Three weeks ago, the San Francisco Fed published a paper that claimed that the futures have indeed reversed the dynamics of the Bitcoin bubble. That's nice, Ladies and Gentlemen, but if you actually understood economics well, like I do, you would have predicted that – instead of rationalizing the events half a year later.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Second Prague defenestration: 400 years ago

Thirty Years' War was sparked exactly 400 years ago

It was Wednesday (like today!), May 23rd (like today), 1618 (four centuries ago). For 63 years, the Holy Roman Empire had been shaped by a reactionary religious principle codified by the 1555 Peace of Augsburg: the princes (local aristocratic leaders) could order what exact church their subjects (mandatory employees) should attend.



Since 1526, the Austrian House of Habsburg possessed the Czech Crown – it means the whole territory, not just $0.05 or a piece of gold – but they respected the religious freedom and didn't exploit the 1555 anti-freedom regulation. So a very large fraction of Czechs – the nation that had supported an early, Hussite version of Protestantism since the early 15th century – was actually allowed by the tolerant Catholic Habsburg officials to stick to Protestantism.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Dumb tirades about a "liar paradox" in quantum mechanics

A reader has linked to another weird text about the foundations of quantum mechanics that was published in Scientific American,

Quantum Physics May Be Even Spookier Than You Think
and that describes a paper combining wrong claims about non-locality of quantum mechanics, wrong claims about "quantum mechanics that just tells us about the averages", with some new superstitious hype that makes quantum mechanics "diabolical" and not just "weird", and with drunk suggestions that quantum mechanics should have two states and not one state.

The title uses the concept of "escalating hype" – quantum mechanics is "even spookier than you think" – that basically emulates the language of the climate alarmists. Whenever their latest predictions and other claims are proven to be completely wrong once again, they double down and produce even more absurd claims that the "catastrophes are even worse than previously thought".

In this way, they expect the decrease of their influence – due to the recently invalidated prediction – to be compensated by the "increased threat" that they try to spread. Apologies but this isn't how honest scientists operate – and sensible consumers of science simply eliminate such sources of information from their list of credible or usable sources.

The stuff that the anti-quantum zealots are writing is increasingly idiotic and incoherent. I don't think it makes sense to waste time with every similar paper that makes it to the media.

Monday, May 21, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Laurel Yanny is a sister of Marilyn Einstein

A Lumosque introduction to the spectral analysis of vowels and consonants

There are two famous people named Marilyn Einstein. One of them is the trans-sexual daughter of Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein (yes, Marilyn had a relationship with many famous men):



Her genes are 50% from Einstein, 50% from Monroe, and the percentages don't change much. But the other Marilyn Einstein is this one:



Ze differs from the first one because ze can be close to 100% Einstein or close to 100% Monroe, depending how we look at zir.

Sunday, May 20, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Black hole mass can't be visualized as a property of the black hole interior



I still don't get why this [public] NASA video with sound that I posted to YouTube has acquired 1.8 million views – and is therefore my most viewed video although a few others with a higher added value of mine came close – but lots of people simply seem to be terrified when they are told that a black hole sounds like a vacuum cleaner that will devour them LOL. Most of the 2,200+ comments seem to be compatible with this explanation.

Jitter – and Erwin – have brought a confusing point about black holes that I have actually encountered many times in the past.

Jitter: When a large percentage of the mass of the interior of a BH is turned into gravitons/waves during a collission, then wont future LIGO detectors potentially be able to view the interior?

[...] Thanks Lubos. I still don't understand how scientists can say "nothing can escape a BH" yet scientists claim that LIGO observed lots of mass escaping from two BHs. Sorry but it just does not make sense to me. Can anyone help me understand this? At least as much as I understand the need for Eigenstates to explain attraction. ;-)


Erwin: Hi Luboš, I think Jitter asks because of "...the merger of two black holes with masses of 35 times and 30 times the mass of the Sun (in the source frame), resulting in a post-merger black hole of 62 solar masses..."

[...] I think it boils down to the question: what do we mean by "the mass of a BH", "is" this mass inside the event horizon?
The dots represent my (so far mostly unsuccessful) efforts to convey the basic point that no observations done in the asymptotic region i.e. outside the black hole(s) – and the LIGO experiment is a top example of that – simply cannot see inside the black hole. The black hole interior is defined as the region where it's impossible to look, even in principle, and black hole itself is defined as an object that creates such a (non-vanishing) inaccessible region of the spacetime.

A 28-year-old Camacho chosen the mayor of Sheffield

Czech readers were rather amazed by the city hall of Sheffield, an English metropolitan area with more than 1.5 million people.

Echo24.cz, a news server, says: "Extravagance and obscenities. The new mayor of Sheffield is a 28-year-old immigrant from Somalia."


The representatives' choice was... Magid Magid (his YouTube channel says Magic Magic, however), a 28-year-old Somalian Muslim.

Saturday, May 19, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Strong cosmic censorship is dead

Some shaky new lore waits to be analogously invalidated in the future

Albert Einstein has done most of the work to build the general theory of relativity in the first place. David Hilbert competed and tried to scoop Einstein. Some folks have used the new classical theory to discuss black hole solutions – Schwarzschild, Kerr, Newman, and men like that. Others – Lemaitre, Friedmann, Robertson, Walker – have derived the big bang theory from that, and so on.

But a truly new era is associated with the name of Roger Penrose who began to play with some fancy modern aspects of Einstein's equations. Penrose brought the 1960s to general relativity. That decade means some new wind – but indeed, you may have mixed feelings about that new wind, indeed. Lots of people have good reasons to say that the human civilization peaked in that decade.

Penrose has always viewed Einstein's equations as a religion of a sort and his beliefs about the unknown aspects were always religiously shaped to some extent. One novelty of GR that everyone was aware of was the appearance of qualitatively new features of the – now dynamical – spacetime. Suddenly, horizons and singularities have emerged (as well as non-contractible loops and other novelties).

Friday, May 18, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Justin Trudeau vs respect for the truth

Justin Trudeau recently gave a commencement speech at the New York University (NYU).



Anthony Watts unsurprisingly emphasized Trudeau's comments around 24:10 in the full video above where the Canadian prime minister mentions two apparently equivalent things that can't be defended – female genital mutilation and climate skepticism (which is of course described by the verb "deny").

But I found a much larger portion of the speech sort of shocking. The Canadian prime minister may be an extreme example but he is not too extreme. He may also be considered a rather typical textbook example of the moral degeneration of the Western societies.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Deceitful hype about drought

Two weeks ago, I discussed the unusually thick layers of pollen on cars due to the relative shortage of precipitation in my homeland.



The optimum (middle-of-the-road), green areas receive about 50 mm of precipitation a month

Yesterday, most of Czechia saw intense rain and in Moravia, today is predicted to cover about 50% of the average precipitation for the whole month of May. (The figure 50% is changing rather wildly.) It's been modestly raining for a week and at least additional 4 days are predicted.

In Czechia, January 2018 had precipitation near the average, the following 3 months were visibly below the normal. Let's discuss Pilsen. It has 600 mm of precipitation per year i.e. 50 mm per month – all seasons are comparable although the harsh winter may reduce the precipitation rates.

During the first four months of 2018, we were expected over 150 mm of rain, but we only got over 100 mm i.e. 30% less. Is that extreme?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Kaggle: reconstruct tracks from 75 GB of point data

Fartel Engelbert has told me that there is a new CERN-sponsored machine learning contest at Kaggle.com:

TrackML Particle Tracking Challenge
To make the story short, the data you will have to download include 5 times 15 GB train files plus 1 GB train sample and 1 GB test file. A sample submission has 30 MB, detectors.zip have 175 kB.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Successful Hungarian pest control: Soros' OSF moves to Berlin

George Soros spent his formative years as a traitor who helped the Nazis to confiscate the assets of his fellow Jews.

At some moment, he made a successful bet against the British pound. This helped that currency to weaken outside a promised window and Soros became very rich. Because he was both filthy rich and richly filthy, he established the Open Society Foundation and tons of NGOs where corrupt and deluded individuals do their best to cripple the Western civilization.

After the fall of communism, he tried to spread his new extreme, billionaire-driven left-wing dogmas to the post-communist Europe. These days, almost all of us understand that Soros represents evil, intolerance, and the corruption of the democratic societies' vital processes but his brand was less comprehensible some decades ago.

PhotoMath: it really solves hand-written equations

In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Leonard, Howard, and Rajesh were designing an app (the Lenwoloppali differential equation scanner) that scans a hand-written (differential) equation and solves it, including detailed steps how to do it without your phone. If I remember well, the domineering Sheldon was removed from the team but he created a great app to find shops with scanned shoes with Penny.

See also MathPix, a similar app for adult mathematicians that mastered reverse \(\rm \LaTeX\).
I just saw some hype, downloaded the three boys' app (iOS here), and impressively enough, it just works.

Monday, May 14, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

E.C. George Sudarshan: 1931-2018

Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan passed away today. He was a top Indian theoretical physicist. Most recently, he was a colleague of Steven Weinberg, Jacques Distler, and others at UT Austin.



See Google News for reports about his life, work, and death.

Sunday, May 13, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

An interview with a wise Assad

In late 2015, Syrian president Bashar Assad was interviewed by the Czech public TV. Already before I had watched it, I didn't take the anti-Assad hysteria in the Western media seriously. But he has exceeded my expectations. I could have called him a wise man and I would have considered him if he were running as an option in some elections where I could vote.



Full transcript

Now, three days ago, a Greek "relatively right-wing" daily Kathimerini has published this 10-minute-long interview with Assad. It's just a demo, the full interview was longer.

Saturday, May 12, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Feynman 100: some links

Yesterday, we remembered the 100th anniversary of Richard Feynman's birth. Due to his numerous influences on science and myself, I found this topic too big to grasp.

Instead, let me be a linker-not-a-thinker this time. Lots of people have created some material for the occasion.



A timelapsed genesis of a tribute to Feynman drawn by a Slovak artist, Ms Daniela Lieskovská.

First, here is an ordered Google search of Feynman articles on this blog – and an anti-chronological one. About 500 articles on this website contain his surname.

Friday, May 11, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A citation is more than a "like"

And it's worth hundreds of dollars

Exactly one year ago, 19,000 people gathered at the Wenceslaus Square in Prague and demanded the resignation of Andrej Babiš, then Czechia's finance minister and now the prime minister without confidence, who had just been shown to have committed several immoral and illegal acts.

Babiš responded by saying that it was a ludicrously small group. After all, he had just posted a self-congratulatory text on Facebook (well, his PR guy Mr Marek Prchal did it for him because Babiš himself doesn't even know how to touch or caress a computer) and he obtained the same (?) number of 15,000 "likes" from his fans!

This response became one of the often quoted examples of his arrogance and detachment from reality. To "like" his text takes less than a second – a single click – while you have to reserve several hours (and maybe pay for the transportation etc.) to attend a rally. Only a lunatic or a hardcore demagogue could claim that these two expressions of sympathy are "equivalent" (Babiš is both, especially the latter).

Marx's BF Juncker wants the EU to replace the U.S.

He should reduce his consumption of ethanol

Cornell theses: Cornell University has adopted a new essential part of every thesis defense, a strip tease. An advantage of this setup pioneered by Letitia Chai is that the speaker can't be criticized for the length of sleeves of his suit, as I recently was. ;-) Well, Chai has previously had a similar clash about fashion preferences with her Prof Rebekkah Maggor (the surname means a moron in Czech).
As Mr Pánek wrote in the MF DNES daily (and The Invisible Dog), Jean-Claude Juncker is a classic Soviet apparatchik.

Aside from praising Karl Marx, the mastermind of the murders of some 100 million people, not to mention economic catastrophes in a third of the world (and this support is unsurprising, Pánek argues, because the EU is a giant cesspool created out of hardcore Bolsheviks as he shows using a dozen of examples – this kind of experience must clearly be viewed as an advantage within the EU), he likes special agreements with big companies, he places his friends to important chairs, he loves to kiss other politicians passionately, and he is a drunkard. Pánek apparently wanted to point out that Juncker is a clone of Soviet dictator Brezhnev.

At any rate, Juncker drank too much last night. He's got bills to pay, his head just feels in pain. He missed the bus and there'll be hell today. He didn't like Donald Trump's departure from the Iran deal, so this "EU leader" declared that that
the U.S. will no longer be the superpower.
Instead, the European Union will become the main world leader.

He really shouldn't drink this much.

Thursday, May 10, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Chronological sins in the bulk

A week ago, I discussed an Indian paper criticizing the fuzzballs but I neglected a very interesting yet much shorter, 5-page-long paper

On the interior geometry of a typical black hole microstate
by de Boer, van Breukelen, Lokhande, K. Papadodimas, and Erik Verlinde. I've had some interesting exchanges with Kyriakos.

What they do is to try the counterpart of Gao-Jafferis-Wall – but in the case of one CFT only. Two years ago, Gao-Jafferis-Wall considered an AdS-based BTZ black hole with two sides, two identical CFTs sit on the boundary, and they deform their Hamiltonian by a "coupled" double-trace operator which makes the wormhole traversable.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Alarmists less eco-friendly than skeptics: a study

Al Gore is a rule, not exception

Conservatives and especially climate skeptics love the former U.S. vice-president Al Gore because he is a great example proving the point that leftists and especially the climate alarmists are hypocritical jerks with evil eyes who can't be trusted.

Al Gore's houses in California and Tennessee as well as his private jet are legendary for their carbon footprints that surpass those of the average U.S. household by an order of magnitude. And this aßhole has had the arrogance to demand that other people reduce their carbon footprint.

Gore is such a popular example because even 84% of Democrats would love to throw him to a cesspool. And the climate skeptics may say: Have a look. All of you, alarmists, are as hypocritical evil jerks and liars as Al Gore. For years, this generalization could have looked like a demagogic one. However, The Washington Post has just informed us about a new study:

Believing in climate change, but not behaving sustainably: Evidence from a one-year longitudinal study
by Hall, Lewis, and Ellsworth (Ann Arbor, Ithaca).

Monday, May 07, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

EU budget: 25% for climate hysteria, 75% for other ideological corruption

On Friday afternoon, the EU's most powerful bureaucrat Jean-Claude Juncker has worshiped Karl Marx, the masculine femme fatale of Juncker's life. We heard that he was a great warrior for justice, wasn't responsible for any mistakes let alone atrocities that Marxism has committed, and the European Union should be reorganized around social values of Marx's type.

Almost every homo politicus in post-communist Europe was shocked.

When some shy teenage kids praise Adolf Hitler, we harass them. But when a bureaucrat does the same to Karl Marx who has probably scheduled a greater amount of suffering than Hitler, we call him the Chieftain of the European Commission or whatever is the exact title of this spectacular parasite. Lots of mayors in post-communist Europe felt stupid that they threw away Marx statues three decades ago. Eurotrash like Juncker could easily pay millions for this garbage today.

Sunday, May 06, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Musk vs Buffett: innovation or moats?

Warren Buffett and Elon Musk finally had some public disagreements which sound so natural given the men's very different ideas about business. To start with a difference, Buffett has been successful thanks to his purchases of undervalued companies; Musk has become successful by marketing an overpriced company so that it becomes even more overpriced.

Buffett has always emphasized that the companies he buys should have a sustainable competitive advantage or a "moat" (broad ditch around a castle, a Buffett metaphor). At a recent meeting, Elon Musk said that this opinion was "lame" and innovation was the key to the success of a business. Buffett didn't allow Musk the final word and opined that Musk won't beat Buffett's candy company anytime soon.

Musk tweeted that he's starting a candy company soon and he was being super, super serious – I think that he meant "cereal", at least Al Gore was "cereal" about the global warming (and ManBearPig). Musk's fans started to produce lots of pictures of Elon Willy Wonka.

Saturday, May 05, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Druncker: Marx's dreams are becoming a lively reality

Guest blog by Cohn-Bendit Mogherini-Druncker

Dear comrades, today, we're celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the most important thinker in the human history, Karl Marx. I am grateful to comrade Motl for the opportunity to clarify and expand sentences from my important speech that I gave in Trier last night.



I am also grateful to our Chinese comrades who helped to resuscitate Karl Marx and who have also provided him with the bathrobe. In this way, Karl Marx could have taken the first shower in 200 years (the previous shower took place in the amniotic fluid exactly 200 years ago today).

Friday, May 04, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech military intelligence: CZ produced A230 novičok in 2017

In March, the hysteria about the apparently poisoned ex-Russian spy and his daughter (the Skripals) started. There was no evidence that Russia or Russians were behind it – well, strictly speaking, I think that we haven't even seen evidence that there was any poisoning at all.

In late March, I discussed the fact that Czechia is a superpower in this type of applied chemistry. After all, among other things, we're the cradle of Semtex (there are several types of that), the most popular tool of expression for Palestinian and similar opinion makers. I have linked to a Czech paper from 2011 that discussed the chemistry of related compounds, including a recipe to make A232, a novičok-class agent.

Thursday, May 03, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

NYT runs a hit piece against Czech (brewery's) anti-feminism

Two days after The New York Times insanely celebrated Karl Marx, they published a hit piece against my nation's opposition towards feminism and its most pathological manifestations such as the #MeToo campaign:

Czech Brewer Mocks #MeToo, Calling It a ‘Pathological Campaign’
What's remarkable is that this May 2nd hit piece is a story about an innocent and amusing advertisement by the famous enough Bernard Brewery owned by Mr Bernard that was posted in December 2017, almost half a year ago:



But for the New York Times, this apparent heresy is still a "story". The picture says "the world has gone mad" (like many other pictures by Bernard) and "brace yourselves". See also Bernard's Facebook page for more. The specific part of this picture is the photograph of Baba Yaga who says #MeToo. Just if you happen to be a clueless feminist sourball, I must explain why it's a good joke. It's a good joke because everyone knows that no one would ever fudge Baba Yaga. Bernard expresses the mainstream opinion of the Czechs that most of the women screaming #MeToo are lying hypocritical spoiled girls who look for an advantage.

North Korea as a South Korean company

A recipe for the unification of Korea

The North Korean leader Kim III has played too much with his nuclear playground – and it broke down. The rocks are collapsing and new nuclear tests are probably impossible.

So he concluded that he can no longer conquer the world with these weapons. Instead, he must search for the most profitable way to peace. So he suddenly seems to be the world's biggest fan of South Korean and Swiss food, a marketeer of North Korean noodles, and he wants to share the Nobel peace prize with Donald Trump and/or the South Korean president.

It's great and North Korea really seems to be screaming: "We finally want to be raped and conquered by you, our rich Southern brothers". At least that's what I have heard in between the lines for several weeks. However, South Korea doesn't seem to care. For most South Koreans, North Koreans are just some strange poor animals – rather than compatriots. That's a pity.

The desire to spend lots of money is limited in South Korea. In this way, the situation differs from the seemingly analogous case of the reunification of Germany in 1990. West Germany was really hungry – from the beginnings in 1949, its constitution assumed that East Germany was just a temporarily disordered (Sovietized) part of the Federal Republic of Germany and it would be reincorporated at some point. For decades, this view of the West German constitution looked like mere partisan propaganda – but in 1990, it became the reality.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czechia covered by a layer of pollen

Too bad that the "global warming causes everything" journalists aren't common in my country. They would have a great new story: Czechia has been covered by a thick, almost unprecedented layer of pollen.

It looks like some yellow dust. For some reasons, it's concentrated on the roofs of cars that haven't moved for a day. Well, I think I know the reason: the roofs are horizontal and the pollen has low enough friction for gravity to matter even on tilted surfaces.



At some places of the country, you can only see half a mile due to the high concentration of the stuff. Thankfully, I have no allergic reactions to this particular stuff. Those who do must feel miserable.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

NYT worships Karl Marx

Hard left Marx apologists should be treated like Nazi war criminals

On May 5th, it will have been 200 years from the birth of Karl Marx, a plagiarist, the architect of the greatest genocide in the modern history of the mankind, the world's first brain-dead Marxist, and the role model for all modern pseudointellectual parasites and aggressive social scientific crackpots. To some extent, every offensive hard left activist or pseudointellectual – a multiculturalist, a climate alarmist, and many others – is a clone of Karl Marx's.

The New York Times, one of America's most famous dailies, expressed its attitude rather clearly with an op-ed titled

Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!
written by Jason Barker, a genocide apologist and would-be professor harbored by a South Korean would-be university, a terrorist organization that should be bombarded. Chemical weapons may be considered as an effective tool for this deratization.

Monday, April 30, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Fuzzball civil war in India

The newest hep-th preprint at this moment is

A Critique of the Fuzzball Program
by Suvrat Raju and his graduate student Pushkal Shrivastava. They criticize the whole paradigm of the fuzzballs – an approach to understand black hole thermodynamics – which is mostly associated with the name of Samir Mathur, see his 2007 guest blog and dozens of other posts.

Sunday, April 29, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Syria may confiscate millions of migrants' houses

Germany may be as big a loser as in 1945

Wars have consequences. Bashar Assad has apparently won the war in Syria and we were just told about an unexpected twist: plans to confiscate the real estate of the Syrian citizens who are living abroad (see the law in Arabic).

Before some moment in May, all owners of houses in certain regions – they're meant to be regions that were controlled by various anti-Assad rebels – have to re-register their assets, otherwise the houses will be confiscated. That could affect houses of millions, perhaps 10 million, Syrian migrants.

The thinking behind these steps is that the migrants are mostly anti-Assad which is why this is mostly a plan to transfer assets from anti-Assad Syrians to pro-Assad Syrians. Cool. It would make it likely that most of those people can never return to Syria.

Friday, April 27, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Grammar is too mathematical: SJWs will turn Czech into gym, too

SJWs are gradually replacing the kids' classes of mathematics by dumb, repetitive, mechanical exercises that every kid can solve without any help or leadership – while the leadership itself (and any insight that is communicated from the teacher to her student) is presented as crime. For approximately 24 hours a day, fans of these methods repeat the proposition that mathematics is "unpopular" and must therefore be "reformed" – and their reform is basically equivalent to the elimination of any nontrivial mathematical thinking from schools.

Last night, the Czech Public TV has informed us about a shocking development. Because Hejný's method has been such a great success in mathematics, they suggest, it's time to reform other subjects in this way, too. The classes of Czech – which includes grammar (and sometimes literature) – have to become playful, too.

If you play the video linked to in the previous paragraph, you will see the new proposed classes of Czech. Plans and textbooks should be ready within a year or so – this stuff could very well expand since 2019/2020. Instead of learning about the structure of sentences, declension and conjugation, the right spelling etc., the children will learn Czech in a physical way. The teacher will say "stand up" and all kids have to stand up. The teacher says "sit on the table" and all the kids will sit on the table. In this way, the kids will surely become the best writers and speakers. I find these proposals almost comical in combination with the claims that they want to erase the authority of the teacher from the classroom. When the kids mindlessly obey the instructions, the classroom is converted to the military!

Thursday, April 26, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Volumes of higher-dimensional balls from Gaussians: the coolness and conceptual implications

Bill Zajc has agreed with me that the derivation of the volume of an \(N\)-dimensional ball\[

V_N (R) = \frac{\pi^{N/2} } { \zav{\frac N2}! } R^N

\] where \(X!\) is the generalized factorial i.e. \(X! = X\cdot (X-1)!\), \(0!=1\), \((-1/2)!=\sqrt{\pi}\), is something that simply has to impress a kid who has a mathematical heart, especially the kind of a mathematical heart that is relevant for theoretical physics.

I will try to discuss the derivation including some comments why it's so cool and what one learns.

First, at some moment, the kid learns that the exponential with the base \(e\approx 2.718\) is the most natural function needed to write powers. Along with its inverse, the natural logarithm, it may be used to write down a general power:\[

x^y = \exp(y \log x).

\] That's cool. On top of that, \(\exp(x)\) has itself as the derivative. We may differentiate and integrate \(\exp(x)\) easily as in the joke about the functions that walk on the street and they're terrified to death when the derivative emerges in front of them. Only one function seems courageous. "Aren't you terrified of me?" the derivative asks. "No, I am the exponential."

Why 1 isn't prime

Natalie Wolchover is among those who believe that one should be considered a prime integer:


Well, she's wrong. One isn't prime exactly because it's not a building block of natural numbers. More precisely, it's totally useless as a building block.

Or as a follower of hers wrote:


The point is that the factor "one" isn't needed to write the prime integer decomposition of an integer. You may always add "times one" whereover you want but it changes nothing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Germany bans Jews in the streets, demands worshiping of electric cars

The ongoing cultural transformation of Germany is rather amazing. Bavaria, self-confident Germany's Texas, seems to be the only adult Bundesland in the room. For example, to fight against de-Christianization, the heavily Catholic state's government has ordered crosses onto walls of all government buildings. It's legal because the cross isn't installed to show the power of any church; it is not a symbol of any particular church, it is the symbol for Hermitian conjugation.

The rest of Germany follows very different trends, however.

Last week, Arab Israeli Adam Armoush didn't want to believe claims that it was dangerous to walk in the streets of Berlin with a yarmulka (that's our Slavic name for the skullcap, originally used in Polish and Ukrainian and then Yiddish; it's also called kippah which means a dome), a brimless traditional cap that believing male Jews have to wear in order not to insult a deity (well, HaShem) that watches them from above at all times. The orthodox rules are tough – you can't walk for more than 4 units of distance without the yarmulka, you can only remove it for "Amen" during your wedding etc.

So Adam took a yarmulka, gave another one to his pal, and they went. They were quickly attacked by a similarly looking Syrian "refugee" with a belt (who screamed "Yahudi" i.e. "Jude" etc.) and the incident was filmed by the victim. All men are around 20 years old.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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.



Granddaddy Forrest

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

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.