Saturday, May 23, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Greece: parallel currency, default, solutions

Greece remains one of the main topics that markets are thinking about. Its finance minister Varoufakis promised a default on June 5th (€303 million from a 2010 IMF loan) if additional billions of euros aren't poured over the Greek black hole before that day; to feed his corrupt parasitic voters with other people's money will always be more important for him than to fulfill basic international obligations of his country.

He may be bluffing, he may be serious, we can't be sure. It sounds insane that Greece would be the first country in the world's history that would default to the IMF – in some sense, to the whole international economic community – something that no screwed dictatorial regime in Africa has managed to achieve so far. But Varoufakis and his comrades are self-described Marxists so truly insane decisions may be expected, after all.

I follow the Greek media – including those written in Greek. One thing I find remarkable is their local indication that "everything is fine" in the country. Default-related stories are actually just a small part of what they discuss. They don't think that they have a problem. This is remarkable because if the country defaults, the very fabric of the society may be torn apart. And it's only Greece that will be radically transformed.

Friday, May 22, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Far-reaching features of physical theories are not sociological questions

Backreaction has reviewed a book on the "philosophy of string theory" written by a trained physicist and philosopher Richard Dawid who may appear as a guest blogger here at some point.

Many of the statements sound reasonable – perhaps because they have a kind of a boringly neutral flavor. But somewhere in the middle, a reader must be shocked by this sentence – whose content is then repeated many times:

Look at the arguments [in favor of string theory] that he raises: The No Alternatives Argument and the Unexpected Explanatory Coherence are explicitly sociological.
Oh, really?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Inconsequential, irrational, incorrect criticisms of PR, ER=EPR

Insights by Papadodimas and Raju (PR) and those by Maldacena and Susskind (ER=EPR) have advanced our understanding of quantum gravity in the following way:

We know that there is some Hilbert space of microstates, especially black hole microstates (or two black holes' microstates), for example from AdS/CFT. It may be described e.g. by using the energy eigenstate basis. This Hilbert space is fixed and our goal – they have started to fulfill – is to become masters of this Hilbert space. What does it mean?

It means to be able to embed, localize, or identify operators (or even operator algebras) on/into this Hilbert space that may be associated with particular measurements that we may do in the real world. In practice, it means to see how the bulk field operators (and the black hole or wormhole interior operators are the really hard ones) are embedded in the space of black hole microstates.

In this approach, quantum mechanics is primary because a Hilbert space pre-exists and the field operators have to "adapt" to it. This is very different from the approach in which a Hilbert space is produced out of local fields, e.g. as the Fock space. In such an approach, the spacetime would be primary and fundamental. Such an approach is probably inapplicable in quantum gravity.

Award-winning silly conformal gravity agitprop by 't Hooft

Since his well-deserved 1999 Nobel prize in physics, Gerard 't Hooft got used to a luxurious lifestyle and because the prize money have been gone for years, he decided to find a great new way to earn a few more extra bucks.

In 2005, The Templeton Foundation and Max Tegmark established a foundation called FQXi that has been distributing thousands of dollars for essays. Well over 90% of the winners have been crackpots, the kind of people from the Smolin environment, people whose feeble brains don't allow their owners to learn modern physics but who are great in hyping conspiracy theories and meaninglessly combine philosophical and physical buzzwords.

Oops. DG informed me that I conflated two different essay contest foundations, FQXi and Gravity Research Foundation. 't Hooft's essay won the latter.

When you are a warrior against the conventional top physics research who wants to earn the money in this way, you face the competition of dozens of fellow crackpots. But if you're the only one who is a Nobel prize winner at the same moment, your chances of winning the FQXi essay contest go up.

Finally, in the 2015 essay contest, Gerard 't Hooft won the first $4,000 prize. Congratulations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Ashamed to be a Rutgers alumnus

Over 16,000 students of Rutgers have graduated. The university officials had to pick someone to give the commencement speech.

They didn't have a better idea than to pay $35,000 and invite Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and tell him to speak about his hardcore climate catastrophic conspiracy theories (yes, sure, AGW will "consume us" just like the Second World War!) – plus personal attacks on many people who understand the climate much more deeply than he does – for more than 20 minutes.

Monday, May 18, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Oliver Heaviside: 165th birthday

Oliver Heaviside was born in London on May 18th, 1850. He was short, a redhead, and a sufferer from poor hearing due to scarlet fever in his childhood. Due to the limited support from his parents and the hostility of the institutionalized science towards him, he has never received any PhD and almost no credit.

But he was the Gentleman we must thank to for many discoveries and inventions related to electromagnetism and for the modern notation he introduced.

Saturday, May 16, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

John Bell actually misunderstood relativity, too

For the sake of unity, I adopt Bell's spelling "Fitzgerald". The physicist's name was FitzGerald.

John Bell is one of the ultimate darlings of the chronic interpreters and the anti-quantum zealots in particular. They like to maintain a widespread myth that Bell has found something important about Nature – or about quantum mechanics. He didn't. He only found something moderately important – but not completely unknown – about a class of wrong candidate theories of Nature, the local "realist" hidden-variable theories. The word "realist" is a euphemism for "classical" and it is synonymous with "non-quantum".

While this theorem has often been discussed in the debates about the foundations of quantum mechanics, Bell himself is responsible for much of the anti-quantum fog that is omnipresent these days. He said – and it was completely unbacked by any of his "solid" work – that the resolution is that Nature is realist but it is not local. The truth is the opposite, of course. Nature is quantum – i.e. non-realist – but it is local. It has to be local because the special theory of relativity demands that.

Just a few hours ago, I believed that Bell was simply ready to abandon special relativity because "realism" (i.e. the faith that quantum mechanics must ultimately be wrong) was a more important dogma than relativity for him. But only today in the afternoon, I was led to a text that shows that it was just a part of the story. He was actually ready to abandon relativity because he was a relativity denier. To say the least, he denied that Einstein has changed anything about the content of physics. In his opinion, the previous theories based on the aether were already OK and Einstein has only changed the style, philosophy, and pedagogy!

A circular cone and Judas betrayed students during high school final exams

In total, 15.7% of the students failed in their Spring 2015 "maturita", the Czech high school exit exam also nicknamed "the adulthood test". That result was a mixture of 6.5% of students who failed in Czech [meaning Czech language plus all literature], 6.3% who failed in English, and staggering 24% who failed in mathematics. The students' performance in languages is worse than the numbers suggest.

But the Czech Facebook got filled with complaints about two questions from Czech and mathematics. They were about a Biblical villain and about a cone. It's unacceptable for us to be asked about such issues, the pubescent bastards have screamed all over the Internet. ;-)

Friday, May 15, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Fun with

Stephen Wolfram and his folks have launched another rather incredible website, one that tells you what a given photograph contains.

Wolfram Language Artificial Intelligence: The Image Identification Project (some official blog comments by SW) (try the gadget now!)
I've tried lots of pictures. A photograph of the Pilsner Tower – the St Bartholomew Cathedral in Pilsen – was correctly named a "church". The luxurious apartment building "The Ehrlich Palace" was guessed to be a "hotel". Two adults with two kids looking to the camera are a "person".

A Wiener schnitzel with the potato salad turned out to be "food".

Amusingly enough, a fat girl in the train who was just decorating nails or something like that was identified as a "vertebrate". LOL.

EU breakup better than refugee quotas

Instead of thinking about some creative plans to genuinely and systematically improve the lives of all those Africans who are dreaming about moving to Europe, such as recolonialization of Africa, the apparatchiks in the European Commission – an enelected government of the EU – proposed another "clever solution", namely the EU-wide refugee quotas.

They must have completely lost their mind.

Some EU countries suffer because they include similar sceneries.

So far, they talk about a very modest group of 20,000 refugees in two years but it's obvious that this number is just a "demo" and if such centrally controlled transfers were codified, all the EU member states would soon or later see inflows of millions of people. You just can't "force" sovereign countries accept tons of refugees – especially if the overwhelming majority of the citizens opposes such a policy.

Thursday, May 14, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

All realistic "interpretations" falsified by low heat capacities

For a week, I wanted to promote one topic in my 2011 text about Paul Dirac's forgotten quantum wisdom to a separate blog post.

Finally, I managed to tunnel through the barrier of hesitation and moderate laziness.

What is it? It's his observation – understood by most physicists between 1900-1930 – that most of the internal structure of the atoms has to be invisible because it doesn't contribute to the specific heat. It was one of the reasons that made it possible for Gentlemen like Dirac to see that classical, realist theories had to be abandoned and that allowed them to complete their understanding of their revolutionary new framework within months from some important insights – even though so many people remain clueless even now, 90 years later.

Many of the chronic interpreters – a term that is mostly synonymous to the anti-quantum zealots – could be able to see that their favorite classical theory – now renamed as "realist interpretation of quantum mechanics" – has to be wrong. It can be killed in seconds. In this blog post, I won't copy and paste my 2011 essay. Instead, I will try to be complementary. But the section "Absent heat capacity from electrons" in my 2011 text is overlapping with the content of this blog post.

Iran tried to buy nuclear-related compressors using fake documents

...the Czech authorities stopped the sale of the Czech product...

Reuters published an exclusive story from Prague – before the Czech media did so.

ČKD Kompresory is a Prague-based company, currently called Howden ČKD Compressors, that is producing compressors which may be used to extract enriched uranium directly from the cascades – or for some non-nuclear goals, too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

No particle upon a quantum field means no information

Backreation promotes a paper,

Information transmission without energy exchange
by Jonsson, Martin-Martinez, and Kempf, which claims that in 1+1 (exception), 2+1, 4+1, and other odd dimensions, and in curved spaces, the information may be transmitted by a massless quantum field without any exchange of energy. Moreover, the signals move much slower than the speed of light and the communication involves production of no quanta in the field.

The authors play with some subtle "defect" of the Hyugens principle in odd dimensions (and other spaces) and they try to convert this "strange thing" into "other strange things". A problem is that their claims are not right.

Papal encyclical: will AGW, Catholic churches merge?

Environmentalism used to be one of the small building blocks of the nationalist socialist ideology in Germany but it kept on growing and was adopted mainly by the far left-wing, atheist youth.

However, in recent decades, another perspective on environmentalism – and especially its most radical incarnation, the global warming alarmism – was becoming increasingly self-evident. Global warming alarmism is a religion. This point was described in many TRF blog posts a decade ago, too.

Many people have made the point before 2000 but one of the first articulate texts about this topic was the 2003 speech by late TRF reader Michael Crichton, "Environmentalism As Religion".

Like other religions, environmentalism is based on the myth of the initial paradise (you wouldn't want to live in the wild and cruel pre-industrial world!) and the original sin. There will be a judgement day and people must look for salvation which separates them to good believers and evil infidels. The facts no longer matter. It is all about the belief so the huge and accumulating evidence disproving the environmentalist religious myths has no impact on the believers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

NASA: no warp drive results. Cranks yelling

A week ago, I discussed the recent wave of misguided enthusiasm concerning the EM drive and warp drive crackpot memes. I have reminded everyone of the simple reasons that make us known – in the same sense as we know that the Earth is not flat – that those dreams can't be realized.

At that time, over a hundred of major news outlets brought a gospel to their readers. Fuel-free and perhaps superluminal spaceships are around the corner. Thousands of loud weirdos have self-confidently filled the comment sections of their newspapers, celebrating the "breakthrough" and punishing the laws of physics for the restrictions they have never liked.

Sunday, May 10, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Croatian paramilitary units kidnap the president of Liberland

The interpretations of the events below are not meant quite seriously.

The world's newest country, the Libertarian Paradise of Liberland (Google Maps), seven squared kilometers located between the old and new stream of Danube that was defining the border of Croatia and Serbia, is approaching 1 million applicants for citizenship. Incidentally, while the correct interpretation is that the land in between the two streams of Danube was a "country of nobody" before Liberland was established, Croatia tries to claim that it belonged to Croatia and Serbia tries to claim that it belonged to Serbia.

Because the average applicants for the Liberlandic citizenship are wealthier than the average people of Croatia and Serbia (Liberland is the ultimate tax haven for the rich and for surfing girls, after all), the total GDP of Liberland already trumps that of either former Yugoslav country. The president, my Facebook friend Vít Jedlička [Veet Yed-Leach-Car], is working hard to create a new Hong Kong in the Balkans.