Saturday, January 20, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Bitcoin and global warming: a key similarity between two religions

Lots of essays have been written about global warming's being a religion. Many fewer texts have been written about the Bitcoin's religious character. And almost no texts, if any, have been written about the similarity between these two social phenomena.

To summarize, I will primarily argue that

in both cases, a very small scientific observation or a modest technological invention without any visible practical consequences is blown out of proportion and painted as something that will decide about the future of the mankind by attaching and dogmatizing lots of memes and misconceptions that have no scientific or technological justification at all and most of which are just self-evidently dumb.
Let's start with the climate change religion. The atmosphere is a complicated physical system where thousands of processes take place and influence each other. Even all the known influences may require thousands of pages of textbooks to be clarified – these thousands of pages aren't among the most important ones in the list of millions of pages that are needed to capture the mankind's knowledge about the world – and almost all the people are bored with this stuff.

One of these thousands of processes is the greenhouse effect, an emergent effect that allows the equilibrium temperature of a system to be increased in the presence of gases that absorb the outgoing thermal (infrared) radiation. OK, in particular, these ideas may also be applied to carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere and they imply that the doubling of the CO2 concentration – which takes a century to be reached at current industrial rates – implies the increase of the temperature by some one Celsius degree or so.

Friday, January 19, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Which stringy paper inspired Sheldon last night?

One week ago, Sheldon Cooper returned to string theory.

Even Edward Measure knew that dark matter was a bad fit.

Czech lawmakers hand out the prime minister to police

111 out of 180 lawmakers in the room agree with the prosecution

The Czech Parliament has repeated the four-months-old performance when it was deciding whether the Slovak-born billionaire prime minister Babiš (ANO) and his main aide and boss of ANO's lawmakers Mr Faltýnek would be stripped of their immunity. Both men have regained the immunity when their movement won the October elections with 30% of the votes and the prosecution of these two men had to stop and a new permission from the Parliament was needed.

Faltýnek defended himself calmly although he has used several expletives – while rationally mentioning that he simply has to use them. The investigation is a "pile of liquid šit". On the other hand, Babiš himself was rather hysterical. He was repeating his tirades about 30 times. The Mafia is trying to destroy him, he's innocent, you can visit the Stork Nest and see children who visit the place which proves that he hasn't stolen anything, blah blah blah.

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

Multiverse and falsifiability: W*it vs Carroll

Sean Carroll has released an essay elaborating upon his talk at Why Trust a Theory, a late 2015 meeting organized by TRF guest blogger Richard Dawid:

Beyond Falsifiability: Normal Science in a Multiverse (arXiv, Jan 2018)
On his self-serving blog, Carroll promoted his own preprint.

Well, once I streamline them, his claims are straightforward. Even though we can't see outside the cosmic horizon – beyond the observable Universe – all the grand physical or cosmological theories still unavoidably have something to say about those invisible realms. These statements are scientifically interesting and they're believed to be more correct if the corresponding theories make correct predictions, are simpler or prettier explanations of the existing facts, and so on.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Bitcoin fans or foes: who are the statists?

The Bitcoin price went down some 20-30 percent yesterday – from $14,000 two days ago (and the December 18th [all-time?] peak close to $20,000) down to $10,000, and then back to $11,000 or so now, with lots of constant swings. The main reasons of the drop are

  1. random mood swings, as always, which are amplified because most of the "traders" are momentum traders
  2. China's new desire to ban cryptocurrency trading including some "clever" methods outside the big Chinese public servers
  3. Korea's repetition of the claim that a complete ban is still possible
  4. U.S. plans to regulate the cryptocurrencies
  5. the first expiration of the Bitcoin futures today
The negative impact of the planned crackdown across the world is obvious, and so is the omnipresence of the volatility that wants to amplify itself rather than tame itself. But I need to say a few words about the last point.

Bitcoin "traders" are clearly doing their best to fit the elephant in the room – the semi-satirical textbook graph of the history of a bubble (which has been around for years!).

It seems that almost all those who listened to the advise by TRF and shorted the Bitcoins when CBOE offered the first professional Bitcoin futures trading on December 11th will make nice profits today. These Bitcoin bears or skeptics will be paid cash by the Bitcoin bulls. The number of settled cash positions may be comparable to 100,000 by now so it's no longer negligible relatively to the 16.8 million Bitcoins that exist, or tens of thousands that are traded on Gdax every day etc.

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

Superfluid dark matter, an example of excessive hype

Presenting such papers as revolutions in physics is a full-blown scam

The most recent text on Backreaction is titled Superfluid dark matter gets seriously into business. At this moment, this popular text celebrates a November 2017 preprint by Justin Khoury and two co-authors which added some technicalities to Khoury's program that's been around for some three years.

Justin Khoury is a cosmologist who is well-known for his work on colliding branes cosmologies, chameleon fields, and a few other topics. You should also search Google Scholar for Justin Khoury superfluid. You will find several papers – the most famous of which has 62 citations at this moment. That's fine but much fewer than Khoury's most famous papers that are safely above 1,000 citations. The "revolutionary" November 2017 paper on the "superfluid dark matter" only has one self-citation so far.

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

Korean backlash to planned Bitcoin trading ban shows that crypto could get out of control

A recent event from the life of the Bitcoin cult looks like a punchline from a comedy. A Bitcoin conference in Miami – a gathering of the people who propose a new financial system to the world – had to cancel payments for the conference in the Bitcoin because the fees are too high and the network suffers of congestion. You can't make it up!

Meanwhile,, a major Bitcoin exchange located in San Francisco, started a "two-hour-long" upgrade on Wednesday. Almost three days later, the website is still down and the circumstantial evidence makes it increasingly clear that they have screwed something a big time – or have stolen all the funds. Two hours ago, they were really promising an imminent relaunch again – we will see. Or not. (At 12:25 after the lunch, Prague Winter Time, a seemingly operational page with a completely screwed basic design appeared – "styles" don't load.)

There have to be lots of cryptocoins there that the owners believe to be worth billions of dollars. But almost no one is protesting or talking about it because in the Bitcoin-based financial world, this kind of a "delay or cancellation" is the business-as-usual. On top of that, all the Bitcoin cultists have to be silent about the bad news because they're frantically terrified by the fact that to say the truth means to make the value of their "assets" collapse. It's a scheme that turns the members into chronic liars.

French female VIPs denounce "MeToo" puritanism

The backlash shows the incompatibility of feminism and the Western society

French film star Catherine Deneveu (74, net worth $185 million, 12th wealthiest actress in the world) and 99 other famous French women have written a manifesto (full translation) denouncing the puritan witch hunts (not only) in the U.S.

Gallantry or clumsy flirtation isn't rape or an attack of machismo, they emphasize, and the war against these innocent acts has established a totalitarian atmosphere, has already hurt the movie industry and the society as a whole, and resembles the witch hunts.

Lots of wise women have praised the letter. For example, honorary woman Silvio Berlusconi has called those comments "blessed words". On the other hand, some feminazis have reacted, too. Deneuve has been turned into a "serial defender of pedophiles and predators" etc.

Previously, Deneuve has pointed out that a woman may be a boss of a team and minutes later, she may turn into a sexual object – and still avoid becoming a slut. These days, women who dare to express such good old common sense – and live lives in agreement with this common sense – must be considered heroes. So dear Mrs Deneuve, you are both a hero and a heroine (not to mention a ballsy woman).

Friday, January 12, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Only string theory excites Sheldon, after all

In Demons, Sunday School and Prime Numbers (S01E11), Young Sheldon's mother finds out he plays a demonic game, Dungeons and Dragons, and he is fooled into attending the Sunday School. He reads and learns the Bible and other religions and ultimately establishes his own, math-based religion that teaches that prime numbers make you feel good. He has one (stupid kid) follower. I was actually teaching similar religions at that age.

Meanwhile, in the S11E13 episode of The Big Bang Theory, The Solo Oscillation, Howard is almost replaced by geologist Bert in the rock band (also featuring Rajesh). The folks discuss various projects and it turns out that Sheldon has nothing serious to work on. Recall that almost 4 years ago, Sheldon Cooper left string theory. But you can't really leave string theory.

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

David Gross attacks India for nationalist hatred, too

His "scientific" arguments to establish a political thesis are "skewed"

One month ago, I discussed David Gross' message of love and peace: in his crusade against hatred, he was dreaming about the early death of Donald Trump and his ilk such as his tens of millions of voters. Like Nathan Seiberg, David Gross is visiting India and The Telegraph India wrote something about his political views:

Hatred on the rise in India: laureate
Ignorance behind fanatical nationalism, says physicist
He repeated that it's important to fight against hatred – and that's why he hates ;-) Donald Trump – but it's a mistake to blame 100% of the evil in the multiverse on Donald Trump. It's somewhat less than 100% – the whole world fails to conform to Gross' far left criteria. One nation that currently sucks is India, which he is visiting, the Indian journalists were kindly told.

According to Gross, all the Indians should be identical to each other and they should also be identical to Mahatma Gandhi and cry when someone gives them a bucket of water – because the river may die of thirst.

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

An Indian interview with Nathan Seiberg

While the U.S.-based Quanta Magazine dedicated its pages to a crackpot's diatribe about a fictitious research on a non-existent alternative theory of quantum gravity (another crackpot, Pentcho Valev, contributed the only comment so far), the media in India still keep some quality and attractiveness for intelligent readers.

The Wire India has interviewed Princeton's string theorist Nati Seiberg who is just visiting India:

Interview: ‘There’s No Conflict Between Lack of Evidence of String Theory and Work Being Done on It’
They cover lots of questions and the interview is rather interesting.

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

German censorship: social networks delete almost everything now

Humor, satire, and rational analyses are the first victims of the anti-hate-speech law

A cruel non-democratic regime was defeated by the Allies in 1945 and West Germany has enjoyed more than half a century of freedom. In 1990, the post-Soviet East Germany joined that free world, too. That epoch is officially over – Germany has entered a new stage of absolute non-freedom, a new reincarnation of fascism. But Germans probably can't point even this basic fact out because literally everything is banned in Germany now.

Germans have been burning politically incorrect texts for quite some time.

From January 1st, they are enforcing the so-called "NetzDG", a law that says that everything you write on the Internet is forbidden and considered "hate speech". According to the law, the Internet content company with over 2 million users (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube) that forgets to delete something within 24 hours pays up to $50 million fines. To save the money, they delete everything. The content that has to be removed includes all of humor and satire.

So for example, Twitter had to sink the Titanic, the account of a humorist magazine which was told that humor was considered hate speech. The boss of the Titanic was informed that we're sinking so he asked: And what are you thinking about? ;-)

Saturday, January 06, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

China will kindly ask crypto-miners to smoothly evaporate

Czech mining pool somewhat likely to regain the global dominance

Half a century ago, on January 5th, 1968 Slovak-born Alexander Dubček was elected the new boss of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and "socialism with a human face" (Luke's hyperlink) officially began in our homeland. (It abruptly ended on August 21st with the help of fraternal tanks.)

Right now, the Chinese Communist Party is practicing its own "socialism with a human face". The comrades don't like the cryptocurrencies too much. They have disabled the China-based exchanges and banned the ICOs but China is still leading the "mining business". For a few months, the Chinese ban on the mining was discussed as a possibility.

Bloomberg reported that the Chinese government decided to pursue a compromise (see other outlets). It wants to suppress the Chinese miners while keeping a human face. The local governments will be asked to apply microaggressions and use environmental, electricity-based, and other regulatory harassment to persuade the miners to evaporate "in an orderly manner". ;-)

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

Czech oligarch PM is making fun of EU's OLAF investigators

The new Czech prime minister, former Slovak communist snitch and current Czech oligarch Mr Andrej Babiš, is performing his first foreign trip as a prime minister which – in agreement with the traditions – goes to the capital of our Slovak brothers, Bratislava, where this particular Czech PM was born.

The Slovak PM Fico told Babiš "Welcome home". Too bad, Fico hasn't found a stable mansion in Slovakia for Babiš yet so Czechia won't repay the loan (of Babiš) in a foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, in his second, Czech homeland, he's being discussed especially in connection with the European Union's report on his Stork Nest subsidy fraud.

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

Psychological prose of doppelgängers

Prove that your English is better than that of your humble correspondent enhanced by online dictionaries and search engines ;-)

I have actually translated a dozen of similar abstracts for research papers dealing with literary science, didactic science, and psychology from Czech to English. Many of you are not only native speakers but you are educated, smart, and articulate. The speedy help in the refinements of the text below – assuming that my sketch is comprehensible – would be appreciated.

This blog post may be suspended later, after I thank you. You may contribute to a glass of wine that I will win. ;-)

Wednesday, January 03, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The return of Shah to Persia would be fun

Protests are taking place in Iran these days. They apparently started because of extremely down-to-Earth reasons: the price of food products, especially eggs, suddenly jumped.

Well, dear Persians (who need some clever software to get to TRF), let me tell you that even in prosperous Europe, we saw a dramatic increase of egg prices since the summer or so. The main reason was the discovery of fipronil (an insecticide) in the eggs of Benelux. Some poultry probably had to be killed but it's pretty obvious that the fear that much more would have to be eradicated was the main reason why the egg prices went up and the producers enjoyed the higher prices which simply translated to higher profits. (In Iran, the egg price jump had similar reasons – just bird flu instead of fipronil.)

(On the other hand, butter prices went up in much of Europe, America, and Australia, but for other reasons. People started to love proper fats again, replaced margarine by true butter, bought much more cream, and the elimination of some cows in previous years due to overproduction was clearly overdone.)

Physical law should have mathematical beauty

I am sure that many of you have heard the quote by Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac that is reproduced in the title:

What does the photograph show? Well, it shows a sentence written by Dirac himself.

In 1956, he bought an air ticket to Moscow. The main purpose of his trip was to write the important sentence on a blackboard – well, it was the blackboard of Russian physicist Dmitry Ivanenko (1904-1994). On October 3rd, 1956, Dirac finally wrote this important sentence. Ivanenko and his comrades appreciated the importance of the sentence so you can still see the quote on that blackboard. If a janitor mistakenly erased it, Vladimir Putin would rightfully send the janitor to a Gulag. ;-)

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

Maria Theresa: a miniseries

Last night, after an exhausting social day, I had an insightful and amusing chat with an extraordinary physicist and man. I won't tell you who he was but some of the discussions were about the relationship between the amplituhedron and postulates of quantum mechanics. ;-) Among other consequences, I had to delay watching Maria Theresa, an ambitious 2-episode miniseries about our glorious empress.

A trailer

I just watched the first episode which was originally aired last night and I found it very entertaining and impressive. The film was created in the coproduction of all four major successor states of Austria-Hungary – of Czechia, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia. (The empire may also be called Czechoaustrohungaroslovakia. Apologies to Slovenes and others that they weren't include. If you care, all the Austrian-Hungarian film people were communicating in English – which has apparently replaced German as the main lingua franca of the Austrian Empire LOL.)

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

Scott Aaronson and Heterodox Academy

Heterodox Academy (HA) is an organization of scholars – led by evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker, psychologist of morality Jonathan Haidt, including string phenomenologist Joseph Conlon and 1,000 other members – attempting to increase the diversity of opinions and intellectual tolerance in the Western Academia. They realize that since the 1990s, the U.S. and U.K. Academia have brutally moved to the left, relatively to the whole society, as the Baby Boomers replaced the Greatest Generation.

HA acknowledges the problems that this increasing pressure for all scholars to conform causes to the basic purpose of the scholarly environment and the freedom of thought it depends upon. HA wants the people to talk to each other, listen to each other, and things will be fixed.

Note that I admire Steven Pinker – not only because of his work criticizing the tabula rasa paradigm (the naive claim that individual people don't have any special innate psychological characteristics; "blank slate" in Pinker's "plain English" synonym – almost everyone in Czechia speaks Latin so we generally prefer "tabula rasa", I think) and because he was on the right side during the Feminist Summers Wars and in similar situations.

New Year's Eve fireworks and spacetime continuity at the event horizon

Happy New Year! Note that 2018 factorizes as 2*1009, the latter is a prime.

Most of you have probably seen and heard some fireworks. In my hometown, most of the havoc looked privatized. The explosions were a Poisson process with the rate around 10 per second – well, assuming an IR distance cutoff so that I could hear them. Millions of crowns had to be spent on these pyrotechnical toys, providing us with some extra evidence of the prosperity right now.