## Thursday, January 31, 2019 ... //

### Cosmological constant from pixels

I've known Jonathan Heckman as a brilliant Harvard student – I think that he was still an undergrad when he was greatly contributing to papers with Vafa and others. And it's great to see this UPenn assistant professor (the same state where Ashtekar works at PSU – my point is that the string theorists could potentially face some extra friendly hostility in Pennsylvania) as a senior co-author of a provoking paper:

Pixelated Dark Energy.
They did very well in the speed contest. By several milliseconds, they have beaten two competitors who also submitted the paper at 19:00:03 UTC :-) so their paper appeared at the top of the hep-th listings today.

It's a very novel scenario to explain the small cosmological constant – or dark energy or, even more generally, the accelerated expansion of the Universe. You must have seen many papers written by authors with great egos. Their lists of references – especially if they're full-blown crackpots – often look like this: [1] I, [2] I, [3] I, I am so great, and so on. ;-)

Jonathan is different. So their paper has 227 references and the most important one, one by the same set of authors minus Sakstein from November 2018, F-theory And Dark Energy, is the reference number 160 in the new paper. :-) That's what I call a quantification of humility.

## Wednesday, January 30, 2019 ... //

### Best moment to short $TSLAQ could be on Thursday Unless you should hurry up and use the last opportunity today, of course Tesla may report EPS$2.23 per share in Q4, jump above $320, and only go to zero afterwards As you may have noticed, I am one of the staunchest Tesla bears. The most general and impersonal business problem that I see is that with the current prices and technologies, the electric cars are some$25,000 more expensive than they should be (than their non-electric counterparts) – which is why they're not competitive in the mass market.

Electric cars may still be great for a smaller set of rich enough buyers (and in a decade, for everybody, if prices of things change). Tesla could have become a profitable producer in this niche category but it has never generated an annual profit and 2018 will not change it.

Tesla was a huge Czechoslovak electronics company during communism. The company was founded as "Elektra" in 1921 (capitalism) and originally renamed after Nikola Tesla in 1946 but the name was later explained unemotionally and cleverly as an acronym for "Technika slaboproudá", i.e. "Technology of the Weak Currents". Tesla and Yugoslavs were probably too capitalist for our comrades after Tito refused to sleep with Stalin. Almost all electronics in Czechoslovakia – and we weren't too bad – was Tesla. We had lots of fun with PMD 85, a computer close to Sinclair ZX Spectrum, as kids. Add TVs, radios, components, microprocessors cloned from Intel, vinyl records players, and hundreds of other things. In the voucher privatization, I even bought hundreds of Tesla stocks for a few crowns LOL – Tesla Glass TV Components went out of business rather soon, however. It no longer shows up in my list of stocks – the Harvard Industrial Holding still does (I have 10 stocks, they can't be traded LOL, greetings to Viktor). A tiny fraction of the Tesla factories was revived and "Tesla" CZ produces set top boxes and a few other things today.

Some other companies start to produce luxurious electric cars that have a chance to be profitable. But Tesla couldn't and can't. One reason is that it doesn't have the stream of money from from petrol and diesel cars. Another problem is Elon Musk. In my eyes, Elon Musk is a classic villain – the kind of a character from the movies who makes me enthusiastic when someone finally kills him. The business survived this long because of his lies, distortions, hype, and blackmail. Lies to consumers, investors, bondholders, and employees. Blackmail to real traders.

Most of the people on his side seem to be brainwashed submissive pußies dreaming about their enslavement by someone like Musk. I also noticed that almost everybody in those corners is a climate hysteria fanatic. Even when they get brutally fired, they still worship him. The unavoidable result is that he is the only person who makes important decisions at Tesla – a would-be Hitler surrounded by tons of sycophants. Others just lick his aß. And a great fraction of the decisions are unavoidably stupid because Musk is a rather stupid man. His people have to call these decisions ingenious and disruptive – just because they're sometimes different than the decisions by more standard rational managers (which means "worse" in most cases but they're not allowed to say it). The model is completely wrong because a much higher number of people of many types have to contribute to the decision making in a healthy company.

## Tuesday, January 29, 2019 ... //

### Global warming left when the Midwest needed it most

Czechia is enjoying a standard winter, with lots of snow in the mountains and temperatures a degree or two below the normal January temperatures (daily average is some –1 °C in Czechia and we may have –2 °C or –3 °C these days) – exactly the kind of an old-fashioned winter that was promised not to happen anymore.

Meanwhile, the American Midwest is freezing. You can't survive in your swimming suit for an hour outside. The U.S. president has excited everyone by this obvious tweet:

Let me assume that he typed it with his own little hands – something that the Czech prime minister would never be capable of doing. Andrej Babiš has never successfully touched a computer, not even now when he proudly met Bill Gates, Tim Cook, and the boss of Huawei. ;-)

It's just amazing when this 19th century-style Bolshevik nurtures his image as the man of the future who is connected with the technological elite of the 21st century.

But let's return to the Donald. Instead of "covfefe" and "hamberder", the readers could see "waming" without "r". So exciting. I often post tweets that have such typos because the tweet is not supposed to be a repeatedly proofread artistic work that will be celebrated for millenniums. It's a piece of digital junk that just gets mixed in the noise for a while.

Most of the typos (at least serious ones) in the blog posts are caught by Bill Z. whose sensitivity for details is amazing. ;-)

## Monday, January 28, 2019 ... //

### A fun simple problem in quantum computing

Before the lunch, Hallyu Website provoked me to solve a neat straightforward optimization exercise in quantum mechanics which could be a nice exercise in QM courses.

After very many factor-of-two errors were fixed (I like Feynman's methodology to do science which starts with "guessing the right results" and it sometimes doesn't work immediately LOL), some of which made a huge impact on the result LOL, I hopefully got the correct solution at the Quantum Computing Stackexchange.

Consider the following game:

I flip a fair coin, and depending on the outcome (either heads/tails), I'll give you one of the following states:$|0\rangle \text{ or } \cos(x)|0\rangle + \sin(x)|1\rangle.$ Here, $x$ is a known constant angle. But, I don't tell you which state I give you.

How can I describe a measurement procedure (i.e. an orthonormal qubit basis) to guess which state I'm given, while maximizing the chance of being right? Is there an optimal solution?

I've been self-studying quantum computing, and I came across this exercise. I don't really know how to even start, and I would really appreciate some help.

I think that a good strategy would be to perform an orthogonal transformation with $\begin{bmatrix} \cos(x) & -\sin(\theta)\\ \sin(x) & \cos(\theta) \end{bmatrix}.$ Can't make much progress...

## Sunday, January 27, 2019 ... //

### A proposed Czech law to punish Zuckerbergs for censorship

Social networks could face 3-year jail term, €2 million fines, or abolition for illegitimate filtering of discussion on essential political topics

Especially in recent months, we discussed several stories about censorship organized by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social networks against users with opinions labeled "politically incorrect". Look at the discussions about the terror against gab.com, Alex Jones, and many others.

While e.g. Angela Merkel's government of Germany seems to be openly organizing this censorship – and it even hires some former agents of Stasi, the East German counterpart of KGB, to do such things – a group of Czech lawmakers intends to clarify the legal system of Czechia in a somewhat opposite way. If someone like Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, or individual administrators filtered posts by users that don't actually violate any laws or public morality – especially posts about publicly important topics such as migration, environment, and others – he or she would be ordered to pay a $20,000 fine (small individuals) or a$2 million fine (entrepreneurs and companies), or be jailed for 6-36 months.

The law applies to social networks open to the public with at least 100,000 users in Czechia (whose population is 10.5 million, 5.1 million out of them are Facebook users, 1.5 million are on Instagram, Twitter could possibly be beneath the threshold, I am not sure) – that's a particularly chosen threshold that defines what we considered the "[digital] public spaces".

## Saturday, January 26, 2019 ... //

### Hoi polloi shouldn't micromanage physics

Support for pure science is a matter of politicians' purity, just like their support for morality and heroes

Anna V., a retired experimental particle physicist, has posted some interesting comments about the funding of physics. She is disappointed by the absence of CERN's explanations what CERN has done for the mankind etc. And she clearly believes that new colliders etc. are worth funding.

But I think that she is really touching several different questions and let me rearticulate them as follows:

1. Have physicists done enough to promote the value of science, CERN?
2. Does CERN actually bring a value to a rational but ordinary average person?
3. Does the average person know the correct answer to the previous question?
4. Should the average people "vote" about the overall funding of natural sciences?
5. Should the average people "vote" about the funding for individual projects?
My answers are Yes, Uncertain, Yes, No, Not at all.

## Friday, January 25, 2019 ... //

### AI wins at StarCraft 2: do humans suck at everything?

If you missed it, in recent years, it became clear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is capable of beating humans in seemingly "human-like creative" games such as chess and Go. Yesterday, the media were full of the story that Deepmind, a sister company of Google's (also owned by Alphabet), has developed "AlphaStar" which just humiliated the world's best human players of StarCraft 2.

Resistance is futile: Deepmind's AlphaStar AI hammers StarCraft II pros in world first
That's a 20-year-old computer game, a strategy game somewhat similar to the Civilization of Sid Meier, where three races – one stupid human composed of expelled criminals, one spiritually refined and human-like, and one group of some skillful Chinese-like rodents or whatever the animals exactly are – compete for resources somewhere on the edge of galaxy, or some stupid science-fiction place like that. It's played in real time. Especially in South Korea, tons of people play it and others watch it much like Czechs watch ice-hockey.

## Thursday, January 24, 2019 ... //

### NYT: an anti-HEP rant by Hossenfelder

The politically correct media love to lie 24 hours a day and attack perceived enemies – such as the whites, men, white men, conservatives, Donald Trump, his supporters and his policies, old-fashioned corporations and their owners, the Western civilization, Judeo-Christian traditions, nations and patriots, families that work along the good old rules... pretty much everything that is valuable about our world. Particle physics has been undoubtedly added as one of these enemies.

So one's surprise was limited yesterday when the most famous left-wing U.S. daily published an op-ed by an otherwise irrelevant activist and fake scientist Ms Sabine Hossenfelder,

The Uncertain Future of Particle Physics.
Why wouldn't such inkspillers invite someone who admits that she has had nothing to do with the field for a decade except for being another brain-dead hater? It's so politically correct when worthless dirt of the privileged sex helps to shape the public views about one of the most prestigious scientific disciplines.

## Thursday, January 17, 2019 ... //

### 25 deceptions, lies, malicious attacks, and errors in the Gillette commercial

Some clueless people ask what's wrong with the Gillette ad. I wasn't particularly insulted by this ad – which is approaching 20 million views and 1 million downvotes – because similar stuff has become a part of our everyday lives.

But let me calmly answer the question as if it were a serious one and explain why I consider creators and apologists of the 108-second-long video (TRF) to be bad human beings who need to be treated as such.

There are hundreds of deceptions, lies, manipulations, demagogic statements, mispresentations of facts, and malicious attacks against particular men, all white men, all men, and against innocent examples of masculine behavior, not to mention lots of manifestations of prejudices. Out of these hundreds, I chose twenty-five.

0:00-0:05 – Buzzwords without full sentences are deceptively mixed

We hear noise from the media that talks about "bullying", "the MeToo movement", and "masculinity". In some cases, these words don't form full sentences. They have nothing to do with shaving or with a sensible discussion. And a healthy man turns off the radio or TV or switches to another channel or radio station when the quality of the content drops this low.

What is worse is that these completely different buzzwords are being mixed in order for the viewer to think that they are associated with each other if not equivalent. They are not equivalent at all and a fair person shouldn't automatically associate them.

0:00-0:05 – MeToo wasn't created by masculinity at all

The MeToo mania is a decadent movement encouraging women to invent false accusations against men – and pushing everyone to take them seriously, thus suppressing the presumption of innocence. Everyone who hasn't spent the recent years in a cave knows that most of the important faces of the movement have been proven to be shameless liars. Some of the notorious examples are reviewed in a parody of the Gillette ad, The Best WOMEN Can Be.

## Wednesday, January 16, 2019 ... //

### Firing 90% HEP folks would mean new scientific dark ages

Backreaction, currently the most influential forum of haters of physics in the world, has reacted to the newly completed design plans for the next future collider at CERN, the FCC. You may find the article with the not very friendly but very populist title Particle physicists want money for bigger collider through a search engine.

In that article, we learn that even the lowest estimate €9 billion is too much money and it's not worth spending. Such appraisals obviously depend on one's priorities but a person who finds €9 billion as way too much is clearly an anti-science savage. It's just a small fraction of the capitalization of Tesla, a car company making just some 200,000 cars a year (0.3% of the global annual production of 70 million cars a year) and still waiting for its first annual profit. Or 1/20 of Apple's cash reserves.

## Thursday, January 03, 2019 ... //

### Panpsychism is needed to quantify consciousness

Let me assume that you consider yourself conscious. Let me assume that you admit that there's nothing too special about yourself – i.e. that you are not a hardcore solipsist. It must make sense for other people to be considered conscious – objectively or at least subjectively.

Now, is there something special about humans? From the scientific perspective, there is nothing qualitatively unique about the homo sapiens species – to think otherwise would mean to be anthropocentric which basically means to violate the lessons of Darwin's theory of evolution. All differences between humans and other organisms – or other bound states of elementary particles – must be considered quantitative details. A human body is an amazing engine but it is still a bound state of electrons and nuclei.

Try to define a quantity $\Phi$ (pronounce "capital phi") that determines whether a physical system is conscious or how much it is conscious. The spectrum of $\Phi$ may be either continuous or discrete or mixed. If it is discrete and distinguishes humans at $\Phi=1$ from unconscious objects with $\Phi=0$, there must exist a calculation of the probability that an intermediate object, or a dying or stupid person, is conscious. Effectively, the probability of $\Phi=1$ is continuous, too.

## Wednesday, January 02, 2019 ... //

### Hanuš Zápal, a top regional architect

Only in recent days, I learned some facts and I was amazed how many buildings that I have known so well were designed by Eng Arch Hanuš Zápal (1885-1964), often considered the most important regional architect of the Pilsner Region of the last 100 years. He was born in a village North of Pilsen, Krašovice, which has just 370 inhabitants. To make it confusing, while also located in the "Pilsen North District", Krašovice is rather far from Krašov, a place with the most powerful communications tower in the region, and another Krašov, a castle on the Berounka River.

OK, this is the Luděk Pik Gymnasium, a high school I used to attend (and mostly dislike). It was built between 1930 and 1932 according to Zápal's plans – and (after the fall of communism) named after Luděk Pik who was the most important social democrat in the region and led the city as the mayor between 1919 and 1938, for quite some time.