Friday, August 31, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/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 ... Deutsch/Español/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 ... Deutsch/Español/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?

Sunday, August 26, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/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 ... Deutsch/Español/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 ... Deutsch/Español/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 ... Deutsch/Español/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 (
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 ... Deutsch/Español/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 ... Deutsch/Español/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 ... Deutsch/Español/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.

Monday, August 13, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/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 ... Deutsch/Español/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 ... Deutsch/Español/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.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Market manipulation: psychopath Musk remains at large

Forget about the heroic diver's being a "pedo". Forget about the requests sent to the suppliers to return the money they have received for their parts. Forget even about the totally disgusting, Smolinesque blackmailing by Musk who demanded a critic named Montana Skeptic to be fired by his employer (a Tesla fan) if he's not silenced. Montana Skeptic was actually silenced. It's just absolutely terrifying.

Now, Musk has gone to an entirely new level. He hates the people people who short his company because they dare to point out that Tesla is insanely overvalued – and they are willing to support this proposition with their money. And they don't call Musk a Messiah which is what he's used to from his low-IQ fans.

On top of that, he needs the stock price to be above $359 or so, otherwise the maturity of some special $900 million convertible bond will be much more costly in Fall 2018. So why wouldn't he manipulate the price by claiming that the right price should be $420?

Now, 420 is slang for "marijuana". On April 20th (4/20), leftists celebrate the Marijuana Day and they get high – and therefore ready for April 22nd, Lenin's Earth Day. It is also the country code to call my Czech homeland – where people may hold 15 grams and 5 plants of marijuana legally (so the same number 420 doesn't have to be a coincidence). He may always say that he was just joking. But it was totally obvious that the market – filled with "investors" who are low-IQ fans of Musk – would react. And it did. The price jumped by some 10% towards $380 or so, matching the previous all time high.

(By the way, the cryptocurrency prices dropped some 10% in recent 24 hours. These two price changes could be related. The same "investors" could have sold the Bitcoin and buy Tesla yesterday.)

Monday, August 06, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

What's the right way to stop the Big Tech censorship?

Breaking up companies? Quotas on Republicans? Reclassification of them as utilities? Raids on headquarters? New taxes/fines for their harm against right-wingers? Removal of the U.S. citizenship for CEOs?

I am no listener of Alex Jones – maybe he sounds too tough or too non-intellectual to me (and, despite the vague ideological agreement with general political things, I would probably label many of his musings "dumb conspiracy theories") – but today's ban of his and Infowars pages, channels, profiles, and Podcasts by Apple, Facebook, Spotify, and (now also) YouTube (look at the creepy error message shown to 2+ million followers!) all did the same thing within 12 hours – a clear collusion by a cartel) is a clear sign that the freedom of speech (especially for right-wingers) is dying in the U.S.

(Hours later, Jones was also removed from LinkedIn and Pinterest.)

Ironically enough, this dying – escalated by this ban that Matt Drudge predicted years ago – has accelerated under the Republican president Trump. Infowars were basically given no specific explanation of the reasons. Terms of Service violated. Hate speech. Whatever. Four biggest Internet companies suddenly made the conclusion at the same moment.

You may watch Alex Jones' reactions live now. I've watched it for 20 minutes now – it's spectacular, it looks like he was preparing for this day for 25 years.
Lots of related information may be found on the Twitter account of a VIP employee of Infowars, Paul Joseph Watson, whom I like, admire, sometimes follow, and I surely endorse all his comments about these events.

Some people defend similar policies by saying that the companies are private and they can ban anyone they want. There's some true core in this statement. But every sane and sensitive person must feel that it doesn't sound right. Why it doesn't sound right? These Big Tech companies are clearly introducing political censorship to the whole U.S. political landscape. Why is it exactly wrong what they're doing?

Sunday, August 05, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Food scanner scams: non-physicists overestimate the "diversity of food"

They also underestimate the importance of expertise, experience

Hours ago, Thunderf00t posted a wonderful new 50-minute-long video:

ThunderF00t chooses "Pražská vodka", i.e. the "Vodka of Prague", as his template for an ethanol-water mixture. He deserves special compliments for that. That Czech vodka is based on the 1978 diploma thesis of Ing. Eugen Skalický at Prague's University of Chemical Technology and uses the Highland (Vysočina) Wheat to produce the ethanol. It's been Czechia's bestselling vodka, is still near the top, but I have no idea how he got one unless he is just visiting my homeland.

It shows how utterly useless two smartphone-based, StarTrek-based food scanners or spectroscopes are – and why their crowdfunding campaigns that had collected $3 million and $0.4 million must be considered scams.

These two bogus revolutionary products, TellSpec and Scio, cost $149 or $250 (plus $1,000 for software etc.), respectively. You point them to a food, some photons are reflected, the spectrum is evaluated, and you know what's inside the foor or pills perfectly, the nutrition values, and everything else.

Saturday, August 04, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

SJWs turn a white gay's life to hell for his thoughtful anti-racist essay

After some time, I was shocked by the atmosphere around the U.S. media landscape and the selective and brutal suppression of the freedom of speech.

Well, it's not just in the U.S. Let me start with another example. Canadian right-wing pundits Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux went all the way to New Zealand to give a speech about the free speech. The owner of the place described himself as a great free speech advocate. The venue was revealed hours before the talk, for security reasons, and immediately afterwards, the organizer said that free speech was lethally dangerous and he wouldn't allow any Canadians in his place. He or she was clearly threatened – economically or by explosives. You can no longer give speeches about the free speech in New Zealand. The extreme left-wing terrorist movement is sufficiently organized to kill almost all such events in practice. The degree to which these societies are already fudged up looks stunning to me.

The Powerstation in NZ which suddenly decided it hated free speech.

But let's return to the U.S. The New York Times hired an Asian American writer Sarah Jeong as a tech-related member of the editorial board. I have seen no evidence that she has the skills of a professional writer but she has associated herself with the feminists in the Gamergate controversy and The New York Times probably wanted to please millions of left-wing activists by hiring an incompetent inkspiller who is otherwise on the "right" (meaning far left) side.

Friday, August 03, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Adversarial collaborations don't solve anything

Tetragraviton has presented himself as an idealist diplomat and he proposed

Adversarial Collaborations for Physics.
Arguments may sometimes be harsh, and that's true in physics, too. The two sides accuse each other of moving the goalposts, double standards, misinterpreting things, ignoring the evidence, and so on. Tetragraviton has a magic solution – to force both sides to co-author a paper. These enemies fudge together and have a baby, a paper. Then they become friends who share the facts and standards. And the truth magically sprinkles from that heterotic paper and they love each other forever. Amen.

Adversarial collaborations were originally proposed as a solution to solve the arguments between the believers in the extrasensory perception on one side and the sane people on the other side. If you write a paper along with a guy who was abducted by the extraterrestrial aliens and talks to them through telepathy, that will surely lead to your mutual cultural enrichment and the joint work will clarify everything! ;-)

Expect no apologies here: I am mocking the concept of such joint papers because a joint paper assumes – and implies – that the co-authors believe to be peers in some intellectual sense. And a competent scientist simply can't consider a nutcase believing in supernatural phenomena as his intellectual peer. Also, as the Wikipedia article explains, adversarial papers are most possible when they're not needed (when the two sides actually agree about some basic axioms and methodology) and least possible when they're needed (when the differences in the methodology, axioms, and priorities are deep).

Thursday, August 02, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Lumo spiral visualization of sound for the deaf

...and for all other true lovers of music and sounds...

In a previous text, I proposed a visualization of the sounds that would allow the deaf people to hear – including the distinguishing of vowels, accents, different people's voices, consonants, other noises, music, frequencies, octaves, melodies, different musical instruments, chords and several people talking or singing simultaneously, and everything else.

The idea is that the brain connected to the eye just gets trained to evaluate very similar information as the information that is coming from the ear. Ideally, the eye (plus a piece of the brain connected to it) should work "almost the same" as the ear.

Someone has mentioned the WinAmp visualizations (or Milk Drop), click for an example. Yes, that's what I roughly mean except that this video example and most others don't allow me to "hear" anything. They seem like pretty pictures that are just slightly affected by the sound that is being played but there's no straightforward way to extract the precise sound from the picture.

Edward Witten, dinner table group think, and \(P=NP\)

Scott Aaronson has posted at least two new comments here in which he demands to be considered a "possible co-author" of a paper by Ewin Tang that has found a recommendation algorithm that Aaronson insisted to be impossible.

I think that given Aaronson's frantic efforts to discourage this kind of research, it would be insane if he were a co-author of Tang's paper. Aaronson is testing the waters – could he get away with stealing one-half of the credit, after all? I sincerely hope that Tang already has enough freedom not to allow such a shocking development.

But Aaronson discussed our main dispute, whether complexity theorists should be open about the truth value of \(P=NP\). Aaronson claims that they shouldn't be open-minded. Even without a proof, the non-existence of polynomial algorithms for \(NP\) problems should be considered an "established wisdom", the phrase that Aaronson still uses for the now demonstrably untrue, unsubstantiated, irrational belief that Tang's algorithm cannot exist.

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