Thursday, October 18, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Are NPCs catchy enough to supersede SJWs?

In recent days, a meme became very popular among people who are approximately right-wing, conservative, or pro-Trump and who want to mock the incredible knee-jerk mindlessness of the responses by... and the amazing group think of the far left, the SJWs – social justice warriors. The latter began to be called NPCs.



What is an NPC? It is a "non-player character", an entity in games whose decisions aren't determined by an actual human being with free will. They first appeared in Dungeons and Dragons, a 1974 tabletop game. But such NPCs are a part of most 3D video games today. They talk to you but what they say is scripted. The Wikipedia page nicely explains that these characters don't usually have real artificial intelligence, however (although true AI characters – a rare class – are mostly considered a subset of NPCs).

So there is a straightforward program/code that determines what they tell you when you play a game on your PC or smartphone. And to some extent, it feels like you're playing against other characters that look like they could be controlled by other human players – but they are not. Some work has been done to create the program but because that program is simple enough, it fails to emulate an intelligent behavior of a human being perfectly and the difference becomes strikingly obvious in some situations, see e.g. these awkward NPCs in Mafia II. Does it remind you of someone?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Cheeky girl demands moonwalker, geologist to shut his mouth on geology

Everyone can live his or her American dream in America, it's a country of great possibilities and amazing upward mobility. Some people say it's no longer the case but in some negative sense, I think it's still true. In particular, I am often shocked by the arrogance of some American nobodies. Many things are worse in Europe than in America but the arrogance of deluded American Niemands surpasses that of the European counterparts.

Willie Soon sent me the partial transcript and video of a panel discussion, Apollo Plus 50. For an hour, 3+1 panelists discussed the motivation for space research and various relationships between Americans' and Unamericans' curiosity and financial and other interests in various projects in the outer space – in the history, now, and in the future.

Petition urges CERN to rehire Strumia, end totalitarianism

Edwin has pointed out that two German pro-free-speech groups, Agens Die Miteinander and Cuncti (and Tom Todd of Hamburg is usually signed in the e-mail), have launched a petition at Science Censored:

CERN: Return Prof. Strumia to office!
It's formally a letter to CERN's General Director Ms et Dr Fabiola Gianotti which claims that there can be no research or freedom of expression when people are being existentially threatened for simply expressing their opinions. The signatories want Strumia to return to his CERN office as soon as possible. (See previous articles on Strumia.)

Monday, October 15, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

How the feminists proved the exact opposite of what they claimed

By now, the manifesto ludicrously titled Particles for Justice – a neo-Marxist edition of 100 Scientists Against Einstein – has collected over 4,000 signatures of left-wing activists and bullies (some of them are already very far from particle physics, however) who decided to team up and try to scare not only Alessandro Strumia but also the whole scientific community.

The number 4,000 isn't increasing too much anymore. Strumia has over 40,000 HEP authors in his database and because by now, even grad (and some undergrad) students etc. have been forced to subscribe to the pamphlet, you see a great confirmation of my previous estimate that 10% of the HEP community actively agrees with similar far left activities. It's a minority but not quite a negligible one – and a very aggressive one.

(Gender Taliban is also going to have an official arm in hard sciences, MeTooSTEM. Some folks behind this ugly brand are just completing their fundraiser to become an NGO. I urge all bosses in STEM to fire everyone who participates in this activity before she or he writes at least 5 papers and collects at least 100 citations – or you will become a victim of one of their Nazi pogroms soon.)

You, a high-energy physicist, have to parrot our lies, otherwise we will make a hell out of your career, as we're trying to do with Alessandro Strumia's, these aßholes are telling everybody. Despite this backlash, almost no one has gone through Strumia's actual arguments. Sabine Hossenfelder may surprisingly be considered a marginal counterexample. Along with a collaborator, she tried to address at least one graph by Strumia.

Sunday, October 14, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The first woman on the Moon

Czech feminist šitstorms are way more relaxed

A few days ago, the host of a Czech science Facebook group has posted the following cartoon:



It's the picture of the "first woman on the Moon". It's a joke which is funny because there's no atmosphere on the Moon which is why an engine based on a pressure deficit couldn't operate there! ;-) I needed to explain the joke right away to make the readers sure that there's nothing sexist about the joke – especially to please female readers who aren't trained in aerodynamics unless they are good at the blowjob.

Saturday, October 13, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A wonderful Catholic sermon against cultural Marxism

Less than 15% of Czechs are associated with a religious organization or church – and even most of these 15% are rather lukewarm. You don't expect Czechia to be the source of brave and inspiring sermons or a source of the truly conservative priests. But maybe you should.



On September 28th, the Day of Czech Statehoood and the anniversary of the murder of Good King Wenceslaus, our national patron, a very experienced priest [and linguist, Bohemist, and former minister of schools at a government led by Klaus] Prof et Mons. Petr Piťha delivered a sermon in the country's most recognizable church, the St Vitus Cathedral at the center of the Prague Castle, and the sermon turned out to be explosive.

You would expect such an old man to give another boring speech. You could think that such an experienced man is going to be excessively careful. But the speech gets truly powerful. John Archer may feel as a moderate sissy at some moments. ;-) Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka has already defended Mons. Petr Piťha – while some Catholics have left the church in the middle of that sermon and some cultural Marxists, e.g. the Templeton-funded "priest" Mr Tomáš Halík, have attacked Mons. Piťha in the media. The priest has already been sued for "fearmongering" by a far left group (ČŽL, Czech Women's Lobby), too.

Analyzing a spooky anti-quantum article from Poland

Jitter informed us about a short popular article published on Thursday:

The Spooky Reality Behind the Quantum Universe –“We Haven’t a Clue What It Is” (Daily Galaxy)
Jitter has summarized the text as saying that "it's claimed that quantum mechanics is no longer required for a single particle" – a clearly incorrect claim.

Let us look how stupid the claims are. Most of the irrational statements are actually being included in a majority of similar anti-quantum and spooky quantum articles.

Thursday, October 11, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Mathematics is the "human right" not to deal with cases one by one

Cafeinst has commented on the previous blog post about the alleged supersymmetric proof of the Riemann Hypothesis. There can't be a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis, we are told, because there are infinitely many roots of the zeta function and we don't have infinitely many workers who would check all of them, he basically told us.

In fact, it wasn't the first time. Cafeinst made the analogous point about the Collatz conjecture as well. There are infinitely many sequences to check, so it is an undecidable statement, he taught us. Holy cow. Niki di Giano either shares Cafeinst's misunderstanding of mathematics – or he was just mocking him – when he added a similar comment. No proof by induction may work because there is an infinite amount of work with each of them. I am eagerly expecting an explanation from Niki whether he was joking or whether he is Cafeinst's soulmate. (Update: Niki's comment was ironic, good news.)

I can't believe that some children – e.g. Cafeinst – were left behind so completely. On the other hand, I feel that among non-readers of this blog, such basic misunderstandings of mathematics and rational thinking is very widespread and probably dominant. And I believe that some "methods to teach mathematics", including Hejný's method that I've been fighting against for some time, encourage this misunderstanding actively. Facts must be solved, computed, and internalized one by one, it's the only politically correct method to teach according to this ideology. The "amount of mathematics wisdom" is measured by the Marxist theory of value, "thinkers" such as Mr Hejný preach.

Make the kids happy by repeating some low-brow problem of recreational mathematics many times (and never dare to correct them or teach something to them) – and they will become great humans and intellectuals. No, they won't.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Das, Kalauni claim to have a 3-page SUSY proof of Riemann Hypothesis

Cafeinst has pointed out that one week ago, Ashok Das (Rochester) and Pushpa Kalauni (Oklahoma) have published a 3-page preprint

A simple derivation of the Riemann hypothesis from supersymmetry
on the math.GM arXiv. So I immediately opened it. And yes, you can immediately see that the authors are less than 89 years old.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

No one listens to the IPCC fearmongering anymore

The boys have cried wolf too many times

A decade ago, I would probably read the press release in its entirety – plus several pages of the full report that I would pick as important or representative. The climate hysteria was already perfectly understood to be pseudoscientific hogwash promoted by left-wing activists. But there was still something new in it, something that provoked us, something we were afraid of.

I am no longer reading this garbage – and neither does an overwhelming majority of the people. There's absolutely no true, useful, or original content in this stuff. Almost identical predictions have been proven incorrect hundreds of times. Self-described "climate scientists" and their public faces such as Al Gore have been predicting the end of the world for 2000, 2009, 2010, 2015, and every other year. Jehovah's Witnesses can no longer compete in the number of these failed predictions of the end of the world. Nothing that would even remotely resemble their doomsday predictions has ever materialized.

These days, similar claims are on par with the spam about penis enlargement. Who was interested in such things has probably undergone the procedure, whatever it is. Others just treat it as the pollution in their mailboxes, newspapers, and on TV screens.

First dominant pure Czech bank may be being born

For centuries, Czechs have been savers who were conservative when it came to their finances. A consequence was that they trusted "our" currencies, preferred all payments and savings to be done in the domestic currency, and the currency was correspondingly stable. Relatively to our communist comrades, we had a hard currency during communism, too. Westerners have usually no clue about the huge differences between the individual post-communist countries. For example, Hungary has accumulated a huge debt and their forint has always been inflating and weak; Czechoslovakia has never had these problems.



Air Bank, the standardized interior

Our beloved emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria introduced the crown in September 1892, as 1/2 of the "gold coin" that had been a nearly stable unit of wealth since the Middle Ages. (As of 2018, Czechs still use the ironic term "pětka", or "the number five", for the 10-crown coin!) In 1918, exactly 100 years ago this month, Czechoslovakia kept the name of the currency and after 1927, Czechoslovak crown, which was introduced at par. After 1927, it was the only successor state of the monarchy that still kept the crown.

Sunday, October 07, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Men who missed out on the Nobel prize

A woman shared the 2018 physics Nobel prize for laser tricks, 55 years after the previous (2nd after Curie) woman, Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was celebrated in 1963 for the nuclear shell model. (The number of Nobel prizes given for applications of lasers is just pathologically high, and I've been saying it long before this new addition. Note that neither Einstein nor Bose have even gotten the prize for the Bose-Einstein statistics.)

Before the committee has made its choice, the media were full of requests that "this time, a woman must be there" and the Nobel committee was surely under amazing pressure. There's no good reason to think it was temporary – so we may conclude that the physics Nobel prize has been downgraded to an ideologically driven and politically abused farce, much like the peace Nobel prize and others were some decades earlier.

Dr Donna Strickland is nice, modest, and she is not really responsible for this feminist Nobel insanity – which also included a selective worshiping of her as a hero as well as the media stories in which her senior collaborator, Dr Gerard Mourou, was painted as a sexist pig because he recorded a music video with much younger female lab coat dancers in 2010. These double standards are really insane given the very likely fact that she couldn't have had a chance to win such an award without Dr Mourou.

Municipal elections: our only oligarch loses Prague, shock, and awe

One-half of the TRF readers are American citizens where the two-party system is alive and kicking. I think that all of the Yankees must be puzzled about the following map of the results of our local elections that took place between Friday 2pm and Saturday 2pm:



This is Czechia (in the heart of Europe), not Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia split up in 1993 because Slovaks didn't drink enough beer. In the "eye of the Bohemian fish" on the left side, you can see the blue Prague. In general, the map shows the political party that won the largest number of votes in each district. The "number of votes" may be a rather confusing quantity, however, because the number of representatives at the local city halls as well as the number of candidates that were running for a party may affect it.

Friday, October 05, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A cultural Marxist edition of "100 scientists against Einstein"

Pro-freedom researchers may turn this pamphlet into the Battle of Stalingrad that shows that 100 is too little to intimidate everybody

Although way too many Germans (and Austrians) wanted to present themselves as victims while Adolf Hitler was the only culprit of wrongdoings in the Third Reich, the actual history was very different. Hitler was mainly a symbol, a symptom of political and emotional preferences, frustrations, and wishes that were almost omnipresent among Germans of that time. He was a tip of an iceberg – the whole iceberg of the German society was a problem caused by an ideological phase transition that the society underwent sometime in the early 1930s.



In particular, anti-Semitism was powerful within the scientific community, too. A bunch of activists who sucked in theoretical physics have invented the "Aryan/German Physics" which was an ideology that basically prohibited modern theoretical physics as we know it. This ideology within physics still exists – the members call themselves "critics of string theory" instead of "Aryan physicists" but when it comes to the scientific methodology, the content is exactly the same.

During that time, in fact, in 1931 i.e. two years before Hitler took power, a bunch of anti-Semitic German scientists also wrote a notorious book, "100 scientists against Einstein". The number of authors of diverse and ultimately irrational criticisms of relativity was high, 28+19, which was rounded to 100. Einstein wisely responded by saying that if they were right, one scientist would have been enough.

Musk and the proposed ban on shortsellers

On August 7th, Tesla's boss Elon Musk famously tweeted that he had secured some $70+ billion to buy all the Tesla stocks for $420 a piece.

The bold statement was a complete lie, as sane people knew right away and as was getting explicitly but gradually confirmed in the following days. And this lie was rather demonstrably motivated by Elon Musk's desire to financially hurt the shortsellers – people who bet that the Tesla stocks are overvalued and bound to drop.

Within a day, the shortsellers were made $1 billion poorer by that tweet – while Elon Musk got $1 billion wealthier. Clearly, the law says that untrue statements by the CEOs that have a tangible effect on the prices are called "securities fraud" and considered criminal acts. For a good reason: by lying about the nature of the asset, the CEO is effectively offering something else to the investor than what he is actually giving to them. This simply has to be illegal – otherwise everyone would be deceiving the other side all the time.

Well, that jump after the fraudulent tweet was obviously not the last change of the price. In the following 2 months, the stock went up or down by more than 10% several times. For example, last Friday, Tesla lost 14% after the SEC's "guilty" verdict and on Monday, it gained 17% after the SEC punishment was seen to be symbolic.

Thursday, October 04, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Leon Lederman: 1922-2018

Leon Lederman was a giant of the 20th century experimental particle physics. Sadly, he died on Wednesday in a care center in Idaho, due to the complications from dementia (not so shocking at age of 96).

He was born to a Russian Jewish family in 1922. He was the key man in teams that discovered the neutral \(K\)-mesons (do you remember Feynman's discussion about the two-state Hilbert space of \(K^0\) and \(\bar K^0\) that may be mixed as the superpositions of long-lived and short-lived kaons?), the bottom quark \(b\), and the muon (i.e. second) neutrino.

For the muon neutrino discovery, he was given the 1988 Nobel prize in physics, along with two other men.

Three scholars mass-produce Sokal hoaxes

Publication of the numerous papers proves that "grievance studies" are worthless and ludicrous parasitic pseudosciences

As The Wall Street Journal and dozens of other outlets (including an Areo Magazine essay written by the famous trio itself) describe in detail, three self-described "left-leaning liberal" academics have had lots of fun since Summer 2017.

Peter Boghossian (philosopher at Oregon), James Lindsay (PhD in mathematics), and Helen Pluckrose (English literature) have managed to get seven hoax articles – they termed them "grotesque exagerations" at the end – accepted for publication in journals dedicated to grievance studies such as gender "sciences". Incidentally, their term grievance studies is a serious contribution (not published) that has the value of pure gold by itself. I think that I will use it.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Martin Rees becomes an LHC alarmist, publishes a book

These days, the LHC has celebrated its 10th birthday. Almost no one has celebrated because, despite the Higgs boson discovery, there is a widespread feeling that the number of new things discovered by that collider has been disappointing.

A decade ago, and even right after the Higgs discovery, lots of us were giving numerous popular talks about the collider. One of the laymen's questions that kept on reappearing was: Will the LHC destroy Earth? Will it eat all of us?

It may sound ludicrous but the energy of the collisions is extreme enough and physicists have been obliged to think seriously about this question. And many physicists did. Well, they have thought about it already a decade before the LHC.

Czech readers react to lynching of Prof Strumia

Last night, the prestigious Czech right-wing news server Echo24.cz joined the plurality of the world media that wrote about the cultural Marxist-McCarthyist lynching of the prominent CERN phenomenologist Alessandro Strumia.

Here is the translation – so that you may get some Czech black humor and some idea whether the Czech taxpayers (who still contribute to CERN – but I already began to work on changing this situation) stand on the side of Strumia or on the side of the lynching mob.

Professor questioned discrimination of women in science, CERN ended cooperation with him
Echo24, ZD, 123 comments now

The Italian professor Alessandro Strumia from University of Pisa and a researcher affiliated with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) was suspended due to his lecture where he disputed the discrimination of women in the field of particle physics. The affair was reported by the BBC, the suspension was even confirmed by the official press release [link] of CERN.

Check a gallery.

Monday, October 01, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Physics was invented and built by men

Activists at CERN turned an excerpt from Sexmission into reality

CERN has updated the statement to say that all Strumia's CERN ties were suspended, at least during the ongoing Inquisition trial ("investigation of the conference"). I was hoping it wouldn't happen but I was prepared to see that it would happen. What do you want to investigate, idiots? Strumia has made some elementary and some elaborate comments about women in physics and a bunch of brain-dead wannabe fascists and mental cripples found the truth inconvenient. That's it.

However, things are much better in Italy where Alessandro is primarily employed. The rector of the University of Pisa Paolo Mancarella (IT), after he got some complaints from the totalitarian cultural Marxists and after he looked at the 26 slides, refused to start ethical proceedings against Strumia. That looks better although something will be "investigated" over there by an ethical committee, too. But maybe the page says something else and Mr Mancarella doesn't really speak English.

Poles are our Western Slavic cousins. They generally love us, Czechs, more than we love them. (We're their #1 favorite foreigners but it's not true for Poles.) They're great but I surely don't think that they're good e.g. in the sense of humor. (See my answer to What Poles do better than Czechs and vice versa.)



You need to click at a link and play the video outside TRF.

However, I became a great fan of a 1983 or 1984 Polish cult film, the sci-fi comedy named Sexmission. Max and Albert, two men from the 1980s, volunteer to (earn some bucks and) undergo a hibernation experiment (designed by Prof Wiktor Kuppelweiser). There's a war (whose special weapon selectively attacks men) and they are only waken up in a relatively distant future (well, 2042) in which no men are alive anymore. The rest of the mankind – purely women – live in a totalitarian society underground while their propaganda says that radioactivity makes it impossible to live on the surface.

Sunday, September 30, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nasty SJWs persuade spineless CERN officials to start an inquisition trial against an Italian scientist

The victim "dared" to say that women aren't isomorphic to men when he was asked

Galileo Galilei, the Italian founder of the scientific method as we know it, has been a target of the Roman Catholic Inquisition trials between 1610 and 1633 – mostly because of his heliocentric "heresies".



Those Inquisition folks should have gone extinct, shouldn't they? Sadly, four centuries later, the contamination of the intellectual institutions by this garbage that is violently opposed to the Academic freedoms and any kind of honest research that is inconvenient for the powerful has exceeded anything that could have been seen in the 17th century.

On Friday, the 1st Workshop on High Energy Theory and Gender took place at CERN, the Center of Europe for the Research of Nuclei [sic]. Thankfully, an Italian scientist who has actually thought about the problem – as well as the phenomenological particle physics where he has accumulated 30,939 citations according to INSPIRE so far (41,772 at Google Scholar), a real star (that you may sometimes meet in the blogosphere, anyway) – was invited to give a talk, too:

Experimental test of a new global discrete symmetry

Scheduled title: Bibliometrics data about gender issues in fundamental theory
The aforementioned "symmetry" is the non-existent symmetry (or spontaneously broken symmetry, an alternative explanation the speaker considers) between men and women. The talk is full of graphs and evidence that the scientific institutions are heavily biased against men and have lost much of meritocracy. I won't mention the name of the Italian professor. Why? Because I want to make it harder for additional members of that toxic movement to go after his or her neck and about 70% of feminists and similar unfriendly mammals don't have a powerful enough brain to find the name of the speaker.

Saturday, September 29, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Anti-SJW developers threaten to kill Linux

Software developers who disagree with the new PC "Code of Conduct" (CoC) may legally prevent the Linux ecosystem from using their code.

As an undergraduate, one community within the maths-physics-computers mostly geeky ecosystem that I was rather allergic to were the fans of Linux. The typical members of that Linux community wanted everything – starting with software – to be free and open. They had a serious psychological problem with capitalism and its incarnation known as Microsoft. "What's your problem with those things," I would ask. They would answer – using some euphemisms – that they were really hopeless piles of left-wing scum.

In some sense, they were analogous to the Bitcoin or Tesla community today. Those communities pretend to be apolitical except that some of their "apolitical" views assure that they are far left nutjobs.

But are programmers left-wing or extreme left-wing in general? Well, I don't think so. It just doesn't work like that. The distribution of political views among coders isn't too different from the distribution in the general public. The bosses of the Silicon Valley Big Tech companies are surely excessively likely to belong to the extreme left-wing fringe. But there are communities – like the gamers from the anti-feminist Gamersgate – who are much closer to conservatives.

Friday, September 28, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Good King Wenceslaus, Munich Treaty

Czechia celebrates one of the national holidays today. On September 28th, 935 AD (a source still claims it was 929 AD, however), the good king Wenceslaus – the patron saint of Czechia – was assassinated.



A carol that Sheldon has memorized very well. A Czech version by Czech kids.

If you don't know who was the assassin, be ready for a disgusting shock. It was his brother, Boleslaus the Cruel. Well, Boleslaus invited Wenceslaus to the feast of St Cosmas and Damian and three Boleslaus' henchmen stabbed Wenceslaus to death. For Wenceslaus, it was a good career move in the long term. He couldn't have become a saint (and a king, in memorian, instead of just a duke) without that martyrdom, I guess.

Don't forget that the main national holiday of Czechia is October 28th, however. In 1918 – and it will be exactly one century one month from now – Czechoslovakia was founded on the ruins of Austria-Hungary. Exceptionally, Slovakia will celebrate a one-in-a-century national holiday on October 30th. Slovaks officially joined Czechoslovakia two days later.

Thursday, September 27, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Sleptons in Antarctica: 5-sigma evidence for stau-like high energy terrestrial rays

As Jitter pointed out, an extremely interesting astro-ph paper appeared yesterday:

The ANITA Anomalous Events as Signatures of a Beyond Standard Model Particle, and Supporting Observations from IceCube
The paper was promoted at Live Science and the Science Magazine:
Bizarre Particles Keep Flying Out of Antarctica's Ice, and They Might Shatter Modern Physics

Oddball particles tunneling through Earth could point to new physics
What's going on?

Collatz conjecture, fractals, and \(p\)-adic numbers

Hermannus Contractus has told us that he likes the Collatz Conjecture, an open problem in mathematics. It is amusing, indeed.



The Collatz fractal (above) looks similar to the Mandelbrot set and they're obtained by analogous formulae but the shapes are different in details. The Mandelbrot set has rounder, apple-like pieces placed on each other. Try to look carefully.

I said "amusing" because I feel it is much less fundamental than the Riemann Hypothesis. The Riemann Hypothesis is linked to the basic properties or distribution of primes, and the most natural complex function associated with them. The Collatz Conjecture deals with a somewhat random sequence of integers. In this sense, the Collatz Conjecture looks much less unique to me – almost like a problem from the mathematical olympiad or a piece of recreational mathematics.

But I could be wrong.

Monday, September 24, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nice try but I am now 99% confident that Atiyah's proof of RH is wrong, hopeless

The live video stream from Atiyah's talk (9:45-10:30) was mostly overloaded but we may already watch a 49-minute-long recording on the Laureates Forum YouTube channel.

However, we were given two papers that are said to contain the proof:

The Fine Structure Constant (17 pages)

The Riemann Hypothesis (5 pages)
The second paper contains the proof – which would really be an elementary proof accessible to intelligent undergraduates – on 15 lines of Page 3.

Atiyah's talk on the proof of Riemann Hypothesis scheduled for Monday

Hot, Monday 7:55: Before the 9:45 talk (watch video here and press "triangle play" in the lower left corner if paused; schedule; Laureates' server is overloaded), see this five-page paper by Atiyah. It starts with crackpot-style comments on the fine-structure constant but don't stop too early. The 15-line-long proof by contradiction using his "Todd function" (defined in another paper, thanks, pis.) is on Page 3. The strategy of halving the imaginary part of the Siegel root is exactly what I predicted on Quora! However, I don't understand his "Todd function" that is polynomial in convex sets of the complex plane but not in general. Can't it be proven that a regionally analytic polynomial function is polynomial everywhere? Oh, I see, it's just "weakly analytic". I must see what it means because he seems to mix real and complex analytic functions.
Originally posted on Fri Sep 21st morning

In 2012, Šiniči Močizuki claimed to have a proof of the \(abc\) conjecture. Now, exactly six years later, his proof – distributed over 500+ pages of text, not counting some "background" in additional 500+ pages of text – remains disputed. Some mathematicians claim that it has to be correct but they seem to be "insufficiently independent" of Močizuki. The truly independent ones remain silent or... negative.

In particular, the Quanta Magazine says that Jakob Stix and (the young, celebrated, fresh Fields Medal winner) Peter Scholze claim that they have isolated an unbridgeable gap in the Japanese proof. They met with Močizuki. The two sides couldn't agree. Scholze was just a "cheeky Hun who just barely jumped out of a vagina", Močizuki was a "brownie, gook, and nip", you can imagine that the exchanges between mathematicians keep their highest standards of diplomacy.

I think that this controversy is similar to some controversies in theoretical physics, perhaps including the "de Sitter space in string theory" controversy. In principle, it could just mathematics where everything is clear. But it's complex enough, with a potential for mistakes and some room for replacing detailed solutions by philosophies, so that people may end up believing in very different answers.

Friday, September 21, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Le Pen and psychiatrist, Alex Jones and PayPal

France and the U.S. are turning into full-blown totalitarian countries

Our prime minister is a former communist rat and an unfixable Bolshevik and criminal (and today, we learned about the numbers showing that his "EET" online cash registers to harass the small businesses were indeed the kind of utter failure that all sensible people were predicting – just 1.2% increased collection of the value-added tax) but I am still grateful to live in Czechia. It's becoming a paradise, relatively speaking.



Pôle emploi, a French government agency, is luring the unemployed French people to Czechia, promising them €1,500 monthly wage before taxation (some 25% above the Czech average), great castles, and super cheap pubs everywhere. Some years in Czechia are surely not a way for a generic Western European to become rich after you return home (and many French get shocked by the "low" number when they see it) but the life expenses are correspondingly lower so that things may indeed be more relaxed in Czechia.

The unemployment in Czechia approaches 2% according to some methodologies so the country does need workers. But I mean "workers", not any "people". Muslim migrants wouldn't be OK because most of them couldn't become "workers".

Thursday, September 20, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Frauchiger-Renner: QM is inconsistent with two Wigners and their friends

David Thornton has asked about a new paper that basically claims that quantum mechanics is inconsistent,

Quantum theory cannot consistently describe the use of itself (Nature).
Note that Renner has arguably done some non-rubbish work in the quantum information theory but as explained in an unbelievable video, he also employs a group of women who brag to be f*cking 16 hours a day, going from one pregnancy to another, and being paid as "physicists" – from some European taxpayers' money – for allowing their names to be used in some ludicrous papers about the "quantum foundations".

In April, I discussed one of these crackpot papers in which Renner and Frauchiger asserted that quantum mechanics required many worlds. They used a straightforward physical system of 2 qubits – and several bases of their 4-dimensional Hilbert space.

Monday, September 17, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

How path integrals mirror Feynman's personality traits

The two-day silence is mostly due to the September 19th bike trip, 100 kilometers starting in the mountains (Bohemian Forest), sorry.
Courage, playfulness, analogies, shut up and calculate (calculation instead of words), lots of calculations extending simple rules, numbers instead of philosophy, don't give up easily

The most successful theories of classical physics may be formulated in terms of the principle of least action. We may consider alternative histories \(x_i(t)\) where some observables \(x_i\) depend on time \(t\). The principle says that the action \(S\) which is a functional of the history (a collection of functions) \(x_i(t)\) is minimized for the history that is actually allowed by the laws of physics:\[

\delta S [x_i(t)] = 0.

\] Paul Dirac has been convinced that this elegant formalism of classical physics – based on the concept of the action – should have a correspondingly nice role in quantum mechanics. And he found a good guess. In quantum mechanics, one could perhaps calculate the probability amplitudes for the evolution of \(x_i(t_1)\) to \(x_i(t_2)\) as \(\exp(iS/\hbar)\).

That was nice and Dirac presented some basic argument why the Lagrangian (whose integral over time gives the action) is related to the Hamiltonian but he didn't do much with this idea. It looked too heuristic to him.

Sunday, September 16, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Paquette vs Yin on the love-hate relationship between math and physics

In 2014, a few Nobel prize winners such as Sheldon Glashow along with the climate skeptic Richard Lindzen, Intelligent Design advocate David Berlinski etc., and a notorious moron Tim Maudlin have teamed up to create an online journal,

Inference-review.com,
a quarterly which is almost as influential as TRF now and where essays on the philosophy of science and reviews of books are regularly posted (I guess that there exists a printed journal, too). There must be lots of deep and inspiring texts over there but I have only learned about them today (although I may have been informed about the plans to establish it by one of the founders already in 2010) which is why my exposure to that journal may start at a somewhat random place (a metaphor for a point that will be made at the very bottom of this blog post).

Not too much time ago, Caltech string postdoc Natalie Paquette posted an essay
A View from the Bridge
that views mathematics and physics as peacefully co-existing traders. In the past, mathematics was helpful for physics. As you may have heard from Brian Greene, me, or someone else, their main relationship got mostly reversed due to the ability of string theory to produce gems that are cool from the mathematicians' viewpoint. She wrote an interesting review about some offspring of string theory that became important in mathematics: topological field theory, Donaldson theory, mirror symmetry, and monstrous moonshine, among others.

Saturday, September 15, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Only strings, not branes, can be consistently quantized in the same way

Jee_Jee has asked the following question:

Dear Lubos, thanks for this article. Please excuse my ignorance but could you please briefly explain why we don't find quantization of higher dimensional objects (such as branes) discussed in various standard references? Shouldn't the rules of QM determine the dynamics of branes too? Or may be it is done somewhere but I have not been able to find it.
Well, the reason why this "quantization" isn't discussed in any of these texts is that it is not possible. The question is analogous to the question: "Why don't textbooks of zoology feature photographs of flying elephants that would resemble the flying eagles?" You know, elephants don't fly. In the same sense, there is no "brane theory" that would be fully analogous to "string theory".

You can see a difference between the two situations: most kids can figure out that unlike eagles, elephants don't fly after some time – when they see no flying elephants. Jee_Jee has seen that no counterpart of string theory is being constructed with other objects – but he still believes that this non-existent entity exists. It must have been omitted because string theorists are stupid or they hide some dirty secret or something like that. Why does he believe such a thing instead of making the same straightforward conclusion as the kid makes about the flying elephants?

Friday, September 14, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Top Czech players denounce Serena, her claims on sexism, an official support for her

Czech women don't have much tolerance for the so-called feminism. Many of us love America, some of us know it rather well, but people were getting increasingly familiar with the kind of shocking arrogance by women that was selectively encouraged by the pathological ideology of feminism.

The shocking events that were often started in the U.S. include the incredible witch hunt named #MeToo. A very recent event that shows a similar point was a hysterical meltdown of Ms Serena Williams, currently the #16 top female tennis player (WTA), with an umpire.

Czechia is a tennis superpower, one of the 3 countries that won the Davis Cup and Fed Cup on the same year, one of the most successful countries in these cups, and a cradle of numerous #1 players such as Lendl, Navrátilová, Kvitová, Plíšková.

Thursday, September 13, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Tim Gowers' conceptual thinking sucks

Four days ago, I discussed – and many of us talked about – the retroactive silent erasure of Ted Hill's already published article from an electronic journal because the paper implies conclusions that are considered politically undesirable. The focus was on the sociology and dirty politics.

Here I want to focus on the content of Ted Hill's paper (read on the arXiv) and the quality of its arguments and counter-arguments, especially those from Tim Gowers, a famous mathematician. Another famous mathematician, Terry Tao, wrote just three paragraphs whose main purpose seems to be to express some loyalty to the powerful leftwingers in his environment.

Petrov, Bashirov look suspicious to me

A week ago, I mentioned Petrov and Bashirov, two Russian nationals that were named as suspects in the Skripal poisoning case. I was mocking the British accusation but now I must say that the two Russian guys' defense looks even stranger and locally comical to me.

Read the transcript of an RT interview (The Telegraph)

90-second video excerpt from that Margarita Simonyan interview; for full interview, see the bottom
It's really the cathedral that made me laugh. Just to be sure, I do realize that none of the feelings I have may be considered terribly strong evidence. People have different interests. And most importantly, if these two men attempted to poison Skripal and/or his daughter, it doesn't mean that the Kremlin or any other Russian authority is involved.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Article 7 against Hungary is an effeminate version of the 1956, 1968 invasions

When I returned home from a trip, one of the first news that appeared on the displays was that the European Parliament has voted to launch Article 7 against Hungary: 448 for, 197 against, 48 abstained.

It's a nuclear option allowed by the Treaty of Lisbon (a treaty that turned the European Union into a new Soviet Union a decade ago) that starts a process that may end up with the annihilation of Hungary's voting rights within the EU and/or all the financial inflows from the EU, among other sanctions. I hope and I still understand the situation so that Poland will ultimately be capable of vetoing all these plans (Article 7.2 still requires a unanimous vote in the European Council which has folks from all EU member states) but I am no longer sure. The EU could preemptively remove the Polish and Hungarian votes in the European Council and squeeze everyone else.

The same article has been launched against Poland – not by the European Parliament but rather by the European Commission (the "government of Europe"). Hungary considers the vote to be a fraud, a petty revenge for Hungary's asylum and immigration policies, and – as Orbán said – an insult to the Hungarian history. A Fidesz MEP called the decision "legally invalid" because voting rules were breached.



"The Mézga [Mr Badluck's] Family", here the theme music with Czech lyrics (orig. here; in Czech, the main characters got native Czech names), is the most famous Hungarian cartoon for my and somewhat older generation. It's a clear counterpart of The Simpsons except that the Hungarian show was 20 years older (1969-1978). The Simpsons were first aired in 1989. I think that (not only) Yankees should watch a couple of cartoons like that to get rid of the incorrect idea that the world would be impossible without the U.S.

The development wasn't quite unexpected but it's still infuriating to see that it has actually taken place. Most Czech voters must have been shocked what sort of unreliable allies in the Visegrád Group Czechia is. Ten Czech MEPs voted against the proposal to harass Hungary, nine MEPs have supported it. So a majority is against the proposal but the majority is infinitesimal. There are 4 deputies for billionaire PM Babiš's ANO movement among the 9 traitors – and, thankfully, zero MEPs for the center right ODS. The social democrats were perfectly diverse: 1 yes (the proposed minister of foreign affairs Poche), 1 no, 1 neutral, 1 absent.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

French education minister: kids must learn Arabic

My countrymates are somewhat obsessed with watching the collapse of the politically Western civilization in the geographically Western Europe – we really need to distinguish these two types of the adjective "Western". One of the most recent shocking developments has something to do with France and the languages.

The French minister of education Mr Jean-Michel Blanquer has brought an ingenious new idea: French kids should learn Arabic (RT, Google News, original).

Monday, September 10, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Why string theory is quantum mechanics on steroids

In many previous texts, most recently in the essay posted two blog posts ago, I expressed the idea that string theory may be interpreted as the wisdom of quantum mechanics that is taken really seriously – and that is applied to everything, including the most basic aspects of the spacetime, matter, and information.

People like me are impressed by the power of string theory because it really builds on quantum mechanics in a critical way to deduce things that would have been impossible before. On the contrary, morons typically dislike string theory because their mezzoscopic peabrains are already stretched to the limit when they think about quantum mechanics – while string theory requires the stretching to go beyond these limits. Peabrains unavoidably crack and morons, writing things that are not even wrong about their trouble with physics, end up lost in math.

Other physicists have also made the statement – usually in less colorful ways – that string theory is quantum mechanics on steroids. It may be a good idea to explain what all of us mean – why string theory depends on quantum mechanics so much and why the power of quantum mechanics is given the opportunity to achieve some new amazing things within string theory.

Sunday, September 09, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Harvard, Google, NSF, Springer, and others need a vigorous rat control

Electronic tools make it easier for dishonest SJW terrorists to perform Stalinist purges

Nick has told us about a troubling – but no longer unprecedented – story described in Quillette.

Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole

See also: Hot Air, Reason, Power Line Blog, The Daily Wire, Tim Gowers, Terry Tao
Ted Hill (*1943) is not only a veteran from Vietnam but also a famous mathematician who has done probability theory and wrote a well-known paper on Benford's law (about the frequency of first digits of numbers), among many others.

OK, he has clearly done politically neutral things most of his life. And his way of talking about the "discrimination" of women make him another feminist in my eyes. It just happened that he wrote a paper about the statistical differences between sexes. The main topic of a paper he co-authored was the wider statistical distribution of men's IQ and other quantities relatively to the female counterparts.

Saturday, September 08, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Woit and probability in quantum mechanics

Peter Woit is a veteran physics hater. His website has regularly served the most idiotic anti-physics garbage and it has attracted some of the world's šittiest mammals to its comment section for almost 15 years.

It would have been natural for Woit to be a leader of the anti-quantum zealots, too. String theory is the power of quantum mechanics applied to the realm of gravity. If one is claimed to be "bad", the other must be "bad", too. But for some reasons, Woit has avoided the discussions about the foundations of quantum mechanics. He wasn't inclined to join various branches of the anti-quantum zealots.

Friday, September 07, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Musk's weed, crypto drop, Skripal assassins, Jones Twitter ban, Chemnitz

First, in the early trading, the Tesla dropped over 9%, to $254, before recovering some losses to a 6% drop around $264 now (that's still a 30% drop from a post-tweet local minimum near $380 exactly one month ago). In the previous days, a Mercedes' Tesla killer SUV and Goldman Sachs restored "sell" rating were quoted as the reasons.

Today, the most quoted reason for that drop was an Elon Musk who smoke weed. My hyperlink points directly to the relevant place of the 160-minute-long Joe Rogan interview. He's surely not repelled by this stuff but it wasn't even something that Musk initiated – he was given the weed by the host – but it's enough to erase over $4 billion from the Tesla capitalization? It's just amazing.

The fundamentals play almost no role here. Well, just to reveal all the public interpretations, the BBC and others have a different explanation of the drop of the Tesla stock price, an executive's exit. There have been many Tesla exits in recent years so I wouldn't think it's a terribly sensible reason for such a huge drop, either.

Thursday, September 06, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Building the spacetime from BC-bits

Many new hep-th papers mention the swampland but there have been many texts about these disputed ideas on this blog so let me pick something great and less disputed.

Mark Van Raamsdonk is the main father of the idea to connect pieces of spacetime by the quantum entanglement in the role of the glue – and therefore the forefather of the ER-EPR correspondence, among other things. In his new preprint,

Building up spacetime with quantum entanglement II: It from BC-bit
whose title was chosen as a continuation of a paper from 2010 (over 500 followups now; the second, new part of the title is a variation of Wheelers' "it from bit") – a nice gap for a series – he introduces the BC-bits.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Will Happer hired as Trump's new tech adviser

Willie Soon alerted us that Will Happer, emeritus professor at Princeton, was finally picked as an adviser by Donald Trump,

Trump to name climate change skeptic as adviser on emerging technologies (CNN).
In January 2017, I mentioned a Happer-Trump meeting. Will is a great scientist and wise man and I was pleased. Finally, that senior job in the National Security Council became official. The "emerging technology" specialization in the team of aides looks a bit more practical than what you would expect from a pure scientist but it's relevant, anyway.

Monday, September 03, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nature prohibits "protective measurements"

Hundreds of anti-quantum zealots cannot find a trivial mistake even after 25 years

One of the universal postulates of quantum mechanics is that the information about a physical system may only be obtained through a measurement of an observable. The observable must be mathematically represented by a Hermitian linear operator \(\hat L\) and the result of the measurement has to be one of the eigenvalues of the operator. The probability that a particular eigenvalue \(\lambda\) is produced by the measurement is calculable by Born's rule. After the measurement, the state vector is projected to become an eigenstate of the measured operator i.e. \[

\hat L \ket{\psi}_{\rm after} = \lambda_{\rm outcome} \ket{\psi}_{\rm after}.

\] For this reason, the probabilistic character of the predictions is unavoidable. The modification of the state by any measurement is unavoidable, too. This is really a straightforward paragraph that summarizes most of the general laws of quantum mechanics. But some people just find this straightforward axiom about the right way to get the information about any physical system impossibly difficult. So even more than 90 years after the birth of quantum mechanics, they are coining lots of stupid names of "measurements" that completely contradict the law above – or, equivalently, that contradict the uncertainty principle. They are clearly convinced that they're amazing and they may completely ignore and circumvent operators and eigenvalues and measure properties of physical objects in the direct old-fashioned way, i.e. classically.

I have discussed the nonsensical "weak measurements" several times. It's supposed to be a way to measure the system without modifying it. It is exactly what is not possible in quantum mechanics.

Sunday, September 02, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A recent dissatisfied Weinberg's talk on QM

On June 3rd, Steven Weinberg gave this talk at Case Western University. The video is 46 minutes long, you may speed it up (up to 2x).



He's introduced as a hero. Weinberg is a hero who doesn't need an introduction. He's done amazing physics, he's been an important public intellectual. He's still doing physics.

Weinberg says that from the beginning, he knew that important physicists like de Broglie, Einstein, and Schrödinger were grumpy about quantum mechanics. It was tragic that they skipped the development of this exciting framework and its application on atoms, molecules, and elementary particles, among others. But then Weinberg tried to explain the essence of quantum mechanics and he found out that he couldn't do it to be personally satisfied. So he became another anti-quantum zealot, we're told.

Saturday, September 01, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

An Anil adds another anti-quantum book to the cesspool

Anil Ananthaswamy (I copied and pasted the surname, I don't expect anybody to memorize the whole meaningless sequence of letters, and I will shorten the name to Senil Debil Anil) has released another "popular" book about (or against) quantum mechanics,

Through Two Doors at Once: The Elegant Experiment That Captures the Enigma of Our Quantum Reality
Feynman has wisely said that the double slit experiment is really the only experiment you need to properly understand to see how the quantum world works – it contains all the qualitative novelties of quantum mechanics relatively to classical physics and all the proofs that the switch to a new way of description of Nature is unavoidable.

Well, Senil Debil Anil stupidly claims that it's not true. And, to make sure that his readers won't overlook the claim, he repeats this stupid falsehood thousands of times – he fills 304 pages with this repeated lie.

Friday, August 31, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Light Stückelberg bosons deported to the swampland

Conjecture would also imply that photons have to be strictly massless

I am rather happy about the following new hep-th preprint that adds 21 pages of somewhat nontrivial thoughts to some heuristic arguments that I always liked to spread. Just to be sure, Harvard's Matt Reece released his paper

Photon Masses in the Landscape and the Swampland
What's going on? Quantum field theory courses usually start with scalar fields and the Klein-Gordon Lagrangian. At some moment, people want to learn about some empirically vital quantum field, the electromagnetic field, whose Lagrangian is\[

{\mathcal L}_\gamma = -\frac 14 F_{\mu\nu} F^{\mu\nu}.

\] The action is invariant under the \(U(1)\) gauge invariance which is why 3+1 polarizations of the \(A_\mu\) field are reduced to the \((D-2)\) i.e. two transverse physical polarizations of the spin-1 photon. Are there also massive spin-one bosons?

Thursday, August 30, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Chemnitz: for media, a broken migrant's nose is a bigger story than a brutal murder by a migrant

It is common sense that German cops try to cooperate with anti-migration groups

Chemnitz is an East German city of 250,000 located 30 miles from the Czech border. During the communist epoch, we could travel there and buy some plastic products, a category of goods in which our East German comrades were leaders. ;-) The word "Chemnitz" is a Germanized version of the Slavic – Sorbian (the Sorbs have been almost completely Germanized) – name "Kamjenica". "Kamen" is a Slavic word for a stone; "-ica" is a derived feminine noun, a girl of a sort. In Czech, we call the city "Saská Kamenice" (the name is analogous in Polish) which I happily translate for you as the Saxon Stony Brook; the derived girl happens to be a creek in this case. I hope that you – especially the readers from Long Island – will enjoy using this new Czech-English name of the city.



During communism, the city was named Karl-Marx-Stadt after a notorious drunkard. His bust sits in the middle of some way too familiar, ugly socialist architecture. This is actually where the protests have mostly taken place. Which protests?

On Sunday morning, Daniel Hillig was brutally stabbed to death. He was a 35-year-old, well-known, active yet peaceful, fan of Chemnitzer FC, the local soccer club. His mother is German while his father is Cuban – but you may see that his name looks rather German. That's what I call successful integration.

Coconut oil is not a poison

Pornographic exaggerated claims against healthy food pseudoscience are healthy food pseudoscience, too

Devil is in the details about the cholesterol types, roles, and processes

In recent years, the coconut oil became increasingly popular throughout the world. I only discovered the coconut oil, along with a few other, more important discoveries (especially the oregano oil), six years ago when I was fighting the yeast overgrowth.

Coconut oil may be used for pretty much anything. Below 25 °C, it's a white wax-like substance. Above it, it melts and is transparent. It smells wonderfully exotic. Virgin coconut oil tends to be more expensive, like $15 per liter – but recently, the olive oil tends to be almost equally expensive so it's not too big a change. Refined coconut oil is stripped of some of the flavors which makes it dull, it costs below $10 per liter, and it's (even) better for cooking things because its smoking point (smoke is when dangerous substances are made by high temperatures) is higher.

Coconut oil has at least 77 applications. It may replace butter, other oils on your pan, sunscreen (the protective factor of the coconut oil is about 5 so don't expect some strong protection). It's great for the lubrication of your dry skin, hair, and even the lubrication of bikes, as I tried. It never gets sticky. Coconut oil is being research as the futuristic replacement for toothpastes, too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Team Stanford launches Operation Barbarossa against quintessence

The disagreement between Team Stanford – which defends its paradigm with a large landscape of de Sitter solutions of string theory – and Team Vafa – which suggests that de Sitter spaces could be banned due to general stringy "swampland" principles (and which proposes quintessence as an alternative) – has been seemingly confined to short enough exchanges in the questions-and-answers periods of various talks.

The arguments couldn't have been properly analyzed and compared in such a limited context. In science, it is better to write them down. You may look at these arguments and equations for hours – and so can your antagonists – which usually increases the quality of the analyses. Team Stanford clearly believes that the de Sitter vacua are here to stay, the criticisms are wrong, and quintessence has fatal problems. But can they back these opinions by convincing arguments?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Theoretical physics remains a job for brains, not computers

I think that the quality of the content of the Quanta Magazine, a publication funded by a guru of mathematical physics and financier Jim Simons, seems to be dropping. Their latest text claiming to be about theoretical physics is titled

The End of Theoretical Physics As We Know It.
OK, once I saw the title and "James O’Brien for Quanta Magazine" near the top of the article, I was thinking: James, I've never heard of your name, but you seem to be a new clone of crackpot John Horgan who became notorious after he released his ludricrous book "End of Science" in 1996. No, dear readers, science hasn't ended and theoretical physics hasn't ended, either. They will only end when the human civilization does.

To make the story short, I had to read the whole article before I was shown the actual author... Sabine Hossenfelder. James O'Brien just drew a childish picture that has nothing to do with any sufficiently well-defined concepts of science. OK, Sabine Hossenfelder is the actual author and that explains a lot.

Sunday, August 26, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

John McCain and lionization of the military in the U.S.

Senator John McCain finally died of the same aggressive form of brain cancer that has killed string theorist Joe Polchinski – farewell, Mr McCain – and it's a natural moment to mention the psychological status of the troops in the U.S. Well, they're generally worshiped by the Americans, especially by the patriotic Republicans.

There is a core in this sentiment that I have always obviously considered right. Patriotism is a good thing, good and great countries need to defend themselves, and the army is one of the most important things that are paid from the tax revenue.

On the other hand, I could never identify with the extent and implications that these Americans draw from their "support for the troops".

Friday, August 24, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Can Trump prevent South Africa from becoming another Zimbabwe?

For 366 years, South Africa was one of the wealthiest nations of the black continent. This fact has obviously something to do with the Dutch colonists and their "Afrikaan" descendants.

I often say that the Islamization of Western European countries may become irreversible once the percentage of Muslims exceeds 30% or so. However, South Africa was a clear counterexample to this inevitability. It has been a country that has preserved its European system despite the fact that the whites only represented about 10% of the population.

But you know, this resilience was tied to a different attitude of the white minority – a much more assertive one. And lots of people didn't like it. When I was a kid, the communist propaganda taught us lots of things about the "apartheid". It was supposed to be evil and the U.S. was "tainted" by being an ally of this evil "apartheid" state. Nelson Mandela, who was arrested in the 1980s, was supposed to be a hero of a sort. That wasn't shocking – Mandela was a member of a communist party.

Thursday, August 23, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The 12th season of the Big Bang Theory will be the last one

Eclectikus has informed me that upcoming the 12th season of The Big Bang Theory will be the last one. See Google News.

The main force that said "enough was enough" was unsurprisingly Sheldon Cooper – more precisely Jim Parsons which is the nickname that Sheldon uses outside TV sets. ;-) He announced he was "ready to leave".

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Julian Schwinger's quantum toys

...which Schwinger never used in the class, as Erwin noticed...

Willie Soon sent me a link to a cute 3-weeks-old article,

For Some Reason, These Quantum Mechanics Toys Didn’t Catch On (IEEE.org)
Allison Marsh described metallic objects that are probably the only objects in the world's museums related to quantum mechanics!



It's a collection of 21 aluminum cubes – some of them have a 1-inch side (boxes to teach quantum mechanics to newborns), others have a 4-inch side (those are for the kindergartens) – which are labeled by symbols such as \(\sigma_x\) and other operators on a two-dimensional Hilbert space.

With a time machine, Julian Schwinger could have used these toys while teaching the course 251a Quantum Mechanics at Harvard because someone created them for him after he stopped teaching the course. I just checked my mailbox – I wasn't ever teaching this particular course (Hau and Halperin did it when I was there) but I taught a similar undergraduate course 143b and if these cubes were easy to access, I would have used them.

Monday, August 20, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Invasion of Czechoslovakia: 50 years

During the night between August 20th and August 21st, 1968, i.e. exactly 50 years ago, Czechoslovakia was invaded by the troops of 5 Warsaw Pact countries led by the Soviet Union (the current president Zeman has provoked many by pointing out that the Ukrainians were heavily overrepresented in this "Soviet" portion of the occupying forces). In the maneuver technically named Operation Danube, Soviets were accompanied by Poles, East Germans, Hungarians, and Bulgarians. Yugoslavia and Albania had already been separated from the Soviet bloc for years. Romania wasn't but its leader Ceausescu boldly refused to participate at that time.



Alexander Dubček, a softcore Slovak communist who led the Czechoslovak Communist Party during the Prague Spring, the first communist in the Christian Heaven, as an article put it. Around 2000, a U.S. taxi driver has taught me that his death in 1992 was engineered by the "multinationals". ;-) Over the years, I drifted to thinking that this amusing chap was less nutty than originally thought.

The year of socialism with a human face, democratization, liberalization, and solid steps towards democracy and capitalism – the so-called Prague Spring (when pro-reform softcore communists were formally in power but truly non-communist folks had already a huge and growing influence over the public discourse) – was abruptly ended by 500,000 troops who were brainwashed to believe that they were going to stop a violent counterrevolution. Czechoslovakia used to have a really nontrivial, large, advanced army so it could have inflicted huge losses to the enemies. But at the end, no one doubted that any defense would be suicidal. We didn't defend ourselves in 1938 and 1939, so almost everyone agreed that there should be no organized violent defense in 1968, either. Although the radio stations were truly patriotic, they kept on repeating "Don't try to physically resist the enemies". That pragmatic approach is a part of the modern Czech national character. This apparent lack of courage – or the victory of pragmatism over pride and emotions – is sometimes embarrassing but I would still say that the overall sign of it is positive. It's one of the reasons why people may still admire the historical heritage of Prague, among other things.

It was five years before I was born. I was partly born due to the pro-natality policies of the post-occupation president Gustáv Husák – so my generation is referred to as Husák's children. Despite my flawless right-wing credentials, I can't eliminate the gratitude to these pro-Brezhnev comrades for my life, of course. ;-)

Saturday, August 18, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A healthy economy can't guarantee a fixed share of wealth

In December 2017, on the day when the Bitcoin price reached the all time high (ATH) near $20,000, we had a party organized by the Václav Klaus Institute. The hype was at the top on that day as well (the searches for the Bitcoin dropped by 90% since that month) and most "investors" bought their Bitcoins in that month – and have lost 2/3 of it so far. The cryptocurrencies were one of the topics at the party, some economists agreed with my skeptical attitude. But one "classical liberal" guy who didn't was Marek L. He disputed my assertion that the Bitcoin movement is a left-wing one, a form of collectivist communism.

He said: The wealth isn't owned by everybody, is it? Someone has the Bitcoin, someone doesn't.

So far so good. But the Bitcoin movement isn't about owning something – or owning anything. It's a movement that considers the fiat money – and other usual forms of wealth including the stocks – to be their big enemy. The whole point of the Bitcoin cult is about the alleged advantages of the Bitcoin relatively to the fiat money, about the differences between the two. I say that the movement is a left-wing one mainly because the intrinsic value of the Bitcoin is by definition zero and for the whole carnival to exist, the users need a collectivist brainwashing designed to persuade every participant that the Bitcoin price should be over $6,000 (or a similar huge number) instead. The Bitcoin comes with no assets or guarantees that would back it up but for some miraculous reasons, people are supposed to believe and repeat that the price will always be highly separated from $0. It's just like the de facto mandatory praising of the worthless comrades in communism. Everyone has to say that the emperor has nice new clothes.

Now, Vitalik Buterik is the creator of the Ethereum, the 2nd largest cryptocurrency after the Bitcoin by capitalization, and almost certainly the greatest known contributor to the cryptocurrency ideas. The Ethereum is really smarter than the Bitcoin in some nontrivial ways. And no one knows for sure who was (or were) Satoši Nakamoto or Luboshi Nakamotl or what was the name of the creator of the Bitcoin.

Friday, August 17, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

In celebration of laziness

Last Tuesday, Elon Musk was feeling desperate when he realized that the shortsellers were surely right. So he published the fateful tweet about going private. He would find $72 billion in a trash can and buy the whole Tesla for $420 a piece (now he owns 20% of the company). The stock jumped by more than 10% because a huge number of the Tesla "investors" are incapable of figuring out that such a plan was clearly nonsensical.

In the following days, Musk admitted that he hadn't "secured the funding". He was just "seeking" it. Before the Tweet, the board hadn't heard about any proposed source of the funding, either – this is arguably enough to prove that Musk has committed securities fraud because a "secured funding" would have needed an approval by the board. And he wanted to rely on current investors' "staying" in the new "private" form in some strange, unspecified way. Musk also said that Saudis, Goldman Sachs, and Silver Lake were assisting him with the buyout plan. All of them later denied it. And do you think that Trump would applaud such a big Saudi investment in the U.S.? An investment from the same country that has funded the Islamic State and bought Hillary Clinton? Also, Musk has violated the law by having blocked some Twitter users because all of them had the right to get the vital Tesla news – e.g. about the buyout – from the official source, Twitter, at the same moment.

During the recent days, a majority has figured out that what he wrote was just an immature and criminal deceitful message driven by his hatred towards the shortsellers and there's no good reason to look for any substance behind the tweet – just like there is no substance behind almost any hype we hear from Tesla.

Today, Musk needed the stock price to drop by 9% to $305 or so, exactly 20% below the post-tweet price of the last Tuesday (yes, the current price is already well below the pre-tweet value), so he gave an interview to the New York Times. The most recent year was "excruciating" and the worse one, we were told. Well, it was an average one: it was worse than the previous years but much better than the following ones.

Maddoff got 150 years for his frauds – there's no reason for Musk not to match Maddoff. The SEC is investigating both Tesla's board and Musk personally because of many cases of wrongdoing, not just the tweet. Another line of investigation revolves around Musk's misleading information given to the investors about the production of Model 3.

In the interview, Musk says that he calculated the price $420 by adding a 20% premium to the pre-tweet price and rounding the resulting $419. No weed was used at that moment, he claims.

Scientists really mustn't pick answers according to the public perception

A stringy summer workshop paid by Jim Simons is underway in Stony Brook, Long Island, New York. Cumrun Vafa – who arguably has the closest personal relationship with Simons (a rich guy and achieved mathematician) among the string theorists – is introducing (almost?) all the talks.

One of the talks was given by Thomas Van Riet. He presents some reasons to doubt the KKLT construction. Lots of his equations are very specific. I think it's clear he knows all the warping factors and terms in the potential etc. at least as well as Team Stanford. Thomas wrote a 2014 TRF guest blog about the very same issue and you may compare the talk with the text and decide how much progress has been made in almost 4 years.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Deep thinkers build conjectures upon conjectures upon 5+ more floors

Among the world's string theorists, Sheldon Cooper has given the most accurate evaluation (as far as I can say) of the critics of string theory:

While I have no respect for Leslie [Winkle, a subpar scientist designed to resemble a hybrid of Sabine Hossenfelder and Lee Smolin] as a scientist or a human being for that matter we have to concede her undeniable expertise in the interrelated fields of promiscuity and general sluttiness.
Not even Edward Witten has ever put it this crisply. Winkle has rightfully thanked Sheldon for that praise. Well, I also don't have any respect for the string theory haters as scientists or human beings, for that matter. But I am regularly reminded that the disagreement is much deeper than different opinions about some technical questions. It's a disagreement about the basic ethical and value system.

Monday, August 13, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Search for ETs is more speculative than modern theoretical physics

Edwin has pointed out a new tirade against theoretical physics,

Theoretical Physics Is Pointless without Experimental Tests,
that Abraham Loeb published at pages of Scientific American which used to be an OK journal some 20 years ago. The title itself seems plagiarized from Deutsche or Aryan Physics – which may be considered ironic for Loeb who was born in Israel. And in fact, like his German role models, Loeb indeed tries to mock Einstein as well – and blame his mistakes on the usage of thought experiments:
Einstein made great discoveries based on pure thought, but he also made mistakes. Only experiment and observation could determine which was which.

Albert Einstein is admired for pioneering the use of thought experiments as a tool for unraveling the truth about the physical reality. But we should keep in mind that he was wrong about the fundamental nature of quantum mechanics as well as the existence of gravitational waves and black holes...
Loeb has a small, unimportant plus for acknowledging that Einstein was wrong on quantum mechanics. However, as an argument against theoretical physics based on thought experiments and on the emphasis on the patient and careful mental work in general, the sentences above are at most demagogic.

The fact that Einstein was wrong about quantum mechanics, gravitational waves, or black holes don't imply anything wrong about the usage of thought experiments and other parts of modern physics. There's just no way to credibly show such an implication. Other theorists have used better thought experiments, have thought about them more carefully, and some of them have correctly figured out that quantum mechanics had to be right and gravitational waves and black holes had to exist.

The true fathers of quantum mechanics, especially Werner Heisenberg, were really using Einstein's new approach based on thought experiments, principles, and just like Einstein, they carefully tried to remove the assumptions about physics that couldn't have been operationally established (such as the absolute simultaneity killed by special relativity; and the objective existence of values of observables before an observation, killed by quantum mechanics).

Note that gravitational waves as well as black holes were detected many decades after their theoretical discovery. The theoretical discoveries almost directly followed from Einstein's equations. So Einstein's mistakes meant that he didn't trust (his) theory enough. It surely doesn't mean and cannot mean that Einstein trusted theories and theoretical methods too much. Because Loeb has made this wrong conclusion, it's quite some strong evidence in favor of a defect in Loeb's central processing unit.

Sunday, August 12, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Parker Solar Probe will touch the Sun

But won't it break?

Can you encounter redheads in Czechia? You bet. Over percent – and around two percent at some places.



Czech-German singer Debbi (Deborah Kahl) wanted to Touch the Sun – while others wanted to use the song to touch Metaxa, a fancy Greek alcoholic beverage. She was standing on shoulders of giants but it wasn't full-blown plagiarism because Erin McKeown is a redhead, too. McKeown named her song Slung-Lo but she clearly meant the gravitational slingshot.

Friday, August 10, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Quintessence is a form of dark energy

Tristan asked me what I thought about Natalie Wolchover's new Quanta Magazine article,

Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory,
exactly when I wanted to write something. Well, first, I must say that I already wrote a text about this dispute, Vafa, quintessence vs Gross, Silverstein, in late June 2018. You may want to reread the text because the comments below may be considered "just an appendix" to that older text. Since that time, I exchanged some friendly e-mails with Cumrun Vafa. I am obviously more skeptical towards their ideas than they are but I think that I have encountered some excessive certainty of some of their main critics.

Wolchover's article sketches some basic points about this rather important disagreement about cosmology among string theorists. But there are some very unfortunate details. The first unfortunate detail appears in the title. Wolchover actually says that "dark energy might be incompatible with string theory". That's the statement she seems to attribute to Cumrun Vafa and co-authors.

Thursday, August 09, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Most references to long-term thinking are just Marxist delusions

These days, we've heard the phrase "long-term thinking" from Elon Musk and his fans. But I am running – and many of you must be running – to various arguments where the opponents refer to the "long-term thinking" and "long-term visions" very often.

Just to be sure: I am not saying that there is a universal law or a logical argument that would imply that "long-term thinking" must always be an excuse for Marxist delusions. I am not even saying that I am avoiding references to "long-term thinking", "long-term perspective", "long-term visions", and so on. Each of us, including your humble correspondent, often has to distinguish the perspectives associated with short and long timescales.

But yes, I am saying that in more than 90% of the real-world situations in which "long-term thinking" is used as an argument or a slogan meant to settle a controversial issue, the users of that phrase are Marxists or very analogously deluded leftists who just don't have a clue how the world works (or who pretend not to have a clue) or people who suffer from a totalitarian megalomania or more ordinary people who simply want to justify their laziness.