## Friday, March 23, 2018 ... /////

### GDPR: the latest example of EU's tyrannical idiocracy

The GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is a new system of bans, restrictions, duties, and fines that will come to force on May 25th, 2018 and whose claimed goal is to protect the personal data of the European citizens, especially against the abuse by large and non-European companies. It should replace a data protection regulation from 1995.

In reality, it's another regulation penned by nasty folks whose skulls are full of šit but who believe that they should govern whole continents, anyway. Fines may be up to €20 million or 4% of the global turnover of the company. While it's easy to see that the fines are almost infinite, it's basically impossible to find out what these aßholes want from the companies. I have spent some hours trying to understand the logic and requirements of the regulation. What does it really want the companies to do in any of the mundane situations that deals with the personal data of the Europeans?

## Thursday, March 22, 2018 ... /////

### Humans can't locate discrete patterns in random analog pictures

I am getting a nontrivial amount of mail from "alternative thinkers" who believe that they have discovered something groundbreaking. Much of it is repetitive but a few days ago, I was dealing with something new.

An artist of a sort who doesn't have any mathematical or science education has claimed to have found some "pattern in everything" which isn't quite normal science but it isn't pseudoscience, either.

Imagine that 30 random white lines are added to the picture above and it's animated. I don't want to embed his picture with the lines because I think he's insane enough to sue me for copyright violations. ;-)

To make the story short, he would add dozens of straight lines to any picture – women, smokes from cigarettes, clouds, ocean waves, dozens of other things from the real life, as well as the random colorful cloudy picture of mine that I sent him.

## Wednesday, March 21, 2018 ... /////

### An alcoholic story of Hugh Everett's fantasies

Adam Becker, a guy who wrote "What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics" which was released yesterday, posted a blog post about Hugh Everett at Scientific American today:

The Difficult Birth of the "Many Worlds" Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
I think that the people who worship this irrational set of ideas must have some pre-existing perverse personality, especially because the person they worship isn't the kind of a person that a decent person would normally admire.

In Fall 1955, Danish physicist Aage Petersen came to Princeton and debated two local grad students, Charles Misner and Hugh Everett.

At that moment, Hugh Everett was energized by ethanol. This compound could have caused Hugh Everett to see many worlds instead of one. (Everyone sees the Czech towers above twice because there's some mirror or glass on the wall.) Aage Petersen said some wrong things to provoke the other guys. In particular, he said that quantum mechanics didn't apply to macroscopic objects. Drunk Everett got upset and he decided to debunk this heresy in the most straightforward way. And because he saw multiple worlds at that moment, he chose many worlds to be the method to debunk Petersen's claim.

## Tuesday, March 20, 2018 ... /////

### Conference on alternative math did spark a war, after all

On Valentine's Day, I attended the conference on the alternative methods to teach mathematics. I was honored to stand on the same side as some top authorities of the Czech mathematics "establishment" who gradually realized what's going on.

Mr Milan Hejný's method is arguably the key "brand" in Czechia that is worshiped by those who want to reform the education of mathematics along the SJW lines, as in this 9-minute-long satirical video where a good old-fashioned teacher existentially suffers after she dares to tell her pupil that 2+2 isn't equal to 22. (The video ludicrously paints the old-fashioned teacher as a liberal and her critics as conservatives but I think that everyone who knows something about the real world knows that the reality is basically upside down.)

Advocates of Hejný's method seem to be universally brain-dead, they contributed nothing interesting to the conference, and there couldn't have been any meaningful conversation between the "two camps" over there. However, the conference exceeded my (and other people's) expectations, anyway. The number of ideas and observations from "our camp" was rich and diverse, I learned a lot, and I also hope that the people on our side have understood some things, too.

That was really what I have been secretly hoping for – not some unrealistic enlightenment of the SJWs – and I think that we came closer to that goal than expected.

### Cambridge Analytica and pals should be banned

I have serious worries that my homeland was the most affected one

Physicsnut has posted the fresh British Channel 4 video which is a result of investigative journalism par excellence, I believe. As far as I can say, the "doubly scholarly" named organization was shown to be a bunch of criminals who should be arrested for a very long time.

Steve Bannon has been among the key founders and whether they have violated the law in the U.S. is a matter of accusations now – 50 million people's Facebook data could have been abused. But Channel 4 has sent a fake "client" to Cambridge Analytica and they recorded the offer. What the "client" was offered included fake discrediting materials against the political foes, using pretty Ukrainian prostitutes hired for that special purpose; basically fake videos proving corruption because Cambridge Analytica's representative makes an offer that almost no one can refuse (I would refuse any offer!); and many other things.

Some of these tactics surely are illegal in many countries right now.

## Sunday, March 18, 2018 ... /////

### When people promote the one-party system and bully the opposition

On Saturday morning, I was randomly directed to a Facebook post about the need to support Babiš's ANO that was written by an FB contact of mine. It has severely increased my blood pressure and because that state of affairs lasted for another hour, I clicked at "unfollow" which returned the pressure close to the normal. ;-)

I knew that the man had some tendencies to root for Babiš (and he has met him and talked to him) but what I saw just exceeded my expectations because the post looked just like the demagogic attacks by Babiš against all of his political opponents (and against the system itself) that is apparently enough for the bottom 1.5 million of our nation. After some opposition to the anti-communist rallies 2 weeks ago that I attended (they were sparked by the appointment of a former communist street cop with a baton – who was beating anti-communist demonstrators in 1989 – as the Parliament's supervisor of GIBS, the police for policemen), we could read:

Everyone [probably in the writer's Prague environment] is saying bad things about ANO [the movement of the billionaire Babiš, the acting prime minister] but what are the real alternatives? Who is bringing a meaningful vision? The communist party that should have been banned years ago? SPD led by the Führer of the Asian appearance? ODS with Klaus Jr who would prefer his country outside the EU and is the expert in demagogy of the most brutal kind? TOP09 and STAN which will be out of the Parliament after next elections? KDU that is making so frequent U-turns that it could have a fidget spinner in its logo? Or social democrats which consider self-employed people parasites and have grandiose plans to increase the taxes? In fact, only the technocratic Pirates are left but should they have the power to lead the whole country?
And the text continues by saying that only Babiš must be supported to guarantee the rosy future with lots of investments and other great things, Babiš cannot possibly go away because of game theory, and stuff like that.

## Saturday, March 17, 2018 ... /////

### A new book on Czech climate skeptics

Lisa, Hawking, and TIME: Lisa Randall wrote an obituary in the Time magazine. Hawking managed to have fun in sex, black holes, space travel, and he has even saved a seat for Lisa Randall. The main thing she worries about is that because of Hawking's heritage, people will think that to be a great physicist, you need to be handicapped and you can't be e.g. a hot babe from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Did I understand it well, Lisa? ;-)
In 2011, I went to a café with Petr Vidomus who described himself as a humanities student at the Charles University who was working on a project "How the Czech climate skeptics bring the global Armageddon closer". At least that's how I understood it – despite his intense efforts to preserve a "neutral image". In 2014, we had some additional online exchanges.

Because of a new Facebook post by Alexander Ač, an occasional TRF commenter who has only gotten into the book through a comment by your humble correspondent, I have learned about a newly published book.

## Friday, March 16, 2018 ... /////

### Bitcoin dominance is an irrational faith

...or a mostly dishonest marketing slogan...

Peter Thiel has bought the Bitcoin for some $20 million which is really just some one percent of his assets (and/or his fund's assets) so this amount may be considered a silly, homeopathic part of his image. But according to CNBC, he is neutral to skeptical about all other cryptocurrencies. For the Bitcoin, there's a 50-80 percent chance that it will be worthless (which is a reasonable estimate of the probability, up to a factor between 2 and 1.25) and a 20-50 percent chance that it will be moving higher, whatever that statement exactly means. He is a Bitcoin bull despite the fact that the Bitcoin is "cumbersome for payments". But it will be the "Internet equivalent of gold". It must be the gold because it's the largest one. And that's why everyone will always be attracted to it. Thiel isn't the only rich supporter of the Bitcoin who says such things. They're slogans that aren't repeated just by the most stupid Bitcoin cultists but also by numerous smart folks like Thiel. I think that he's being nutty. ## Thursday, March 15, 2018 ... ///// ### Jester's unconstructive recommended HEP reforms Yesterday, Adam Falkowski published his first blog post since September 2016, Where were we?. He starts by saying that particle physics is in crisis – which is no longer a prohibited word – because the LHC hasn't found any physics beyond the Standard Model. He mentions texts by Hossenfelder, Giudice, and the Economist to prove that the "crisis" is being used. But there have always been people who preached about crises. More than two decades ago, in 1996, John Horgan published his "End of Science" diatribe. Ten years later, Šmoits introduced their own crisis hype. Adam, if you think that you're still substantially different from these three imbeciles, you might be wrong. According to Falkowski, the continuation of particle physics as we knew it would be like the prolonged existence of the Soviet Union. Wow. Another troubling aspect of these assertions is that Falkowski continues to write business-as-usual papers on particle physics. Adam, maybe it's normal in your environment to do things that you consider worthless and be paid for them. But I think that you're showing the absence of academic integrity by doing so and I will always emphasize that this behavior is immoral. ## Wednesday, March 14, 2018 ... ///// ### British witch hunt against Russia is immature, unfair, myopic, and dangerous A week ago, a former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal (the name looks like the rare Czech surname "Skřípal" which means "he was squeaking") was found poisoned, along with his daughter, in Salisbury, UK where he moved in 2010 after a swap of agents. (The U.K. had insisted they had to get him.) They remain in critical condition. His sons and/or other relatives have already died years ago in suspicious circumstances. Britain's PM is surely preparing her marine Davids to attack the Russian Goliath, too. British PM Theresa May has "determined" that it must have been the Russian state that is "culpable" over the poisoning of the agent with the nerve agent, novičok (=novice), which was found there (she claims and we doubt), or Russia has lost the control over this "most effective" nerve gas that has ever been used which is a scandal, too. So Russia was given an ultimatum – which Russia intentionally ignored – and the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, freezing of Russian assets in the U.K., planned ban of Russia Today in the U.K., ban for the royal family that may have wanted to visit a sports event in Russia (World Cup 2018), and other things are already underway. Russia reacts by saying that the British steps are unprecedented provocations and there will be some revenge if those steps are adopted. For example, the answer the RT ban would be the ban on all British journalists in Russia. Wow. ### Stephen Hawking: 1942-2018 The world's most famous scientist of the current era was born on January 8th, 1942, exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo Galilei, and – sadly – he died today after the midnight, on March 14th (Pi Day), 2018, exactly 139 years after the birth of Albert Einstein. He could clearly choose the dates well. Well, I can actually imagine that he was planning the date of his death. The Guardian's Ian Sample must have prepared the obituary before the announcement from Hawking's kids (see also Google News). At any rate, it contains lots of things about Hawking's life and Hawking's science, indeed. ## Tuesday, March 13, 2018 ... ///// ### What erases and can restore the interference patterns LHC anomaly: look at this fresh paper on Higgs decays, page 26 (28 of 35), top. The graph shows $\sigma_{VH}/\sigma_{SM}$ to be $12.88\pm 5$ instead of the expected $1$. A dramatic difference but it still translates to a 2.5-sigma deviation. Under the latest discussion about the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment, the basic questions kept on coming. Can you replace the beam splitters by humans who press switches? Will the interference pattern reappear? Does the consciousness of these humans matter? And so on. OK, let me discuss the experiment and its pieces again. On the picture above, you see the laser beam on the left upper side. The parent photon enters a double slit – there are two slits, the red slit (in San Francisco) and the light blue slit (in Los Angeles). If that parent photon just continued, it could contribute to an interference pattern on a photographic plate. Here I assume that you know the basic double slit experiment. However, we want to make the experiment more complicated and combine it with an entanglement experiment. So the parent photon actually undergoes a process with a complicated name in the BBO crystal. That splits the parent photon to two photons of lower energy. That splitting is applied to every parent photon. The upper daughter continues through some (yellow) lens towards the detector D0 where the coordinate $x$ is measured – just like in the simple double slit experiment. Some values of $x$ should be more likely (interference maxima), others should be very unlikely or prohibited (interference minima). ### An incredible racist restaurant in New Orleans I received a link to this article in The Washington Times (right-wing) Restaurant charged white customers more to combat ‘racial wealth disparity’. A Nigerian man in New Orleans has invented a new scam that actually isn't using e-mail. He created a restaurant where white consumers have to pay extra$18 because they are white. Well, this "tax for being white" is optional but if you are white and you don't pay, the owner isn't treating you equally cordially or professionally which is why 78% of the whites do pay this "tax".

His justification for this scam was that whites are wealthier so they must pay more. Well, that's not the case. Not so dear guest from Africa, you have clearly misunderstood the concept of money. When someone is wealthier, it means that he can buy more, not that he pays more for the same thing. ;-)

## Sunday, March 11, 2018 ... /////

### Users of the Bitcoin are sponsors of organized crime

Forbes has published musings by Jason Bloomberg,

We Need To Shut Bitcoin And All Other Cryptocurrencies Down. Here's Why.
He's the president of a company of tech analysts. Bloomberg is expected to publish a corresponding article by Jason Forbes. ;-) Well, here's a nice anti-Bitcoin story at Bloomberg by Paul Ford (from Friday).

Bloomberg (that one at Forbes) argues that the cryptocurrencies with the public blockchain – Ripple is the only possible counterexample of a semi-permissioned blockchain – should be banned for one reason he focused on: every user funds anonymous criminals. In particular, he's concerned with the criminals who run illicit cryptomining on computers that they attack.

Needless to say, the Bitcoin cultists have overwhelmed him with kilotons of nasty personal attacks containing zero worth of ideas (well, perhaps this text has an infinitesimal amount instead of zero).

## Friday, March 09, 2018 ... /////

### Aspects of Lawrence Krauss' alleged sex attacks

In his newest blog post, On Lawrence Krauss, BuzzFeed, And #MeToo, Tommaso Dorigo cited me twice and he probably expects me to cite him, too. ;-) So as you can see, I cited him. But I did not cite him back because it's wrong to mutually cite each other.

He discusses the women's complaints that they've been sexually attacked – or led to uncomfortable situations – by famous men, especially cosmologist Lawrence Krauss. To introduce himself, Tommaso brags that he once analyzed the clothes and underwear of a hot babe named Lisa Randall. You must have read these tedious analyses many times because the Washington Post and all the mainstream media have been repeating Dorigo's views on Randall's underwear for years. In the new blog post, Dorigo prefers the freedom of speech over excessively strong regulations on the sexual misconduct; and he wants you not to see things as black and white. I surely agree.

Dorigo is the Italian man who went to Malta and, when facing an attractive waitress, he demanded t*o f**k on the table. She replied that everybody wanted to f**k on the table. But you know, when you compare guys like Dorigo (or me, for that matter), there is a difference from the likes of Lawrence Krauss:

Dorigo is mostly talking and writing while Lawrence Krauss is acting.
If you're at least slightly sensible, you will surely agree that Krauss is a different league. I sincerely hope – but I am not sure – that Tommaso is sensible in this sense and understands that the accusations against Krauss are ultimately somewhat more serious than Krauss' joke about the Queen and Krauss' nipples.

Buzzfeed has presented Krauss as a predator who has basically tried to rape several young ladies if I have to avoid the term "girls" before they overpowered him using a combination of tools. Krauss has tried to defend himself against the claims and you're expected to decide for yourself whether he has succeeded.

## Thursday, March 08, 2018 ... /////

### No superstitions in the delayed choice quantum eraser

People should listen to arguments of different types than they expect or they're used to

I've noticed that lots of the people's annoyingly irrational, stubborn approach to rational arguments – that are relevant in very many diverse topics, from multiculturalism to the quantum entanglement – may be blamed on this tendency of theirs:

Just attack every kind of an argument that you're not used to, that you don't expect, and don't listen to it at all. Only the statements or arguments you are used to repeat should be repeated.
In effect, I am often talking to a wall. When I try to explain why the energy carried by a strictly periodic configuration is quantized in quantum mechanics, the recipient of the explanation just doesn't like the conclusion. So he often attacks every piece of your explanation by irrational fog and hostile chants, effectively pretending that you haven't made any argument (and sometimes, it's basically a complete proof) at all. He effectively assumes that he already knows everything even though he knows and understands almost nothing.

Even if one knows lots of facts, arguments, derivations, and proofs, there always exist additional facts, arguments, derivations, and proofs. To say the least, there exist other ways to look at a problem, other ways to deduce something new about the problem, other conclusions that may be deduced. And curious, impartial people are interested in those. But the people who just don't listen and assume that what they "know" is the only correct thing or the only thing worth knowing are just arrogant idiots.

## Wednesday, March 07, 2018 ... /////

### Gravity surely changes relative quantum phases

Easily doable "tests of quantum gravity" won't teach us anything new

Natalie Wolchover wrote an article about quantum gravity,

Physicists Find a Way to See the ‘Grin’ of Quantum Gravity
which eclectically mixes people and idea associated with the phrase "quantum gravity" who otherwise belong to totally different layers of the scientific community.

The interwar Czechoslovak artist Joseph Čapek, the brother of Karel "Robot" Čapek, is also known for the fairy-tales on doggie and pussycat. One of them is "How Doggie and Pussycat Were Making a Cake". To celebrate the doggie's name day, they added bones, cheese, sausages, caviar, cucumbers, strawberries, everything they liked to the cake. They ate it and felt sick. I think that at the end, an evil dog-thief stole the cake and felt sick, too. Czechoslovak kids could learn that it's not a best idea to mix everything. I am afraid that Wolchover hasn't been exposed to this fairy-tale.

She starts with the Soviet physicist Matvei Bronstein who proposed an early derivation of effective field theory of quantum gravity involving gravitons in 1935. Joseph Stalin said that there was a threat that this quantum gravity could grow to string theory – which Stalin's comrades Smolin and Woit (whose birth was already planned by the party at that time) won't like – so he executed Bronstein at the age of 31.

### A chip from Nokia Bell Labs touches the Shannon limit

Around 2000, I bought several computers and printers from Hewlett-Packard and that company was naturally overrepresented in my perspective on the tech world. Well, since 2007, it's been Finnish Nokia – a previously non-existent company. I have used the Nokia 1600 dumbphone for years, before switching to Nokia Lumia 520. And I still think that even this (now extremely cheap) phone was better in many ways than my current otherwise great Xiaomi Android phone.

The purchase of the smartphone section of Nokia by Microsoft was promising but ended as a financial failure. However, the Nokia brand got resuscitated. These days, Nokia is earning 90% of its profits from equipment to transfer data over the Internet. That's because Nokia bought Alcatel-Lucent some 2+ years ago.

Well, Nokia also began to produce smartphones again – this time with Android. Well, Nokia is actually getting $10-$30 trademark royalties per smartphone from HMD, a nearby Finnish phone maker that has bought this contract to use the brand. Nokia, HMD have headquarters across the street in Finland and you should avoid the temptation to confuse HMD with HTC – the latter is Asian. ;-) At a recent MWC 2018 event, Nokia was the most talked about brand – because of 5G (discussed below) as well as new phones including a modern resuscitation of the Nokia 8110 4G "banana phone" from the Matrix movies and a visually stellar flagship Nokia 8 Sirocco based on stainless steel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so on and on. Quite a slippery slope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

### Sean Carroll: denialists have been extraordinarily effective

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

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

### Slovak crackdown on Italian mafia

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

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