## Thursday, February 28, 2019 ... //

### Nature uncritically promotes a brain sex difference denier

"Gender and Our Brains" (or "Gendered Brain", it is not even clear whether it's the same book) by Gina Rippon will only be out in half a year but hours ago, Nature already published an article by Lise Eliot

Neurosexism: the myth that men and women have different brains
that uncritically promotes the self-evidently ideologically driven statements by the author of the book. The whole portion of neuroscience that looks at the sex differences in the brain is called "neurosexism" and – pretty much without any evidence whatsoever – painted as bad, innumerate, misinterpreted, and biased research.

In fact, some of the scientists dared to appear on TV. And the early surveys were smaller than the later ones, imagine the heresy. And surely all the papers that found differences must be refuted by some future ones, the ladies promise us.

## Wednesday, February 27, 2019 ... //

### "Five-sigma proof" of man-made climate change is complete nonsense

An analogy between cosmological and climatological anomalies

In this short remark, I want to discuss two very different "discrepancies in sciences" simultaneously because they share the same basic point. One is about cosmology, another is about the climate.

Bill sent me a pretty nice article by Dennis Overbye in The New York Times,

Have Dark Forces Been Messing With the Cosmos?
The text mostly describes the slight contradictions in the measurement of Hubble's constant (which quantifies how quickly the Universe is expanding now) – and various proposals to explain the discrepancy.

Hubble's constant is the coefficient that you may multiply by the distance of a galaxy from us to obtain the speed with which it is escaping away from us. If you think about the units, Hubble's constant is basically inverse to the age of the Universe. For practical reasons, cosmologists usually express Hubble's constant in "kilometers per second per megaparsec", however.

In these units, the Hubble Space Telescope determined the constant to be 72. Adam Riess and colleagues confirmed this value and became confident that the error margin was just 2.4%. However, Europe's Planck spacecraft produced the value 67 which is almost 10% away. Too bad. It looks like a rather large discrepancy although it is still modest enough so that it could possibly be due to a fluke, too. What's going on?

## Tuesday, February 26, 2019 ... //

### Will the SEC allow Musk to urinate on their faces again?

Elon Musk is probably the single best example of a crook energized by millions of brain-dead fans who is basically allowed to stand above the law by the decaying American justice system simply because he's producing lies – his business is the production of lies on a 24/7 basis – which are mixtures of pseudoscientific superstitions, impossible promises, attacks against all his real and fabricated enemies, and political correctness – the latter is primarily about the global warming delusions that are still a fundamental part of this whole cult.

In August 2018, he notoriously tweeted that the funding was secured for taking the company private at $420 per stock. It was immediately clear to the intelligent observers that it had been a complete lie and within days, it was indeed officially admitted that it was a complete lie. Nevertheless, the lie has temporarily added over 10% to the stock price – which went close to the insane$380 for a while. (The fair price of the stock surely is below $20 if we are very generous.) Because of this securities fraud, lots of the people bought the stock at levels that were 10% overpriced, some shortsellers were driven to margin calls and lost money – while others were allowed to sell at 10% higher price and new shortsellers could have entered from a better position. These temporary price fluctuations are obviously a zero-sum game so Musk's lie has its losers and winners. But this whole "game" is rigged and there are very good reasons why the laws of civilized countries classify such lies from a CEO of a publicly trading company as a crime. A CEO of a public company is a person who is sometimes or generally "selling the stocks of the company he controls" (and who is clearly motivated to make the stock price higher) and if someone is telling you that what you buy from him is something else than what you are actually buying, it's simply fraud. In the case of stocks, it's called the securities fraud. But the essence is the same as if someone sells you bottles of water for the price of the most expensive whiskey, pretending that whiskey is inside. How could we not have laws that make it illegal? ## Monday, February 25, 2019 ... // ### Good quantum error correction vs Lie symmetries: a trade-off Quantum Frontiers, a Caltech-based blog written by the folks around John Preskill, published a review Symmetries and quantum error correction by Philippe Faist of a fresh, 72-page-long quant-ph preprint written by Faist and 6 co-authors including Preskill (a Caltech-Stanford-Berlin collaboration) Continuous symmetries and approximate quantum error correction. It's looks like a rather neat paper about the quantum information. I normally don't watch the quant-ph archive on a regular basis, silently assuming that place to be dominated by various Maudlin-like crackpots who have trouble with the postulates of quantum mechanics, or by the likes of Renner and his pregnant girls who play with some 2-qubit exercises as if they were in the kindergarten. ## Sunday, February 24, 2019 ... // ### New Nokia phones Because I've had two Nokia smartphones and also own some Nokia stocks (of a company that hopefully get some royalties from the licensee HMD for its Nokia-branded phones – although the primary source of income should be the propagation of the new generation 5G mobile data networks and devices now), I watched the today's Nokia event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Five new phones were presented: a new cool dumb phone Nokia 210 for just$35 – the cheapest price to get to the Internet now (instead of one iPhone X, you may buy 28+ Nokias 210) and the phone actually has an App Store so "dumb" is probably misleading; three "roughly mid-range" smartphones of various sizes 1.1 Plus, 3.2, and 4.2 (with a small disk-shaped sensor inside the display instead of the notch); and especially the new Nokia 9 Pureview whose existence, appearance, and price was sort of leaked in advance.

But the HMD folks still presented some details that were stunning.

## Saturday, February 23, 2019 ... //

### Truth isn't the same as accessibility: a Columbus metaphor

Muhammad Nima has asked question that I have been asked 2,019 times (including cases when I was giving a popular lecture on string theory, and it was usually the first question) and I have answered it 1,212 times:

Dear Lubos, you say that "to kill a theory, one has to just falsify it", but how would you respond to those activists who say that for a theory to be real science, it must make predictions as well? The mere condition of a theory not being falsifiable doesn't make it science - then God is science - they say.
Clearly, the impact of my explanations has been close to zero. The laymen seem obsessed with this self-evidently wrong and irrational thesis. For a statement to be scientifically meaningful, there must in principle exist an operational procedure that produces the answer. But this test must only exist in principle and it is surely absolutely silly to require "more" than that. For example, unlike the existence of God, the existence of WIMPs that make up around 5% of the energy density of the Universe is undoubtedly a scientific question, whether or not we may observe the WIMPs in the next 100 years.

In particular, it is absolutely misguided to assume something like
The more easily a statement about science is testable, the more scientific it is.
I have always been flabbergasted by the stupidity of the people who apparently believe garbage of this kind – and the number of such people (people who can't understand why e.g. Peter Woit is just a pile of feces) is yuge, indeed.

Over the years, I have converged to a theory that all these people are basically generic members of the animal kingdom on par with cattle or something like that – they can't comprehend the concept of the truth in the logical, mathematical, or scientific sense. At most, "truth" is a concept that was described to them as "something good". But they don't understand in what sense it is "good". The only type of "good" they can understand are things like "how many steaks I will eat" (and "how quickly") and because "truth" is something "good", it must mean the same thing.

### Rumors of the WIMP miracle's death have been greatly exaggerated

Ethan Siegel has shown us another example of the profound difference between careful scientists on one side and zealous activists on the other side (the side where he sadly belongs) when he wrote

The 'WIMP Miracle' Hope For Dark Matter Is Dead
The bold statement from his title is repeated very many times in his text:
[...] The big hope was for a WIMP miracle, a great prediction of supersymmetry. It’s 2019, and that hope is now dashed. Direct detection experiments have thoroughly ruled out the WIMPs we were hoping for. [...] Theorists can always tweak their models, and have done so many times, pushing the anticipated cross-section down and down as null result after null result rolls in. That’s the worst kind of science you can do, however: simply shifting the goalposts for no physical reason other than your experimental constraints have become more severe. There is no longer any motivation, other than preferring a conclusion that the data rules out, in doing so. [...]
And to make sure that you won't overlook them, he repeats the thesis that the "WIMP miracle is dead" at several other places.

## Friday, February 22, 2019 ... //

### Über-IPCC chairman Will Happer may need good bodyguards

Young Sheldon: Last night, he realized that the bread tasted different. The change was traced to a cheaper and faster production process. He organized a petition and appeared on Texas' Channel 7 news, demanding the central communist control over bread. Oops. ;-) He was ostracized. These days, Sheldon would become the Democratic Party's national hero.
In the most recent Will Happer blog post, prominent Princeton retired physicist Will Happer was referred to as a Trump "new tech adviser". Trump has ignored the Paris treaty and similar things but I have felt uneasy because he left the underlying cause of such irrational campaigns, the politicization of science, untouched.

Some good news may change it. As The New York Times wrote,
White House Climate Panel to Include a Climate Denialist.
The main task for Happer's new panel should be to recheck the Pentagon statements that "climate change represents a national security threat" for the U.S. I guess that like your humble correspondent, Happer has already made some research into this particular mind-boggling statement and he may already believe in certain conclusions.

The New York Times article above used the word "denialist" – something that has become so common among the left-wing activists (a category that includes most of the "MSM" journalists) that most of us no longer express any irritation about it. But The Washington Times still ran a story about the "backlash" by people like Roy Spencer who didn't like the denialist slur.

## Thursday, February 21, 2019 ... //

### "Boltzmann vs foes": precursor to "QM vs anti-quantum zealots"

Yesterday, Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann would have had a chance to celebrate his 175th birthday if he hadn't killed that chance by hanging himself at age of 62, while vacationing with his wife Henriette and daughter Elsa (in Tybein) near Trieste, Northern Italy, Austria-Hungary.

The wife and daughter probably had a reason for some anxiety when they found him (the daughter found him first). But Boltzmann's reason powering the suicide were intellectually driven frustrations. And while it's sometimes said that the timing of his suicide was lousy because his ideas were going to win soon afterwards, I actually disagree.

If he were resurrected and if he were around, he would probably ask me whether there's a reasonable chance that the people will get more reasonable when it comes to the ideas required for his new statistical picture of thermodynamics and physics in general. I would probably answer "No" and he would hang himself again.

I could feel a bit guilty but my "No" answer would be a matter of scientific integrity because the anti-quantum zealots are nothing else than heirs to the high-profile idiots who opposed his ideas more than 100 years ago.

## Tuesday, February 19, 2019 ... //

### Henry Tye & pals: fermion masses from anti-naturalness of string theory

Before I discuss the cute new paper by Tye et al., I must mention a SUSY paper

Low-energy lepton physics in the MRSSM: $(g−2)_\mu$, $\mu\to e\gamma$, and $\mu\to e$ conversion
by Kotlarski, Stöckinger, and Stöckinger-Kim, by a Polish, German, and German-Korean ;-) trio. They revisit the 2007 Kribs-Poppitz-Weiner model known as MRSSM. The acronym stands for the same thing as MSSM with the extra "R-symmetric" inserted in between.

There's an extra $U(1)$ R-symmetry in the model, the Standard Model particles are neutral but the superpartners are charged under it. They carry some special new superpartners. In this scenario, compressed spectra are assumed so that the LHC bounds aren't violated even though some superpartner masses are below $200\GeV$. Instead of the LHC, they predict new phenomena to be seen at experiments "directly converting electrons to muons" such as COMET.

Now, the main paper I want to discuss is
String Landscape and Fermion Masses
by Andriolo, Yan Li, and Tye. Henry Tye is of course a brilliant playful man and this paper – building on some previous papers by a similar group – shows that.

### Separation of cash and e-money is a creepy and useless ideology

It's a cure in search of an illness and a gesture to solidify the power and arrogance of the Big Governments

On Saturday in the press, Czech ex-president Václav Klaus, an economics professor, has attacked a self-evidently dangerous idea floated by the staff of the International Monetary Fund. See e.g.

IMF Staff Floats Dual Money to Allow Much Deeper Negative Rates
The idea of Mr Ruchir Agarwal (D.C., just 100 Twitter followers!) and Ms Signe Krogstrup (Denmark) is simple. All these people apparently take it for granted that it was great to lower the interest rates and to push them below zero in some cases. However, they are aware of a problem. If the interest rates given to the final consumers are negative, they may simply keep the cash under the mattresses that give them the 0% interest rate – which is better than the negative rates!

So the negative rates don't really work. If you impose them, the actual result is the removal of the cash from the banks. Now, "which interest rates cannot be below zero" is a subtle question and some people have oversimplified views. Some interest rates, like those on the deposits electronically stored in the banks, may indeed be negative. But as long as you can move your money from the bank to the mattresses and vice versa, the mattress solution affects the electronic money in the banks, too.

## Monday, February 18, 2019 ... //

### Bill Gates: advocates of dominant wind & solar energy are imbeciles

I've been turned into a Microsoft fan roughly when I came to the college. The later finding that Bill Gates actually wrote the "Microsoft BASIC" on my beloved Commodore 64 has increased my respect for him and his company, too. It may have contributed to my being a Microsoft partisan in all the silly college battles about Microsoft vs Apple and Microsoft vs Linux – but I have had lots of other reasons to take the Microsoft side, too.

Microsoft has been another politically correct company in some respects. But in so many other respects, Microsoft and its founder remained such oases of common sense and the "moderate" rational way of thinking that was mainstream in the 1980s and perhaps 1990s. I don't know how many of you agree – but Microsoft (even without Gates) doesn't quite seem to be a member of the bunch of Silicon Valley friends who talk to each other and complicate the lives of all the people who aren't fully politically obedient.

After all, Redmond doesn't sit in the Silicon Valley.

## Sunday, February 17, 2019 ... //

### Janice Fiamengo on the new SJW physics

Some fun neuroscience: the Quanta Magazine discussed a claim that the brains don't remember processes as functions of time but rather as their Laplace transforms and they are capable of performing the inverse Laplace transform rather well. Clever if it's true.

Many of you know and watch Prof Janice Fiamengo who is smart, sensible, articulate, and anti-feminist, among other qualities.

## Friday, February 01, 2019 ... //

### Baer et al.: string theory predicted Higgs mass, everything at LHC, and beyond

Related to physics wars: the intersectional SJW activist and physicist whose views are even discussed in much of Jerusalem, and Lee Smolin's ex-collaborator Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (who recently paid respects to the interplanetary territorial might of the Native American elders robbed by the evil white man, along with her curly Avatar pal; thanks, Joe) became an unlikely defender of particle physics when she teamed up with Tim Tait and authored Particle Physics Is Doing Just Fine for Slate. Hat tip: Andreas Karch and Tom Hendrix. See also Lisa Randall and Jeremy Bernstein in NYT
A wonderfully upbeat SUSY article that ignores all the exploding "bad mood" appeared on hep-ph today:
LHC SUSY and WIMP dark matter searches confront the string theory landscape
Baer, Barger, Salam, Serce, and Sinha (Oklahoma+Wisconsin) argue that the $125\GeV$ Higgs boson, along with the absence of superpartners at the LHC at this point as well as the null results of the dark matter direct search experiments, is exactly what the most conventional string theory scenario – equipped with a naturally sounding refreshed notion of naturalness and a seemingly conservative type of the anthropic veto – has always predicted.

From the beginning, BBSSS make it clear that they belong to Team Stanford – or, given their admiration for Michael Douglas' stringy adjustments to naturalness considerations, Team Rutgers-Stanford (although by current locations, I should say Team StonyBrook-Stanford). They surely believe in a vast landscape of de Sitter vacua.

OK, how does their theory of everything work and what methods and assumptions does it use?