Friday, May 06, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Pope, Charlemagne, walls, and European dreams

There are situations in which I envy other countries their religious credentials but at the end, it's likely that I consider Czechia's status as the most atheist country of Europe (and 3rd in the world) to be a net benefit. That's surely the case when I look at the comments by the newest winner of the Charlemagne Prize.

Left-wing Argentine pundit Jorge Mario Bergoglio wasn't expected to accept the Charlemagne award because Charlemagne was as earthly and as physical as you may get while the Vatican claims to be a spiritual country – and Bergoglio runs it under the artistic name "Pope Francis". But Bergoglio's thirst for awards and spotlight was strong enough to defy all the expectations and Pope Francis gave a would-be emotional speech attacking the Europeans.

Holy cow, it was a stupid speech. See The Guardian for a summary.

Proposed draconian weapon ban shows EU's cluelessness

...and maybe something worse: a very evil intent...

If there were a referendum about the departure of Czechia from the EU, some polls indicate that as little as 25% of the population could be voting "Stay". Well, that was yesterday. An hour ago, the percentage could be lower than 25% because lots of Czechs who hold weapons – and their relatives – were terrified by the news about the EU proposals to ban lots of guns:

A stringent EU regulation may help terrorists, the (ministry of) interior warns
In the poll next to the article, 52% of respondents say that the hold a gun with a license, 48% don't. This number almost certainly isn't representative – the holders are more likely to press any button. But the number of Czechs who could be affected is huge. In Czechia, sport shooting is the 3rd most widespread sport after soccer and ice-hockey but the number of guns for self-defense trumps those for sport and hunting, anyway. 775,000 of 10 million citizens have licenses allowing them to buy and possess guns right now. There are about 500 "forbidden armament" cases in a year and 2,000 related minor offenses. See Gun politics in Czechia.

President Zeman with a toy

At any rate, the European Commission – the bunch of individuals who would be a government if the EU were a country – has written a proposal to ban several huge classes of so far legally held weapons in the EU. Well, there are three proposals, an extremely draconian one and some tough ones. The justification is that such a ban will make terror attacks such as the Friday 13th attack in Paris less likely.

Thursday, May 05, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Recent 45 or 30 years: linear warming a better fit than the CO2-related warming

A climate alarmist named Tim Palmer gave a talk about chaos and global warming at the Perimeter Institute For Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada.

The talk was even discussed in The National Post – most actual physics talks at the PI surely don't enjoy this luxury.

He's an okay speaker but the content was very problematic. At the beginning (around 20:00) he started with a good question someone posed to him:

At the Perimeter, people are used to talks about quarks and strings. So why would they listen to a monologue about the climate alarmism junk?
The correct answer is, of course:
The climate alarmists are so shameless that they want to penetrate into every institution and every secret room of yours. And the Perimeter Institute contains lots of extreme leftists who are shameless enough to embrace any fashionable left-wing fad and claim that it's theoretical physics.
Tim Palmer's answer was:
The climate alarmism is a big problem in theoretical physics as I will convince you.
Well, it's not. But he got a big applause for this sentence, strengthening my own explanation above.

When German readers are less PC than a Czech politician

Some Czech media inform us about an interview of Czech politician Pavel Bělobrádek for Die Welt:

Germany and its Chancellor have saved the Balkans
Interestingly, the Czech media usually choose a different title, one saying that the "refugee quotas remind Czechs of the Munich Treaty". Bělobrádek (=the Whitebearded One) is the leader of a small, sub-10-percent party. But the centrist party is in the coalition now (and was in it most of the time since 1989) and the party is probably the most PC and certainly the most pro-German one on the Czech political spectrum.

Its name is the "Christian Democratic Union – the Czechoslovak People's Party" (the name wasn't changed after the Velvet Divorce). At least the first party of the name must sound OK enough to German ears. It's also the only party in Czechia that clearly supports Christianity. And Bělobrádek has blue eyes and blonde hair, too (pics). And I don't even want to mention that he has pleased the bosses of the Sudeten German organizations by his recent visit and friendliness. Even the boss of the Sudetendeutschenlandsmannschaft whom President Zeman calls a Hitler after holidays in the fattening station (guess why) was pleased by Bělobrádek's gestures.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Measurements are fundamentally irreversible

I was recently exposed to the brutal misconception that "measurements could or should be fundamentally reversible" promoted by several well-known folks but let me only mention two prominent ones: Leonard Susskind's latest paper and a 2002 talk by Freeman Dyson who argued that quantum mechanics was "incomplete" at Wheeler's 90th birthday party.

These men and others realize that the founders of quantum mechanics have postulated that the measurement is irreversible (e.g. whole chapters of books by von Neumann were dedicated to the irreversibility of the measurement); and they seem to realize that all the folks who talk about decoherence acknowledge and assume that decoherence has to be irreversible. But they're not satisfied and want all processes, including the measurements, to be "reversible". This "dream" partly motivates the vague Everettian movement, too. Some people find the measurement and/or the collapse to be "ugly" and want to eliminate it.

But this is a complete misunderstanding what measurements are or can be – and whether they exist at all (be sure that they do). It's a misunderstanding of the basic difference between the future and the past. We remember the past but can't remember the future, we may be afraid of the future and feel that we can change it but we can't change the past, and so on. Human beings and even animals get these basic things already as "babies". Does it mean that all adult physicists have noticed?

Tuesday, May 03, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Gell-Mann's opposition to Bohr has been mostly a pose

A few days ago, a computer recommended Steve Hsu to watch a video of Murray Gell-Mann we discussed in 2014. (See also a 2009 blog post on Gell-Mann.)

And Hsu has interpreted all these things in a way that Gell-Mann was a big critic of the Copenhagen interpretation. And maybe Feynman was one as well, Hsu adds. This is particularly disingenuous given Gell-Mann's well-known opinions about the kind of "superluminal" stuff that Hsu was recently promoting.

What's going on?

Warren Buffett is right: investment consultancy doesn't work

Dupes pay lots of fees to dummies

Warren Buffett has been a classic value investor who was buying assets when they were undevalued and selling them later. This is obviously an activity that is good for the investor if he can really do it; and by this kind of a behavior, investors such as Buffett are actually doing an extremely helpful and essential service for the market – they are setting the price.

This should be contrasted with the technical investors who are trying to spot the "momentum". These investors don't have a clue about the actual value of a company and they don't positively contribute to the market process of discovering the right price. They contribute noise – and they help to grow bubbles when they act as collective bulls; and they help to cause dramatic crashes when they act as collective bears.

Aside from the technical investors, one also has the noisy investors who just do basically random things – often with other people's money – and they claim that it's better than doing nothing. During the weekend, Warren Buffett made a wonderful monologue about the uselessness of the noise investment consultants:

Warren Buffett’s Epic Rant Against Wall Street
I couldn't agree more with him. The seven-hour video is available. Things are interesting after 2:42:20 (data showing why hedge funds don't work).

New EU carbon permits: €250,000 per emitted migrant

Many European Union apparatchiks belong among the most unhinged climate alarmists in the world.

So the European Union has run the world's largest Ponzi scheme of carbon indulgences, officially "carbon permits", that you have to pay if you emit a ton of CO2 above certain arbitrary bureaucratic quota. To be allowed to emit another ton of this gas that has been essential for life in recent billions of years, you need to buy these indulgences from the "market" which is a completely bogus market because the price is primarily dictated by the bureaucrats' decisions to keep or change the quotas.

Now, the pro-Islamization European Union apparatchiks (which are usually the very same people) had a wonderful idea:

EU Refugee Crisis: Brussels To Propose Charging Over $289,000 From Countries Refusing Asylum
The idea is to use the carbon permits for the migrants as well. There will be quota and whenever a country wants to emit (i.e. reject) a migrant that belongs to the country according to the quota, it must pay for the carbon permits to emit him (or, much less likely, her). We will be forced to pay – just like we're no longer allowed to freely exhale or emit CO2, we're no longer allowed to freely reject asylum seekers.

The European Union fascists don't have a problem with the termination of the sovereignty of the member states; and with the treatment of the people as pork or another commodity – or, even more precisely, as carbon emissions. So one emitted migrant is worth €250,000. It's great to finally learn what these people cost according to the EU leaders.

Monday, May 02, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

BBC, media suddenly join TRF: Craig Wright created the Bitcoin

In December 2015, you could read my comments why

I would bet: Sydney climate skeptic is the father of the Bitcoin
At that time, lots of tech media mentioned the emerging evidence that Craig Steven Wright (*1970) created the world's most famous cryptocurrency but almost all of them were mostly skeptical and those who were not skeptical were sort of dismissed.

Five months ago, Wright wasn't loudly boasting – and he wasn't even explicitly admitting – that he was the father of the Bitcoin. However, he didn't say "No", either, and the dominant theme in the newspaper articles was that "he created some bogus evidence that would make others think that he was the creator of the Bitcoin".

I just found such a theory analogous to the conspiracy theories about the moonlanding staged by Hollywood in Nevada.

Much like it is easier and more straightforward to actually build and send some rockets to the Moon (the laws of physics make it clear that it may be done and it isn't infinitely different from the airplanes) than to create a network that convinces hundreds and then billions of people that they're taking a part in a great engineering event that isn't real, it just seems much more straightforward to actually write the paper and the programs; than to create a fake life consistent with someone's being the father of the Bitcoin.

Saturday, April 30, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Claude Shannon at 100: who are his living peers?

Claude Shannon was born exactly 100 years ago, on April 30th, 1916. After I quick read the Wikipedia page, it seems to me that he is rightfully considered a father of the digital age and one of the greatest 20th century engineers whose work was important enough to impact science, too.

He died in 2001.

(Interestingly enough, an important "she" from my undergraduate years was born exactly 40 years ago, i.e. 60 years after Shannon. Congratulations. In Czechia, April 30th is the day of burning of the witches, see some videos, although they're mostly less real than those in Salem, MA. For a May 1st romantic event, read Mácha's poem "Máj".)

Shannon was born in Michigan. His father was a self-made businessman (at some district level, I could describe my dad in the same way) and his mother was a teacher.

Bohmian mechanics is incompatible with loop corrections

...meaning the Feynman diagrams...

Florin Moldoveanu wrote his review of Hardy's paradox. Like the GHZM experiment, it's another "mostly qubits-based" quantum thought (or real) experiments that behaves in a way predicted by any local realist theory to be impossible.

Florin's presentation is a bit shallower than my blog post on Hardy's paradox or his treatment of the GHZM case but I am willing to believe that he understands how it works.

The original paper by Lucien Hardy included the annihilation of an electron and a positron into two photons; and Jean Bricmont, a pro-Bohmian ideologue, recently published his book attacking the foundations of quantum mechanics. So I think it could be a good moment to write a blog post dedicated to this specific topic of "Bohmian mechanics vs effects of QFT", something I have wanted to do for some time.

Friday, April 29, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A new conservation law in GR discovered thanks to ER=EPR

An attack turned off the LHC: a terrorist (picture) made it necessary to stop the LHC. Due to a damage of the transformer, there won't be any beam up to next Friday. I still think that weasel words create many more problems than weasels.
I primarily view the ER-EPR correspondence (the equivalence of the non-traversable wormholes and the quantum entanglement) as an important conceptual finding that is directing people's research of the most esoteric, most quantum aspects of quantum gravity – the cutting-edge questions in this most fundamental part of theoretical physics. We learn about some new constraints in the rules that govern the Hilbert spaces in quantum gravity.

However, three Caltech authors, Remmen+Bao+Pollack, just showed a rather cool example of the wisdom that may also flow in the opposite direction:
Entanglement Conservation, ER=EPR, and a New Classical Area Theorem for Wormholes
Because the entanglement is the same thing as the wormhole and there exist some facts we may derive about the entanglement in general, there could be facts that we may derive about the pure simple classical Einstein's general theory of relativity, too.

This result is so pleasing that I immediately forgave these folks their collaboration with Sean Carroll in the past. Whoever co-authors a paper such as this one earns enough scientific capital to write three nutty papers e.g. about the Boltzmann Brains.

Consensus and concordance models

Syed Ali of Pakistan asked the following question on Stack Exchange:

What is the difference between the Big Bang Model and the Λ-CDM Model?

If I'm going to write about "The Consensus Model of Cosmology" should I include Big Bang Model or should I go with just the ΛCDM Model?
Well, it's subtle. On that page, I explained the difference between the ΛCDM model and the more general term, the big bang theory.

The former is more detailed than the latter; it also says that there's a big positive cosmological constant (Λ in ΛCDM) and cold dark matter (CDM) in the Universe. Cosmologists are generally certain about the big bang and almost all of them think that ΛCDM is basically correct as well. But there are various uncertainties, various degrees of certainty about different questions, and "consensus" is just an inappropriate word to talk about science.

Even if we added the cosmic inflation, the majority of active cosmologists would probably say "Yes". But no specific "subtype" of inflation would already get over 50% of all cosmologists, I think. And what is the dark matter composed of? WIMP would be the winner but whether it would score more than 50% is debatable. It's been reported that the younger generation of cosmologists is much more willing to abandon WIMP theories. This particular evolution seems reasonably defensible to me, unlike some others.

Thursday, April 28, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Anti-quantum zealots don't even get that QM is a physical theory

Their peabrains are also incapable of understanding the word "No"

Maybe it's just because I have increased the frequency with which I write about the foundations of quantum mechanics and people send me various stuff. But the amount of anti-quantum misconceptions that I have been exposed to in recent weeks was higher than ever before.

At the end, almost all if not all of these people just aren't willing or able to even consider the possibility that the assumptions of classical physics are wrong. It must sound surprising to an open-minded student who hasn't faced any serious obstacles when he was learning quantum mechanics. But when you actually interact with these anti-quantum zealots and you see how they react to some extremely simple, rock-solid explanations of yours, you simply have to conclude that their IQ is probably below 70. The degree of stupidity they are willing to promote in order to defend the indefensible is shocking.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech nuclear watchdog: a trip to Chernobyl is safe for you

A more exciting tourist destination than most others

Yesterday, on the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, the chairwoman of the Czech State Office for Nuclear Safety Dr Dana Drábová gave an interview for the left-wing daily Právo and the news server

A trip to the forbidden zone in Chernobyl? Why not, it won't hurt, claims nuclear physicist Drábová

The areas contaminated after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant have turned into founts of wisdom, claims Dana Drábová in the Tuesday's interview for the Právo daily. She is the chairwoman of the State Bureau for Nuclear Safety. According to her words, an educational sightseeing trip to the Chernobyl zone won't harm anyone because the guides know which places are safe to visit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Research in Prague quantifies dishonesty of literature on climate sensitivity

The power of meta-analyses in measuring the density of scammers in the climate alarmist industry

Although one or two climate blogs have already noticed the clever paper in August 2015 when it was published, most of us were unaware of it. That included myself – even though the paper was published by authors at my Alma Mater, Charles University in Prague (founded 1348). They're from the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSV UK) – a much more quantitative department than the name indicates. A classmate of mine (whom I spent 6 years with behind the same school desk) completed FSV UK and then went to the London School of Economics before he became a director at the Patria Finance for some time. ;-)

Figure 3 from the paper makes the bias obvious.

Sadly, the paper published in Energy & Environment remained almost unknown for almost a year. Fortunately, Richard Tol sent the paper to Willie Soon and he sent it to me today. The 2015 paper is freely available on a Czech website:

Publication Bias in Measuring Anthropogenic Climate Change (also: a PowerPoint talk)
The authors are Dr Dominika Rečková (CZ) and Dr Zuzana Iršová (SK). Note that in Czech and Slovak, the -ová suffix indicates that they're female. That doesn't change the fact that their methodology is very clever.

When anti-CO2, junk food pseudosciences team up

Among other things, a Czech-Swedish man showed me an article in the April 9th issue of Nude Socialist

Reaping what we sow (pages 18-19)
written by Irakli Loladze (Google Scholar), a professor of junk food science at a college I've never heard of. He told us that he wanted to get lots of money and Barack Obama (whose relationship to science is accurately described by his being a painful footnote in the curved constitutional space) finally gave Loladze some big bucks for the excellent "research" that Loladze already wanted to do in 2002.

What is the result of the research? It's a simple combination of the pseudosciences about the "evil junk food" and about the "evil CO2". It says that CO2 turns out food into junk food. I kid you not. The one-page article in Nude Socialist contains basically nothing beyond the previous sentence written in the bold face.

Omnipresent in-fighting weakens right-wingers

Trump vs Koch, Farage vs Le Pen, Klaus vs Mach, Dawn vs Bloc Against Islam...

In recent 24 hours, I read about an unusual excess of the tensions between various pairs of right-wing politicians (and a businessman). It seems that these conflicts can be found everywhere on the right side of the political spectrum. Some frustration coming from the politicians' perceived failure to become important may be partially blamed for the trend.

First, Charles Koch prefers Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. He says some good things about the economic policies of Bill Clinton – I obviously sometimes say similar things – but he also adds that it's unacceptable for the GOP candidates to vigorously defend America against the radical Islam (by Muslim travel bans and carpet bombing of Daesh, respectively).

Monday, April 25, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

5,000 cernettes with \(750\GeV\) may be found in the LHC trash bins each year

The excess of the diphoton events whose invariant mass is apparently \(750\GeV\), the decay products of the hypothetical new "cernette" particles, is arguably the most convincing or most tantalizing existing experimental hint of the Beyond the Standard Model physics at the LHC right now. I estimate the probability that a new particle (or new particles) exists in that region to be 50%.

Nude Socialist just posted an interesting story

Hacking the LHC to sift trash could help find a mystery particle
about a possibly clever idea to dramatically increase the sensitivity of the LHC to the "cernettes" that was reported in a fresh hep-ex preprint
Turning the LHC Ring into a New Physics Search Machine
by 4 physicists from Iowa, Helsinki, and CERN that include Risto Orava. Orava is a cute region in the Northwestern Slovak countryside (pix) where Elon Musk just built Tesla Orava, a company producing some incredibly hot futuristic high-tech products including the Color Oravan TV that I can already/still offer you. Tesla Czechoslovakia just succeeded in selling 100,000 new vinyl record players to Japan. (Everyone laughs now.) The Japanese bought them as carousels for puppet shows.