Thursday, November 01, 2018

With no new ideas, Nude Socialist simply promotes confused anti-LIGO critics again

It's been more than a century since the general theory of relativity was finalized. One of its predictions were gravitational waves – a "sound" that may spread through the vacuum because the vacuum becomes the vibrating fabric of the spacetime. These waves were guaranteed to be discovered at some point. It just happened that the apparatus that first detected such a wave during the GW150914 event – a black hole merger in 2015 – was LIGO that published the first results in February 2016.

Since that time, LIGO has "heard" a dozen or more of black hole mergers and neutron star mergers. While it was guaranteed that these discoveries would take place, and they only confirm a "boring classical physics of early 20th century", well, it's still Einstein's physics which is experimentally new and the three key (still alive) fathers of LIGO got a well-deserved 2017 Nobel prize in physics.

Now, you should look at some publications by LIGO – I used some of the first authors, Abbott and Abernathy. The most cited one has 4,603 citations. I don't build on citations while evaluating other physicists' scientific work – I prefer to verify the results myself – but I think that the citations are by far the best "easy to quantify" method for a layman to have a reasonable opinion about the validity and importance of a scientific result that he or she doesn't understand.

Winston Churchill has said that democracy is the worst system, aside from all others that have been tried, and the very same thing applies to citations as a measure of scientific contributions. All other methods that the laymen and journalists use to decide which papers are correct or important are just so much worse!

I have verified the LIGO claims, have done extensive tests of the raw data with the help of Wolfram Mathematica, the files may be found on this blog, and I can assure you that the raw data contain a gravitational wave that simply cannot be explained by anything else.

You can really hear the chirp with your naked ears. A funny thing is that two detectors, one in Louisiana and one in Washington state, detect chirps that have the same mass-like parameters and character. And they hear the same sound within a split second from each other.

Now, it takes some 10 minutes or so for the sound to get from one LIGO detector to the other – through the rock. So the delay between the two signals, if they were of seismic or similar character, would be between minus 600 seconds and plus 600 seconds. The probability that such a delay is smaller than 0.1 seconds is about 1 in 10,000. The probability that such an unlikely, 1 in 10,000, event takes place a dozen of times is... some one in one sextillion or whatever is the number.

Any properties of some residuals that Jackson et al. argue with are clearly unable to "undo" the discovery. There are some residuals because they don't parameterize the signals – two slightly different signals at two LIGO detectors, because they measure polarizations along other axis pairs – quite accurately. Of course there will be correlations in their residuals because their residuals aren't pure noise – they also contain the difference between the actual signal and their guessed signal. But the question whether the signal exists at all is much more basic than some properties of the residuals and this basic question can be settled e.g. by the simple observations from the previous paragraph. Yes, there was demonstrably a wave. Period.

It is absolutely impossible for these noises to occur repeatedly and in a synchronized way if they are of a seismic nature. It would be much more likely to conjecture that Russian or Silicon Valley hackers have hacked all the LIGO computers and pumped completely bogus discovery-like data into them.

OK, now take a 2016 paper by Andrew D. Jackson and his collaborators (Denmark), Understanding the LIGO GW150914 event. It is complete garbage – an analogy of the claim that the Earth is flat and all evidence of roundness is just noise – and after two years, the paper has 9 citations. About one-half of them are self-citations but even if I ignore this fact, 9 is smaller than 4,603 by a factor of 500. Relatively to the LIGO papers, it's clearly an insignificant paper when it comes to its scientific impact. Because it makes a bold claim, it must be because scientists generally consider the paper bogus.

As I described in 2016, the paper is complete hogwash. Nude Socialist has given lots of space to this paper – basically the same space as it gave to the LIGO discovery itself. This huge amount of pseudoscientific publicity hasn't moved the views of any person with a healthy brain by a micron. So what did the inkspillers in Nude Socialist do in 2018? They simply published a nearly identical garbage again. Clearly, they trust the slogan that a lie that is repeated 100 times becomes the truth.

There is absolutely nothing new in that article. Instead, what is new is that lots of new gravitational waves have been detected since the previous copy of that lousy article so the claim that "LIGO signals are noise" are even less defensible than they were two years ago. But they just don't give a damn. According to these Nude Socialist physics illiterate writers, there are "grave doubts about LIGO's discovery of gravitational waves" and the discovery was an "illusion". Wow.

A much more sensible take on these claims was written by Jennifer Ouelette, Sean Carroll's wife, in Ars Technica. Her text reveals quite something about the frustration of the LIGO folks' while attempting to teach some basic facts about the analysis to Andrew Jackson and collaborators – all of that has been just a pure waste of time because Jackson et al. either don't have the brain or they don't have the integrity to really understand why to question the gravitational waves as "noise" is just plain idiotic in 2018.

Billions of dollars are spent on some experiments – and some of them are as wonderful and lead to breakthroughs like LIGO did. But anti-scientific and anti-Western individuals such as the inkspillers at Nude Socialist actively works to neutralize all these wonderful projects, to turn them into a waste of money in the eyes of thousands or millions of brainwashed morons who have the stomach and stupidity to read rags like Nude Socialist. They would love most people to buy all these fake news that these media are constantly full of. Why does this category of people feel so self-confident while promoting conspiracy theories that brutally disagree with what pretty much every competent scientist perfectly knows?

It's partly because this journalistic class is teamed up with pseudoscientific talkative garbage pundits such as Ms Sabine Hossenfelder who pretend to be researchers although they have no clue about the things that really matter in science of 2018. You can't be surprised at all that she praises this anti-LIGO junk on her blog. They have no clue about string theory, they have no clue about the right way to analyze the data from LIGO, they have no clue about anything that has any value for the ongoing contemporary research. They simply attack all the things that they completely fail to understand – all of modern physics, in this case – and it is more than enough for their "journalistic" allies.

It has become literally politically incorrect to point out that the likes of Mr Hossenfelder are intellectually worthless piles of junk poured all over the society by using the political correctness. Alessandro Strumia has been terrorized for pointing out that a good job was given to a competitor who had fewer citations – by more than an order of magnitude – just because he or she was female instead of male. The degree of these insanities has become truly extreme. The U.S. constitution doesn't matter, billions of dollars spent for experiments don't matter, thousands or tens of thousands of citations don't matter – the far left activists want to stand above all these things.

I believe that even some people at LIGO who otherwise count themselves as "liberals" must realize that this insane treatment of their discovery and many other things is due to the fact that a bunch of vicious, almost entirely far left, activists who despise science and the Western civilization have conquered a big part of the industries such as the media. It's a problem that we are obliged to wrestle with.

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