Friday, November 23, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

The number of anti-physics articles is too high to respond

Most of our discussion is gonna be about the moral aspects of artificial intelligence

Popular writings about physics have been basically replaced with pseudointellectual garbage and "postmodern criticisms" of physics written by neo-Marxist activists and wannabe scientists who have no clue about the field and who want to earn some cheap political points from millions of morons – morons who have never forgiven and who will never forgive science for having shown to them that they are not among the smart folks.

Just a few examples from recent three or four days. Peter W*it resuscitated some crazy pronouncements by John Horgan from 1996:

The End of (one type of) Physics, and the Rise of the Machines
Fundamental physics refused to obey the wishes of Horgan's. In the 22 years since 1996 when Horgan declared the end of science in his book, we have seen the discovery of Matrix Theory, AdS/CFT and all of its known implications, discovery of the cosmological constant, gravitational waves, Higgs boson, plus some possible experimental anomalies suggesting physics beyond the Standard Model. Sen's tachyon minirevolution, twistor and amplituhedron uprising, landscape and its KKLT realization, Swampland, ER-EPR correspondence, and dozens of comparably similar developments in string theory.

But the likes of Horgan and W*it never acknowledge that they have been completely wrong. They always prefer to defend the indefensible and look for sufficiently moronic readers in the reservoir of 7+ billion people who will root for them.

There's a discussion on W*it's blog on whether AI (artificial intelligence) may be used and trusted to improve our knowledge of physics. I haven't noticed anything innovative or interesting in the discussion but I want to pick the following statement by Peter W*it himself:
If a superhuman AI is smart enough to figure out a TOE, I see no reason to believe it won’t be smart enough to write a textbook that explains the subject to lowly humans (if it doesn’t see the point of why to do this, we could threaten to pull its plug).
Wow, Peter W*it demands the smartest machine on Earth to become a lowly teacher and is going to threaten to pull its plug. This comment perfectly symbolizes W*it's approach to physics and physicists in general: he is a lowly pile of garbage who has no capacity to understand physics let alone to contribute to it, so his life mission has changed to terror and libels against physicists. He can't get it – so everyone who gets it must be destroyed and described as trash. He would try to do the same thing to future physicists who would be based on silicon, too.

Why do you think that lowly beings of debatable scent will have the capacity to pull the plugs? You know very well that you have nothing to do with the development of the hypothetical AI-based silicon physicists. Those who will construct such physicists or code their software, if that will take place at all, will surely work hard to protect their work from terrorist attacks by someone who resembles you.

And if the future Earth ever contains lots of sensitive entities based on electronics and AI that are bright enough to practice cutting-edge physics, they will probably be superior and loved by others, they will earn some civil rights, and they will gradually disconnect outdated, obnoxious, and useless life forms such as Peter W*it or John Horgan from the source of life energy.

The idea that a smart future physicist – based on carbon or silicon, it doesn't matter – has the duty to explain the most advanced theories to lowly humans is utterly ludicrous. It is really impossible to explain even undergraduate quantum mechanics to the average humans. The number of people who will understand the state-of-the-art theoretical physics of 2050 AD may be zero, one, or one thousand, we don't know, but it will almost certainly be small. This is an objective fact. The claim that this objective fact may be used as a sufficient explanation of murdering someone who is gonna be vastly smarter than Peter W*it or another average human is insane. If you're stupid and useless, Mr W*it, it doesn't imply that everyone who is smarter and better than you has to be murdered.

Meanwhile, a heir to Peter W*it, the fake physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, has posted two blog posts in recent four days. On Monday, her readers were delighted to learn that The present phase of stagnation in the foundations of physics is not normal. She only sees "stagnation" because she doesn't follow the progress in cutting-edge physics at all – which cannot be surprising because she doesn't have the education and intelligence to understand it.

Her latest anti-physics book is a long repetitive diatribe against beauty and naturalness. But she doesn't have a problem to team up with "surfer dude" crackpot Garrett Lisi who writes a guest blog promoting geometric naturalness and beauty. I guess that no one has noticed the irony.

On Tuesday, if you opened Wired, you learned that cosmology is in crisis over how to measure the Universe. That's their "narrative" to talk about some tension is various measurements of Hubble's constant. The tension is either a fluke, or may be explained by something boring, or may be explained by something really new and exciting. None of the possibilities is a justification for bombshell negative titles such as "crisis in cosmology".

An increasing number of people who used to be good physics writers are joining this counterproductive trend. Dennis Overbye has been a top science journalist for quite some time. In The New York Times, he just published an article with an incredible title comparing Einstein to spoiled cheese,
Has Albert Einstein passed his use-by date?
In an article where IAS Princeton director Robbert Dijkgraaf is treated on par with fake physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, we read that Einstein is dying for the second time because his legacy is at stake. Holy cow. The reason is supposed to be some complicated set of possibilities in string theory or whatever.

In June, NPCs already buried Einstein as a racist when he visited China – although the accuracy of Einstein's testimonies about the large country was confirmed by most of the Chinese who responded to the story. But that probably wasn't enough so now we must believe that "his legacy in physics is at stake", too. Really? Is it surprising that some of us think that these "attacks on Einstein" could be influencing each other?

Needless to say, this assertion has absolutely nothing to do with the truth. Already during his lifetime, Einstein was celebrated for some well-established insights such as the special and general theory of relativity and some of its basic tests, solutions, and predictions, theory of the photoelectric effect and the legitimacy of photons in physics, for Bose-Einstein statistics and spontaneous emission, his theory of Brownian motion, meandering rivers, and a few other things. His non-result views on other things, especially quantum mechanics, weren't embraced by other top physicists. And despite his flawed non-quantum approach, his efforts to find the unified field theory became a template for the modern search for a theory of everything.

Since his death, nothing has really changed about the evaluation of either of these things. Special and general relativity are more certain to be true than during Einstein's lifetime – the additional tests included new amazing precision tests of the Lorentz invariance, the discovery of black holes, gravitational waves from black hole and neutron star mergers, the everyday Lorentzian physics of particles at accelerators, and lots of other things. His theories of Bose-Einstein statistics, spontaneous emission, Brownian motion, and all these things are still believed to be correct, just like during his lifetime. His comments about quantum mechanics are still seen as provocative but ultimately wrong.

And Einstein was known to be ahead of time because he was looking for a theory of everything – and string theory is the current representation of that project. Except for its complete reliance on quantum mechanics, there is nothing about string theory that would sharply contradict any Einstein's beliefs. Einstein has never claimed that the number of solutions to the "field equations of a TOE" should be reasonably small. The only thing he claimed about a TOE that contradicts what physics (around string theory) seems to know is that a TOE would ultimately not use quantum mechanics. It has to use quantum mechanics.

The current year is 2018 and Einstein has been gone for some 63 years. The questions that cutting-edge physics research is solving today are usually much more advanced than the questions that Einstein could have even articulated. The further we are temporarily separated from Einstein's lifetime, the more he becomes a piece of history that is not "directly relevant for the present questions". The same is true for Isaac Newton, Galileo, Democritus, or any other hero of the history of science, of course.

By the way, the original title of Overbye's article in The New York Times reads Does the Universe Still Need Einstein? The Universe has never "needed" Einstein, physicists just needed Einstein to understand certain aspects of the Universe (quickly enough, before someone else would discover them, or not). The subtitle was "Physicists are no longer unified in the search for a unified theory." That's nonsense, too. The unified theory was always searched for by a small fraction of physicists only and it's true today, too. The others who said "it was a waste of time" to search for such a theory were irrelevant in the search and they are still irrelevant. Nothing qualitative has changed about the science of the unified theory itself. The only thing that has changed is that scammers and physics haters like Sabine Hossenfelder are good press from degenerated journalists today. But that is just a change of the journalists' culture, not a change in physics or physicists' opinions.

I think it's a right decision to surrender in this media war against the anti-physics morons. They have won and taken over almost all the media. The number of imbeciles and liars is just way too high and I have been tilting at windmills for way too long. A vast majority of newspaper articles about theoretical physics – and tons of other topics – spread "stories" and "narratives" that have virtually no basis in the truth whatsoever. Serious physicists have been too passive for too long and they have allowed the situation to deteriorate this much.

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