Thursday, July 27, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Pinker on the AI alarmism, Pandora, and alpha males

One year ago, Steve Pinker recorded this insightful 2-minute-long video about the AI fearmongers for Big Think:

Pinker is one of the great thinkers who is deeply underappreciated and this fact and similar facts immensely frustrate me.

When an intellectually average man, Elon Musk, offers his childish and utterly stupid perspective on the future of technology and its interactions with the mankind, millions of people praise him and parrot him. When a world's top thinker about these matters clarifies what's actually going on and what are the causal relationships, he only attracts 40,000 viewers and 65% of them give him negative votes, for reasons that I find absolutely indefensible. Almost all the commenters under Pinker's video are aggressive imbeciles.

Almost no people in this world have any respect for deep thoughts or the actual understanding of things – it's mostly throwing pearls to swines when folks like Pinker record their videos. The fact that laymen such as Zuckerberg and Musk are considered "the opinionmakers" related to things like evolutionary psychology is analogous to the climate science led by Leonardo DiCaprio and shows that tens of millions of people really don't want the scientific mode of thinking to matter in their lives. A well-known face from the tabloid media is at least equally good to answer such questions, isn't he? Well, he isn't.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Red team and blue team may be a good next step to fix the U.S. climatology

The EPA chief – the U.S. minister of environment – Scott Pruitt wants to return some healthy exchange and validation of ideas to the U.S. climate science. So he has sketched his "red team-blue team" paradigm. Two groups of people should interact according to the principles of dialectics and exchange evidence and decide what's right and what's wrong, what's known and what's unknown when it comes to the climate change.

Recall that in Matrix, the red (Republican) pill gives you knowledge, freedom, and the truth of reality. The blue (Democratic) pill gives you falsehood, security, and the blissful ignorance of illusion.

Pruitt has chosen Steve Koonin, a physicist and an Obama DOE bureaucrat, as the head of the alarmist team. They call it the "red team" but I guess Koonin's should be called the Democratic "blue team". While he says that the climate change is a problem, Koonin has shown some signs of reality years ago – at least, he recognized that the likes of Richard Lindzen and Judith Curry have been unfairly targeted by the alarmist movement.

Propaganda about Czech victim of stabbing in Hurghada

...was similar to the communist propaganda after Chernobyl...

On July 14th, a terrorist attack took place in Hurghada, a favorite destination of German, Czech, and other tourists in Egypt. The 29-year-old Abdel-Rahman Shaaban spoke German fluently and was ordered by IS-related militias to target white women. He swam from a public beach to a Zahabia Hotel beach and stabbed six women – five Germans and one Czech. Two German women died immediately.

What happened to the Czech victim of the stabbing attack, Ms Lucie Civínová of Nové Strašecí (36), the top accountant in the Soccer Association of the Czech Republic?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Zuckerberg's understanding of AI doomsdaylogy is more limited than Musk's

...unfortunately, AI doomsdaylogy is a moronic cult, not a credible field of science...

One week ago, Elon Musk repeated his Luddite demand to regulate and combat the AI existential threat before it's too late.

We're facing an imminent uprising of the robots, we were told, so a new IPCC – the Intelligent People-like-robots Combating Committee – has to be established. Everyone who has some dangerous robot, e.g. a self-driving car, an intelligent thermometer, a smartphone, a fridge, or a mixer, will have to euthanize them or report every usage of them to the IPCC. New production of dangerous robots will be banned to fight against the existentially threatening uprising.

I am not quoting Musk exactly but I am sure that I am accurately conveying the basic spirit. He is a Luddite. An insane one. It's rather amazing for an entrepreneur who is considered high-tech to be a Luddite when it comes to the Artificial Intelligence but it just happens to be the case.

Wrong turns, basins, GUT critics, and creationists

A notorious holy warrior against physics recently summarized a talk by Nima Arkani-Hamed as follows:

I think Arkani-Hamed is right to identify the 1974 GUT hypothesis as the starting point that led the field into this wrong basin.
As far as I can see, Nima has never made a discovery – or claimed a discovery – that would show that grand unification was wrong or the center of a "wrong basin". Instead, Nima made the correct general point that if you try to improve your state-of-the-art theoretical picture gradually and by small changes that look like improvements, you may find a local minimum (or optimum) but that may be different from the global minimum (or optimum) – from the correct theory. So sometimes one needs to make big steps.

Is grand unification correct? Are three non-gravitational forces that we know merged into one at a high energy scale? My answer is that we don't know at this moment – the picture has appealing properties, especially in combination with SUSY, but nothing is firmly established and pictures without it may be good enough, too – and I am rather confident that Nima agrees with answer, Peter W*it's classic lies notwithstanding. Even if we take the latest stringy constructions and insights for granted, there exist comparably attractive compactifications where the electroweak and strong forces are unified at a higher scale; and compactifications where they aren't. String theory always morally unifies all forces, including gravity, but this type of unification is more general and may often be non-unification according to the technical, specific, field-theoretical definition of unification.

Nevertheless, W*it made this untrue statement in his blog post and the discussion started among the crackpots who visit that website: Was grand unification the first "wrong turn"?

Monday, July 24, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

"Information is physical" carries zero information

Scott Aaronson wrote a long and tedious essay,

Is “information is physical” contentful?
which has ignited a long and tedious discussion. I remember that some 30 years ago, I was somewhat excited about the "idealism" that hides in statements such as "physics is all about the information". When you do physics – or any proper science, for that matter – you don't approach the world "practically". You don't need to "feel" the meat, scents, materials. Instead, you represent them by some abstract concepts, by information, and by real or complex numbers – that's the most typical attitude of the physicists who replace "intuitive objects" with coordinates, observables, positions, momenta, wave functions.

It doesn't really matter that "pork is real matter" and you remember its taste and consider it primary. Instead, in physics, pork is composed of some concepts and quantities that may be written on the paper and communicated as information. There's some sense in which "the ideas are primary" is preferred in physics over "the matter is primary" – sense in which idealism beats materialism in physics. And this point becomes particularly strong in quantum mechanics because quantum mechanics only calculates the probabilities that propositions about observations are correct – it doesn't allow you to assume that some "matter with objective properties" exists independently at every moment. So idealism wins.

Sunday, July 23, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Pro-Islamist Berkeley hosts banned Richard Dawkins' talk

The atheist icon is politically incorrect among the true grass roots "progressives" now

In the morning, I saw a two-day-old tweet by Steve Pinker:

The article that Pinker linked to reveals (see also other outlets) that a radio station disinvited Richard Dawkins who was supposed to give a talk at the First Congregational Church on August 9th.

Saturday, July 22, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Donald Trump has a duty: to defend his family

Guaranteed pardon for all family members is the right thing to do

Hardcore left-wing activists in the U.S. keep on attacking Donald Trump and his family. Their behavior is so similar to what we remember from the communist totalitarianism. Someone's view, in this case Trump's, is sometimes politically inconvenient for the self-appointed determinants of the atmosphere in the whole society. So the left-wing octopus doesn't attack just Trump himself but also his children. During communism, this was happening to many Czechoslovak parents. Many of them found the legal and material well-being of their kids more important than their political values so they surrendered to the communist pressure.

At any rate, leftists have totalitarianism deeply rooted in their DNA and hardwired into their brains. In their perspective, the ends always justify the means. So they're doing the same to Donald Trump and his family. A week ago, they tried to ignite a hysteria about the meeting of Donald Trump Jr and a female Russian lawyer. Trump Jr was simply doing opposition research. The last regime in a Western nation where the very meeting with a member of an ethnic group was criminalized was Nazi Germany: already in the mid 1930s, Germans were harassed already for a friendly talk with a Jew. Do the leftists – who otherwise claim to defend the equality of ethnic groups – want to be exactly the same as their German predecessors?

Yesterday, a new candidate topic for an anti-Trump hysteria was revealed by some left-wing activist rags. Trump wants to pardon himself and/or his team and family. What a sin!

European Union's Left, not Poland, is a threat to democracy

Europe's postmodern Left has escalated its attacks against Poland that started to remind us of September 1939. Let me offer you two texts about the tension.

First, a translation of an article by science-fiction writer Mr Ondřej Neff at his The Invisible Dog.

The Constitutional Court and Poland
By Ondřej Neff

On the website of the Czech constitutional court, it is possible to find a joint statement concerning the situation in Poland. It was signed by various important personalities, chairmen of the Constitutional, Supreme, and Supreme Administrative courts, the Attorney General, as well as the Ombudswoman. The latest changes that took place in Poland are being described as steps that are threatening the untouchable values of the European civilization, humanism, and basic rights and freedoms.

Friday, July 21, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Does weak gravity conjecture predict neutrino type, masses and cosmological constant?

String cosmologist Gary Shiu and his junior collaborator Yuta Hamada (Wisconsin) released a rather fascinating hep-th preprint today

Weak Gravity Conjecture, Multiple Point Principle and the Standard Model Landscape
They are combining some of the principles that are seemingly most abstract, most stringy, and use them in such a way that they seem to deduce an estimate for utterly observable quantities such as a realistic magnitude of neutrino masses, their being Dirac, and a sensible estimate for the cosmological constant, too.

What have they done?

In 2005, when I watched him happily, Cumrun Vafa coined the term swampland for the "lore" that was out there but wasn't clearly articulated before that. Namely the lore that even in the absence of the precise identified vacuum of string theory, string theory seems to make some general predictions and ban certain things that would be allowed in effective quantum field theories. According to Vafa, the landscape may be large but it is still just an infinitely tiny, precious fraction embedded in a much larger and less prestigious region, the swampland, the space of possible effective field theories which is full of mud, feces, and stinking putrefying corpses of critics of string theory such as Mr Šmoits. Vafa's paper is less colorful but be sure that this is what he meant. ;-)

The weak gravity conjecture – the hypothesis (justified by numerous very different and complementary pieces of evidence) that consistency of quantum gravity really demands gravity among elementary particles to be weaker than other forces – became the most well-known example of the swampland reasoning. But Cumrun and his followers have pointed out several other general predictions that may be made in string theory but not without it.

Boss of Californian community colleges wants to ban algebra

Several years ago, Penny asked Sheldon whether Leonard would get bored with her.

She lied to him that she was a community college graduate – in order not to be considered a stupid loser. Sheldon was surprised that she apparently thought that the opposite of a "stupid loser" was a "community college graduate". Well, Sheldon had very good reasons to be surprised. And the NPR gave us an additional reason two days ago (thanks to Willie):

Say Goodbye To X+Y: Should Community Colleges Abolish Algebra?
Kayla Lattimore talked to Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the chancellor of California's college community system.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Why we emphasize that the climate has always changed

Professional climate fearmonger Mr Stefan Rahmstorf finds the observation that "the climate has always changed" inconvenient which is why he wrote the text

The climate has always changed. What do you conclude?
He wants the readers of to dismiss the importance of the observation that the climate has always changed. In order to achieve this goal, he fights four straw men – he chooses four propositions that he believes not to follow from the proposition "the climate has always changed", even though at least some of them actually do follow, as I will discuss.

Too bad. If he had at least some integrity, he would study the actual reasons why people point out that the climate has always changed instead of his straw men – or I should perhaps say straw persons because he's a writer for a far left-wing activist website.

OK, why do many of us emphasize that the climate has always changed? It's because this important proposition of ours is primarily a response to statements such as
Climate is changing.
Climate change is real.
Haven't you heard these sentences? I have heard them thousands of times. You get a million of hits at Google even if you look for the precise form of these sentences.

We say that the climate has always changed in order to point out that those who say "climate is changing" or "climate change is real" don't have the slightest clue about this scientific discipline. The sentences such as "climate is changing" are formally true but they also implicitly say that
It is important information and a modern scientific discovery that climate is changing.
Or: A brand new process has started in the world we inhabit.
But these sentences are absolutely untrue because the climate has always changed. Everyone who says "climate is changing" and indicates that it is some important information that should affect our behavior if not policies influencing the whole national economies is a scientifically illiterate, probably brainwashed, layman or an intentionally deceptive demagogue or a liar.

The climate has always changed so the sentences such as "climate is changing" are as worthless tautologies as 2+2=4. It it silly to repeat such a statement and it is absolutely silly to suggest that such a sentence is a deep or original insight that may support one policy or another.

U.N.'s 17 sustainable goals by 2030: what the youth gets brainwashed with

Bill Nye, a former actor, is looking forward to the day when the older people will die out. The death of the older people is a necessary condition for progress in climate science, Bill Nye tells us.

Just try to appreciate how sick this individual is. In the real world, the progress in science doesn't require anyone's death. A scientist may do his research equally well if others – including the wrong ones, if they are wrong at all – stay alive. Nye's statement is just another example of the far left-wing Nazis' complete inability (or their lack of will) to distinguish science from political movements and from mass eradication programs. You can't be surprised that the wise commenters urge him to be the role model and be the first one who dies in order to end the farce that he calls his life.

We often complain that the Millennials are a lousy generation without ambitions, without spine, without courage, a brainwashed herd of cheap sheep. At the same moment, they're mostly just kids. They are victims. And they still have a chance to see the light. It's some of the old jerks like Nye who are actually responsible for having crippled the Generation Y.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Was there a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?

If you make it to the U.S. Congress, you have to do some work but there are lots of advantages. One of them is that you may finally ask the questions you were always afraid to ask – and you can ask them to the best paid experts in your country.

Well, Mr Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from Southern California, has maximally used the opportunity.

He said that we should exploit the Moon as much as we can before we visit Mars. But concerning Mars, can I borrow these NASA folks for a minute? Now, wise guys, tell me: When you say that Mars was very different thousands of years ago, do you have the evidence that there was a civilization on Mars? Thanks for the good job you're doing.

When research has no beef, it's impossible to divide credit

A few days ago, would-be researcher Sabine Hossenfelder had a headache. Why? She saw an article in Nature that was written by Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral and that speculated about some ways to test the phenomena involving both quantum interference and gravity. And Hossenfelder thinks that Marletto and Vedral should "cite" Hossenfelder because:

For about 15 years, I have worked on quantum gravity phenomenology, ... my research area has its own conference series ... I have never seen nor heard anything of Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral ... If they think such meetings are a good idea, I recommend they attend them. There’s no shortage. ...
And so on. Later, Hossenfelder also notices that a "Bose-Eistein condensate" has appeared in one of the – not really plausible – experiments proposed by Marletto and Vedral. So some outsiders must be stealing her work, right?


The problem with Hossenfelder's claims is that regardless of those "15 years" and the bogus "conferences" for which she has misappropriated all the sponsors' money, her "field" doesn't really exist because no results that could be considered "beef of this field" have ever been found. All the texts that the likes of Hossenfelder pretend to be "research papers" are just worthless piles of junk whose only purpose is to fool the most gullible laymen and make them pay.

But she has made no impact on science (yet?). Marletto and Vedral don't mention people like Hossenfelder because people like Hossenfelder have never found a damn thing in physics.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Lukin's 51-qubit Russian-American analog quantum computer

My former ex-colleague Mikhail Lukin has been doing some cool things in atomic physics and the most recent one is a 51-qubit quantum computer of a sort. Read the story

Russian, US Scientists Team Up to Create World's Most Advanced Quantum Computer
at the semi-official Russian Sputnik News server (or an original story in Russian or Google News).

You may see the different attitudes of the media in the two countries. While the U.S. media are obsessed with witch hunts against a son of Donald Trump who may have touched the hand of a Russian woman in the recent year, and they wouldn't dare to mention a Russian quantum computation advance at Harvard, Russian media are celebrating the cooperation of Russian and American scientists.

This Snap's hit from the 1990s, "Power", is started by a Russian announcement that the U.S. company Transceptor Technologies began to produce the computers Personal Sputnik. ;-)

Think twice who is the aßhole here. Yes, Lukin is Putin's agent according to a Democratic Party's lawmaker.

Their results were summarized in a fresh quant-ph preprint
Probing many-body dynamics on a 51-atom quantum simulator
The authors are mostly affiliated with Harvard's physics department, 1.5 of them with MIT, 1 with Caltech, and 0.5 of them with Harvard-Smithsonian. So despite Misha's ethnicity, that would probably make the paper an American one. But Lukin recently co-founded the Russian Quantum Center. I suppose that the plan is to do lots of things over there.

Monday, July 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Italy plans an act of war: 200,000 EU visas for free

According to the existing laws as well as common sense, Italy is one of the countries on the border of the EU visa realm – the Schengen Area – so it has the same duty as separate countries in most cases: It has the duty to make sure that no illegal immigrant gets to the space where he doesn't belong.

I think that the Italian prime minister and the most relevant minister should be abruptly tried in the court as soon as they fail to realize this duty and one or two illegal immigrants makes it through the EU border. Instead, they have allowed – well, they have really assisted – hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to get into the Schengen Area. During the weekend, we learned something incredible:

Italy plots 'nuclear option' to migrant crisis by giving EU visas to 200,000 incomers and sending them north as the country struggles with 'human warehouse'
They just want to give the visas valid for the whole EU to everyone who looks like an illegal immigrant! It's just stunning. Anyone in the world who wants to get to Europe may just sail to the Italian beaches and he automatically gets all the paperwork. Technically, they want to use the same system of temporary visas that was allowed in 2001, in the wake of conflicts in Yugoslavia. A difference is that there was a real war in Yugoslavia which was an adjacent country to several EU countries. And the drifting Yugoslavs of those times were mostly real refugees from a battlefront, not economic migrants. Libya sits at a different continent and except for Italy, we have had no historical links with that country. And almost all the people coming from Libya are economic migrants – and most of them aren't even Libyan.

Saturday, July 15, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Maryam Mirzakhani, RIP

This news is really tragic because the death is truly premature.

Maryam Mirzakhani, the world's first female Fields Medal winner and Persia's first winner of that award, died of breast cancer at an American hospital today. The disease was recurrent and things became terrible when the disease spread to the bone marrow.

She was born in 1977 to parents who always supported her even though they weren't ever too ambitious, she once told me. Her father Ahmad is an electrical engineer. Maryam is also survived by her Czech husband Jan Vondrák, a computer scientist at Stanford and their daughter Anahita (*2011). For a while, we were (theoretical physics!) classmates in Prague with him in late 1994 and/or early 1995 and he we overlapped at Rutgers (in different dpts) in 1999-2001.

Quantum teleportation is less magical than both Harry Potter apparating, Star Trek beaming

Popularizers of science often want the laymen feel excited. So they say "this experiment is amazing", "this experiment is magical". At the end, I think that this hype creates more damages than benefits.

Four months ago, we were being persuaded that the Chinese have constructed a quantum radar, something that can inform you about an airplane without any actual reflection of any radiation from the airplane. This is obviously impossible by locality, whether you use any quantum subtleties or not.

Right now, we're told about another wonderful achievement by the Chinese. They have succeeded in teleporting a particle to the outer space. It's basically the same topic – about the same Chinese and about the same transmission of quantum information to the outer space. There are stories everywhere. NPR chose the title

Beam Me Up, Scotty ... Sort Of. Chinese Scientists 'Teleport' Photon To Space
Brian Greene was asked whether the Chinese achievement is closer to Star Trek's "beaming" or Harry Potter wizards' "apparating". He answered that it's "somewhere in between" Harry Potter and Star Trek. He was mostly joking except that most readers and listeners won't understand in what sense he was joking – and many of them won't understand that he was joking at all. And it seems that this misinterpretation is really intentional.

Friday, July 14, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Harvard committee proposes to abolish the freedom of association

Last year, I discussed efforts by the extreme left-wing jihadists at Harvard to ban the single-sex clubs. "Are you now, or have you ever been a member of single-sex organizations?" students are gonna be asked starting from this year.

When first policies to harass Jews in Nazi Germany were established in Nazi Germany, the path towards gas chambers was straightforward and only took a few years. Harvard's trajectory towards eradication of some basic values of the Western civilization has been immensely speedy, too. Lots of things got much worse in the recent year. Two days ago, The Harvard Crimson told us that

Faculty Committee Recommends Social Groups Be 'Phased Out'
A 29-member committee led by the notorious jerk Rakesh Khurana and by musicologist Suzannah Clark has recommended that the College forbid students from joining all “fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations”—including co-ed groups—with the goal of phasing out the organizations entirely by May 2022. Wow. To be sure, they basically decided to ban all and any associations and clubs.

Classical simplex vs quantum ball

and another huge difference between classical and quantum physics

Bell's theorem is often hyped as a very important result about the foundations of quantum mechanics. There are two basic problems with this assertion: the theorem isn't a theorem about quantum mechanics at all; and it is not important. It is a theorem about local classical theories (those that were ruled out around 1925) and its claimed importance – the proven difference between classical and quantum theories – must be trivial to see for every intelligent schoolkid.

Here, I try to show you another elementary difference between classical and quantum physics that differs from the ideas in previous hundreds of blog posts.

For the sake of simplicity, consider one qubit, the simplest nontrivial quantum system, and let's describe it as the spin of an electron. And let's ask: What is the space of all possible mixed states? Those describe all possible states of the electron's spin that we may know before some observations. While pure states are of the form\[

\ket\psi = \alpha\ket{\uparrow}+\beta\ket{\downarrow},\quad \alpha,\beta\in\CC

\] the mixed states are \(2\times 2\) Hermitian matrices. All of them may be written as a combination of the unit matrix and three Pauli matrices:\[

\rho = \frac 12 \zav{ 1+\vec n \cdot \vec \sigma }

\] The coefficient of the unit matrix had to be \(1/2\) for the trace of \(\rho\), the total probability, to be equal to one. Hermiticity guarantees that \(\vec n\) is a real 3-dimensional vector. Also, the density matrix cannot have negative eigenvalues which tells us that\[

|\vec n| \leq 1.

\] This inequality is saturated if and only if the qubit is in a pure state i.e. if \(\exists \ket\psi:\,\,\rho =\ket\psi\bra\psi\). Excellent. So the density matrix is parameterized by a vector with \(|\vec n|\leq 1\), i.e. by a three-dimensional ball!

Thursday, July 13, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Celebrating Russian pop-music

Donald Trump's son Donald is being harassed for having met an attractive Russian female lawyer. I am amazed by this hysteria and find it as wild and overblown as Russia's FM Lavrov. What's wrong about meeting a Russian lawyer, especially if she could have possessed some useful data on the opponent of the campaign that you direct? Is a Russian lawyer worse than a Japanese, Spanish, or Mexican one? These efforts to outlaw the very meetings with people who are Russian are exactly on par with the Nazis' anti-Semitism and if you think that you're any better, Yankees, you have just blinded yourself. This criminalization of meetings with the Russians corresponds to the situation of the Jews in Germany around 1937.

While Czechia belongs to the Western civilization and has been culturally closer to Germany than to Russia for some 1,000 years, it's just impossible for me not to understand this Russophobia personally because of our Slavic roots – and because of the fact that most Americans are so immensely ignorant about the European geography and history that they don't even understand that e.g. Czechoslovakia has always been an independent country, from the USSR, where people spoke their language and didn't follow the Russian culture most of the time, among other things.

Today, Czech media informed us that Tamara Miansarova died of pneumonia complications at the age of 86. She was the original singer of "Пусть всегда будет солнце" ("Let There Be Sunshine") in the 1960s. This song was obviously a part of the propaganda in the communist bloc and that's why we were served it but I still find this song extremely touching, excellent musically, and to say the least, it is the best song promoting peace that I know.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

SI units: \(h,k_B,e,N_A\) will be set to known constants

Between 13th and 16th of November, 2018, the 26th meeting of The General Conference on Weights and Measures will convene in Versailles, France. The Symmetry Magazine tells us that it is expected to cause a revolution in the definition of SI units.

In 2012, I became somewhat loud while screaming "let us fix the value of Planck's constant" although I was recommending it more silently for decades. Last year, my goal finally got closer while plans to redefine one ampere were already around, too.

Hysteria over double standards in food products

The media in much of post-communist Europe are obsessed with a fashionable topic – the observed double standards in food products. Transnational companies sell their products – in identical packages – in many countries but the composition is sometimes different. See e.g. this Reuters story about the panic in Bulgaria or another one about Czechia (or a test reported in Radio Prague EN).

We're often calling ourselves the "dumping ground of Europe" and stuff like that. I believe that all this anxiety is painful. What makes us different is that some of us – and our politicians – still expect the governments and even the EU to dictate what citizens should eat and what food producers should offer them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The uninhabitable galaxy

Guest blog by Peter Deutsch-Doveking, the director of the International Bureau for the Galaxy Salvation from a Cow Fart (IBGSCF)

In the July 10th issue of the NY Magazine, David Wallace-Wells talks about the looming uninhabitable Earth. The climate Armageddon will much worse than any person in the world can even imagine. He points out that the people who imagine the cities like Boston and New York to be flooded by the rising seas after the Antarctica melts are basically just deniers. These people are just touching the surface because the actual horrors will be much worse.

He divides some of the problems to sections titled I. Doomsday, II. Heat Death, III. The End of Food, IV. Climate Plagues, V. Unbreathable Air, VI. Perpetual War, VII. Permanent Economic Collapse, VIII. Poisoned Oceans. There are hardcore deniers such as those at who seem to reject even these self-evident catastrophes – even though 99.9997% of the world's climate scientists say that they are real – but the actual truth is that even David Wallace-Wells' views only touch the surface because we're facing much worse events.

Monday, July 10, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Physics of sailing

For the first time in my life, I could try what it means to pilot a yacht. My friend, the captain, took us to the Lake Lipno, the largest Czech-or-Slovak, 5000-hectare reservoir with a hydroelectric power plant built near the spring of the Moldau River in Southern Bohemia, miles from the Austrian border.

Bedřich Smetana, the Moldau. A decade ago, I tried to exploit the knowledge of which parts of our national river were described in various segments of Smetana's composition. Lipno is seen e.g. at 1:50, 1:58, 2:01. Smetana had predicted the big dams in the second part of the composition.

Our captain did almost everything for us – and he worked in his pub just minutes before our 21-hour-long sailing, as well as minutes after that. But I could at least enjoy to be the acting captain at night when I skipped sleeping. Unfortunately, our Yamaha motor stopped working minutes after we began our adventures. That got combined with another problem – there were many windless hours. You can imagine what it feels like to sit in the middle of the Bohemian Sea and be unable to do anything about it. The last 2 miles were impossible, too: We asked another yacht to bring us to the port which they kindly did.

It's fun to experience some practical physics. I have always found sailing counterintuitive. The practical experience has erased my doubts that it's possible, however. ;-)

Saturday, July 08, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Venus and Hawking's scientific illiteracy

Five days ago, Stephen Hawking – or someone who has hacked his computerized speech generator – has told us that Donald Trump is a supervillain who will transform the Earth to another Venus with temperatures at 250 °C and sulfuric acid rains.

Wow. Now, every intelligent 10-year-old kid must know why this possibility is non-existent, why the statement is nonsense. Some scientists including Roy Spencer have pointed out how absurd these Hawking's statements were from a scientific viewpoint.

But lots of the scientists who have paid lip service to the lies about the so-called global warming or climate change in the past have remained silent and confirmed that their scientific dishonesty has no limits. I despise all the climate alarmists who know that statements like that are absurd but who hide this fact because a lie like that could be helpful for their profits or political causes. You know, what these jerks and the people who tolerate these jerks' existence haven't quite appreciated is that it is only lies that may be helpful for them.

Friday, July 07, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Does the confirmed mass of the \(ucc\) baryon make this field exciting?

You may have heard that whenever the title is a question, the author's answer to the question is No.

Well, it's mostly the case here but I actually think that if you statistically evaluated TRF blog posts with questions in the title, the percentage would be close to 50-50. Well, it could be hard because many blog posts give some "it depends", nuanced answers. My view is that the 50-to-50 ratio of "Yes" and "No" is actually a sign that the author isn't a demagogue.

As you could have seen in the media, the LHCb collaboration at the LHC collider has detected a new particle, the "doubly charged doubly charmed xi particle" \( \Xi_{cc}{}^{++}\). As I have previously said, the quark composition \(ucc\) would be a far easier method to indicate its basic properties.

Well, the new particle is a composite of three quarks – much like the proton \(uud\) or the neutron \(udd\). Except that two of the quarks are the heavier cousins of the up quark, the charm quark. The charge of the particle is 3 times +2/3 (from an upper-style quark) which is equal to +2. The new particle's mass is some \(3.621\GeV\). It's not the first doubly charmed particle. As a controversy-igniting Gizmodo article says, the SELEX collaboration at Fermilab discovered a \(3.5\GeV\) particle with the composition \(dcc\) in 2002.

Thursday, July 06, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

John Schwarz tried to defend the feminist talk at Strings 2017

...however, he must have overlooked that the talk was indefensible...

One week ago, we discussed a breathtaking talk by Marika Taylor that was scheduled as a regular talk at the Strings 2017 conference. The speaker bragged that at least in the U.K. and the Netherlands, she is making sure that people are being hired and conferences and projects are being funded primarily according to the gender of the applicants. And in fact, we heard, this ideologically driven, political manipulation of the institutionalized science has been her main daily job in recent years.

The video with the talk has attracted some 1300 viewers so far and 25 out of the 35 votes – and 6 out of 8 comments – were negative. People including several of you pointed out that stuff like that doesn't belong to a scientific conference.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Visegrád-Egyptian friendship and its possible consequences

Will Northern Africa stage a proxy war between V4 and Western European PC loons?

The Soros-style Western media outlets often like to paint the countries of the Visegrád Group – Hungary, Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia – as racists who must have some uncontrollable hatred towards the Arabs or something like that.

Well, say it to the president of the most populous Arab country, Egypt's Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi:

Relationship between Egypt, Visegrad Group historic: Al-Sisi
As you may remember, Egypt has been stable and promising under Husni Mubarak before he was charged with corruption. Around 2011, a loser named Barack Obama tried to install his brothers from the Muslim Brotherhood as the new terrifying rulers of Egypt. But that didn't work: Exactly 4 years ago, in early July, 2013, the military restored the quasi-secular, decent setup, removed Mohamed Morsi, and helped sensible presidential elections to be held in 2014.

Al-Sisi beat Hamdeen Sabahi and Egypt jumped on a promising trajectory again, perhaps a more promising one than the previous one.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Physics doesn't justify that "everything and everyone is connected"

Tetragraviton wrote a nice text about the idea that "everything is connected because of quantum mechanics or string theory etc.", titled The Way You Think Everything Is Connected Isn’t the Way Everything Is Connected, and I completely agree with him.

Science in general, physics, and modern physics in particular is often being "summarized" by the laymen – and especially religious people or people with a good heart – by the slogan that physicists have found evidence that "everything is connected" or "everyone is connected". So the message is that all of us should think as one soul or as limbs of the same God. Everyone should love each other, emulate others in the world, share his assets with others, or have a romantic relationship with everyone else, depending on the precise flavor of the religious or ideological framework.

They're nice conclusions according to many people and the very phrases such as "quantum entanglement" and "string theory" are being used as the scientific justification for the goals listed in the previous sentence. Well, "entanglement" makes it particularly clear. It sounds like a tight emotional relationship between everyone and everything. And strings may probably be the things that connect the dots and connect all the people, too. You must have heard various flavors of the same statement. And if you're a randomly chosen reader of this text, you have "more likely than not" said similar things in the past, too. ;-)

Higgs boson: 5th birthday

I spent a few days in Olomouc, the historical and religious center of Moravia, with a goal of giving a talk about the continuum and discontinuum at a summer philosophy school in the nearby Oakwood Upon Morava ("Dub nad Moravou").

If this blog were like, you would be offered some 284 blog posts with pictures of that area, the churches of Olomouc, the impressive pilgrimage Holy Hill ("Svatý kopeček") with the huge basilica where John Paul II gave a mass and led a pop music concert some 20 years ago, with a house where a famous Czech poet Jiří Wolker has lived. (I liked this non-distracting area with big things, it had a similar spirit as D.C.) The zoo was larger than I expected – lots of animals. No one told me that this tiger was a nervous CNN journalist who didn't like the cat game (what else should I have been playing with him?) so I had to wrestle with him in the same way as Donald Trump but I survived. ;-) Honestly, if I didn't tell you about the glass in between, it would look like one of the "Darwin's award" videos with someone's stupid death, right?

The talks on my day were about the relationships between the continuum and points, whether the non-constructible or non-algorithmic numbers on the real axis (which are those that make the continuum uncountable) "exist", whether they are fundamental etc. Well, some big picture conclusion of mine has always been that the specific, "algorithmic" numbers (which are countable) are at least more useful or more important and the others only "exist in some academic sense" in order to make an axiomatic system simpler. And there are various detailed axiomatic systems. All consistent ones are OK enough and more far-reaching statements should better be made rigorously and they may sometimes depend on the axiomatic system we pick.

Saturday, July 01, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Battle of Zborov: 100th anniversary

The blog post was written 3 days later and the date was changed retroactively

Exactly 100 years ago this weekend, on July 1st and 2nd, 1917, the Battle of Zborov took place. Zborov is a town in Ukraine – just outside the Subcarpathian Rus that belonged to Czechoslovakia between 1918 and 1939.

Czechoslovak legionnaires in the trenches.

I didn't know much about the battle but it was a pretty fascinating moment of the history and an interesting battle.