Monday, December 11, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

David Gross: science will survive Pope Urban, Stalin, Hitler, and Trump

Just a comment about some weird statement by a famous guy at a prestigious event.

As Time Magazine told us, in Spring 2016, David Gross started a Trump supporters' dating site, Gross was originally worried that people would think it was a joke or a parody site. But finally, people appreciated that "they can finally go on dates without worrying about political differences".

OK, that was the David Gross who cared about good people, especially the Trump supporters.

Then there's the other David Gross who doesn't seem to care whether people – such as Trump supporters – can do science without worrying about their political affiliations. They look like two entirely different David Grosses, don't they? ;-) When something looks in a certain way, it's sometimes what it looks like, indeed.

Net neutrality is communism, nationalization

Skillful data transmission engineers need to be appreciated, rewarded, have the freedom to profit from their contributions according to their business plans

On Friday, the FCC is expected to vote and cancel the Obama-era net neutrality, a regulation preventing the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from doing their business according to their own ideas and according to their interests – profit-seeking. Net neutrality is the idea that all ISPs are obliged to indiscriminately send the superficially similar packets from any place to any other place for the price that may only depend on the bandwidth and perhaps a few other physical characteristics and nothing else. According to net neutrality, the ISPs mustn't look inside packets – they must pretend that they're only transmitting binary digits.

But ISPs must have the freedom to use their assets according to their own choice. In particular, they should have the freedom not to connect someone if they think that they (the ISPs) are not fairly compensated for the connection. They may prioritize one type of traffic if they find it more important for their business – probably because this kind of business is more important for their profits. The principle expressed in the previous sentence is an application of the basic rules of the market economy, the basic respect to the private ownership.

You know, these companies and the people behind them have either built the infrastructure with all the cables and invented or refined the somewhat smart technology in the routers etc.; or they are shareholders who have bought it. Why did they build it or buy it? Because they saw it was hard work that was likely to produce profit. How does an ISP produce profit? It may decide whether it connects someone to the Internet, or not.

To strip the ISPs of this freedom means to rob the shareholders of these companies of a part of their assets because their assets are partly if not mostly hiding in their ability to connect someone or some company to the Internet under some conditions.

Everyone who is at least three years old should be able to remember that before the 2015 net neutrality regulation, the Internet worked just fine. In fact, we know it worked very well. On the contrary, in recent two years, the ISPs have complained that they lost the incentives to invest into the infrastructure.

Saturday, December 09, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Responsible TRF readers recommended to sell most crypto-stuff today

Futures are keys unlocking cages with horny, hungry Bitcoin grizzlies, tigers that will devour clueless Millennial Bitcoin calves, vegetarian gazelles in their safe spaces

The unbacked cryptocurrencies – led by the Bitcoin as of now – have almost certainly become the most dramatic financial bubble in the world's history. It was possible because the relatively speedy (but not too speedy) financial transactions helped by the computers were combined with the speedy communication between the Millennials – also aided by electronics – that has grown the fanaticism more effectively than the regular conversation during any of the previous bubbles.

The cryptocurrency fever has almost certainly trumped the tulip bulb mania in Holland that ended in 1637, the South Sea Company bubble that grew up to 1720, and the dot-com bubble that burst in 2000 although to some extent, the burst continued for two more years, and a few more events that should have taught us the same lesson. Alan Greenspan has compared the Bitcoin to the first unbacked early "continental U.S. dollars" that dropped to 2% of their price within several years.

I have written some bullish texts – e.g. one claiming that the Bitcoin at $100,000 is compatible with the laws of Nature (that price surely seems significantly more imaginable now than in August) but most of my comments about the Bitcoin have been bearish. I could have imagined several events – forks (that were suspended), Chinese bans, Chinese clever manipulations etc. – to bring the lethal blow that would terminate this whole irrational movement.

Just to be sure, in none of the cases, I was predicting that the individual possible death scenario was more likely than 50%. There have only been possibilities. None of these death scenarios has materialized so far – but yes, the combined probability of "some death before December 2017" of all the lethal scenarios I have predicted over the years is higher than 90% – but the Bitcoin is still around. The same is true for all other Bitcoin bears' comments, too. In fact, I would say that most of the Bitcoin fans have been almost as shocked by the irrational explosive growth of the price as the Bitcoin skeptics ;-) so one shouldn't even say that the Bitcoin fans were "more right" than the skeptics.

Friday, December 08, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Lisa Randall on scientists' duties, distractions, opinion bubbles, and Trump

An hour ago, the Wired has published some thoughts by my ex-colleague and occasional TRF guest blogger Lisa Randall

Lisa Randall: 'It's important for people like me to keep doing science and not get distracted'
At the beginning, she deflects a question on Donald Trump but she returns to it at the end – and makes it clear that she is in favor of the climate hysteria and all kinds of misguided regulations. She knows very well that I am convinced she is wrong on every single "standard political" question of this kind.

But her text primarily contains lots of the "unusual ideas" about the science and society which I, for some reasons, find at least equally important. And I agree with a vast majority of her comments.

Thursday, December 07, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Crackpots' lies about cosmic string predictions

Some days ago, I was shocked to learn that the "N*t Even Wr*ng" blog based on painful lies about string theory still exists and that its stuttering perpetrator hasn't been jailed or hanged yet.

There are already two new tirades at Peter W*it's notorious website. The newest one celebrates that a non-expert has described the multiverse as the "last refuge of cowards" at a social event. I think much of the research about the multiverse is questionable but slurs like that won't make the possibility go away. Using some irrelevant expletives from a not really scientific event as "arguments" is low-brow, indeed.

The previous text titled "String theory fails another test" is based on W*it's complete lies about the predictions of cosmic strings by state-of-the-art physical theories.

NiceHash probably stole $65+ million from their users

A recent event has highlighted the hardcore criminal character of the cryptocurrency world.

Up to yesterday, the world's largest shared cryptocurrency mining service was "NiceHash dot com". See that website to figure out that they announced a big hack. Their Bitcoin address was emptied. Some 4,700+ Bitcoins i.e. $65+ million were stolen.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Muslims, leftists, Francis team up to fight U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as IL capital

Donald Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel today. America should start to move the embassy from Tel Aviv immediately. Internally, Israel controls all of Jerusalem, treats it as her capital, and has institutions over there. Palestinians also call it (al-Quds and) their capital and most of the international community agrees with the Palestinians and disagrees with the reality which is that Jerusalem has been Israel's capital for quite some time.

Well, there are two good exceptions now and the pioneering one gets overlooked often. ;-) Current Czech president Zeman has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital for years. Lots of other Czech politicians agree and in May, the Czech Parliament voted and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The lawmakers also criticized UNESCO for its having become a tool of the Palestinian terrorists.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Hillary Diane Andales wins the Breakthrough Junior Challenge

Our candidate gets a well-deserve award

In October 2016, I discussed kids' contributions to the Breakthrough Junior Challenge. They were supposed to record a 5-minute video on string theory or science in general in order to win $250,000.

Well, those 13 months ago, I went through a dozen of videos and decided that Hillary Diane Andales of the Philippines was the best scientist-filmmaker in this age group on this blue, not green planet. Her video about the path integral was cute, insightful, yet intellectually mature and one could see that she was a real deal, not just a movie star. She has described the classical limit in an intuitive way that mostly persuaded me that "she must really be getting it" and was excited that Feynman's formulation applies to all interacting systems in the Universe including the corporations. Hillary got a positive score from me for the detailed physics as well as the corporations. She has been successful in some mathematical olympiads and related things, too.

Up to some irrelevant permutations and invisible yellow Suns, Filipino high school students are my countrymates. Even folks in Chile (not to mention Slovaks) should be jealous of the Czech-Filipino fraternity.

So I just told those Milner folks – through our common friend, Vovka Putin, of course: There is a billion of kids in the world but give those damn $250,000 to Hillary Diane Andales! And we were also honored by the visit of Hillary herself, our candidate. And John Archer treated her in his characteristic Gentlemanly way, too, and so on.

Kenya: The ark of lights and shadow

...and the eyes of the tiger...

Last night, I went to a lecture by Mr Jan Svatoš, a film director behind The Ark of Lights and Shadows, a movie about wildlife in Africa.

Katy Perry's African video with 2.4 billion views was placed here because unlike some other celebrities, she recently listened to Warren Buffett's critical wisdom about the Bitcoin.

The movie celebrates both the wildlife and the emotional life of the animals in African bushes as well as Martin and Osa Johnson, early American adventurers and basically the main forefathers of all the wild life documentaries at National Geographic and elsewhere. Svatoš has obtained lots of material related to the Johnsons from the Library of the U.S. Congress. I have learned some interesting things.

Monday, December 04, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

FCC will vote, may abolish "net neutrality" in the U.S.

Especially around 2015, I wrote several texts about net neutrality.

Under Obama's watch, the U.S. regulator of Internet providers, the FCC, adopted the "net neutrality" rules for the Internet. The phrase is constructed to sound "positive" but it is really a form of a ban. Net neutrality means that the Internet providers aren't really allowed to differ from each other in any tangible way. Just like all their competitors, they have to mindlessly and uncritically transfer any data types that someone sends through, without any "discrimination" that would block or even slow down any kind of packets or that would make the fees dependent on anything else than the bitrates and transferred volumes.

Clearly, "net neutrality" is just a severe restriction on people's freedom, a method to force a monopoly or egalitarianism over the users and Internet businesses, and a hurdle slowing down the evolution of specialized services that could live on the Internet. Under the "net neutrality" regime, if streamed porn videos become the dominant type of data in the whole society, they're basically guaranteed to dominate within every Internet provider.

FCC will vote about net neutrality on December 14th and if they vote to abolish this Obama era anachronism, America should be liberated from this particular communist conspiracy between 2018 and at least 2021 when the Democrats may gain enough power to reintroduce it.

Sunday, December 03, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A notorious string critic remains invisible at a string event

Are opinions and tirades as important as research and results?

Two days ago, I described my shock after the Quanta Magazine edited a sentence about the set of candidates for a theory of everything according to the order issued by a scientific nobody who had nothing to do with the interview with Witten.

Natalie Wolchover literally thanked (!) Sabine Hossenfelder for providing her absolutely deluded feedback:

Thanks to Sabine, I realized that Edward Witten was just totally misguided. After all, he's just an old white male and those suck. Sabine Hossenfelder told me that there are lots and lots of candidates for a theory of everything and lots and lots of people like Edward Witten, for example the surfer dude Garrett Lisi. I have absolutely no reason not to trust her so I immediately edited the propaganda imprinted into my article by the old white male dinosaur.
She didn't use these words exactly but my words describe more clearly what was actually going on. Crackpots such as Ms Hossenfelder simply control science journalism these days. They have nurtured their contacts, they have the right politics which is what the science journalists actually place at the top, and that's why these disgusting SJWs may overshadow Witten or anyone else.

But I don't want to report just the bad and shocking news of this sort. There are sometimes events that could have evolved insanely but that didn't. On December 1st, Brooklyn saw an example of those. A cultural foundation called the Pioneer Works organized a debate about string theory, Scientific Controversy No 13.

Saturday, December 02, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Congratulations to America's tax reform

Donald Trump took victory lap after the U.S. Senate approved the largest tax cut in the U.S. history – by far – hours ago. Senators have joined the Congressmen who have previously approved their version of the bill. Trump claims that their opposition to the bill will hurt The Mocked Rats. I am not so sure but I surely hope so.

The bill got 51 Yes votes – safely above the 50 votes it had needed ;-) – when only one Republican, Bob Corker, voted with the (unanimous) Democratic Party.

Now, because these two bills are different, all the lawmakers will have to spend some time to find a compromise between the two bodies. That's how America often does it – if some kind Yankee explains to me why it wouldn't be better for both chambers to vote on the same bill from the beginning, I will be slightly grateful. ;-)

So the bill may still be killed although I think it's more likely that it will survive.

Pure \(AdS_3\) gravity from monster group spin networks

A fifth of my research topics that make me most excited have something to do with the three-dimensional pure Anti de Sitter space gravity. In 2007, Witten pointed out that there is a perfect candidate for the dual boundary CFT, one that has the monster group as the global symmetry.

The monster group is the largest among the 26 or 27 "sporadic groups" in the classification of all the simple finite groups. The CFT – which was the player that proved the "monstrous moonshine" – may be constructed from bosonic strings propagating on the (24-dimensional space divided by) the Leech lattice, the most interesting even self-dual lattice in 24 dimensions, the only one among 24 of those that doesn't have any "length squared equals to two" lattice sites.

I didn't have enough space here for a picture of Witten and a picture of a monster so I merged them. Thanks to Warren Siegel who took the photograph of Cyborg-Witten.

The absence of these sites represents to the absence of any massless fields. So the corresponding gravity only has massive objects, the black hole microstates, and they transform as representations of the monster group. I will only discuss the monster group CFT with the "minimum radius" – Davide Gaiotto has proven that the infinite family of the larger CFTs cannot exist, at least not for all the radii and with the required monster group symmetry, because there's no good candidate for a spin field corresponding to a conjugacy class.

I think that the single CFT with the single radius is sufficiently fascinating a playground to test lots of ideas in quantum gravity – and especially the relationship between the continuous and discrete structures (including global and gauge groups) in the bulk and on the boundary.

Friday, December 01, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Hossenfelder has the power to edit, negate Witten's answers in interviews

I've argued that the recent Quanta Magazine interview with Edward Witten has shown some deep differences between the culture of actual top theoretical physicists and the culture of pop science which has largely identified itself with the slogans by the notorious critics of modern physics. Despite all of his diplomacy and caution, Witten simply had to say lots of things that contradict the orthodoxy of the pop science world.

Young Sheldon, off-topic: in the newest episode of the sitcom, we could have seen Elon Musk whose SpaceX stole the ideas how to land on the ocean from the 8-year-old Sheldon Cooper and made Sheldon's notebook disappear. It's great he played it because that's how I imagine Musk's companies to operate whenever they do something right. ;-)
Unsurprisingly, these deep disagreements had extra consequences. One of the answers that Edward Witten "dared" to say was that M-theory was our candidate for a description unifying separate theoretical formalisms quantifying particles and forces that exist or may exist in Nature. Wolchover, the journalist, announced her interview on Twitter and one dissatisfied reaction by Ms Hossenfelder was posted soon afterwards:

Hossenfelder repeats the insane 2010 meme by Nude Socialist that Edward Witten is one of approximately 7 similar geniuses – the list includes Garrett Lisi and a former spouse of Lee Smolin – who have proposed comparably promising theories of everything. Needless to say, none of the "alternative theories" above could be called by a "candidate for a theory of everything" by a sane person who knows the basic stuff about the limiting and approximate theories that contemporary theoretical physics uses and why they're hard to be unified.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Semi-jammed cryptoexchanges may be making huge semi-legal profits

Stiglitz is right that the Bitcoin should be outlawed, for many reasons

The Bitcoin price has continued in its persistent, irrational mania that saw a 10% increase almost every day. Yesterday, it hit some $11,500 before it collapsed to some $9,300 within five hours. About one-half of that drop has been recouped.

The fever was on steroids and the trading volumes were huge. Some cryptoexchanges, starting from (considered the the Americans' most important online wallet) and including the anti-Zuckeberg Winklevoss twin brothers' Gemini exchange, were down for a large fraction of their users. The traffic was huge (a factor of 8 higher than a June peak, Coinbase reported) and it's understandable that their infrastructure may be genuinely overwhelmed.

But you can't be sure it's the right explanation because there's unavoidably a competing one.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Pop science meets Edward Witten

Off-topic, science: China's DAMPE's dark matter signal

Natalie Wolchover is among the best popular writers about theoretical physics. But when I read her interview with Edward Witten at the Quanta Magazine,

A Physicist’s Physicist Ponders the Nature of Reality,
the clash of cultures seemed amusingly obvious to me. Witten is much smarter than myself and he also loves to formulate things in ways that look insanely diplomatic or cautious to me but I can still feel that his underlying sentiments are extremely close to mine.

They have discussed the conceptual and, I would say, emotional aspects of the (2,0) theory, M-theory, dualities, Wheeler's "it from bit", tennis, a hypothetical new overarching description of all of physics, and other things. It looks so obvious that Wolchover "wanted" to hear completely different answers than she did! ;-)

Co-father of voucher privatization Tomáš Ježek died

Tomáš Ježek (=Thomas Hedgehog) was born here in Pilsen, in Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, in 1940. He was one of the important men who led the transformation of the Czechoslovak economy from communism to capitalism after 1989.

As a young man, he fell in love with economics – like his classmate and basketball teammate Václav Klaus. Ježek did lots of things related to economics. For example, he translated Hayek's texts to Czech. He also belonged to the generation of pro-reform members of the Czechoslovak Communist Party in the promising 1960s. He left the party in 1969, in the wake of the occupation and restalinization ("normalization") of Czechoslovakia.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Associahedron: Arkani-Hamed + 3 men unify auxiliary spaces for amplitudes

Linguistics, brackets, Jacobi's patents unify hedrons, Hebrons, Chevrons, amplituhedrons, colors, and open strings ;-)

Nima Arkani-Hamed, Yuntao Bai, Song He, and Gongwang Yan – apologies to the brilliant Chinese folks for having represented them by a Persian name, no harm was intended and the evil of such abbreviations is appreciated on my side, it was just for the sake of simplification – have published a 77-page-long preprint that lots of people were surely waiting for for months:

Scattering Forms and the Positive Geometry of Kinematics, Color and the Worldsheet
In a recent paper, Nima promised some research that shows the relevance of the generalized amplituhedron for perturbative string theory and this is the paper!

I do hope that as many people as possible actually try to read the paper but let me say a few basic and sketchy words.

"Disruptive technology" means "I will impress dimwits among you by hype"

John Archer is rather conservative, isn't he? He normally doesn't drink kool-aid. But he surprised us by his love for a one-hour-long lecture by Mr Toby Seba about the disruptive technologies that will eradicate cars within a decade – because we will have solar panels and electric cars everywhere. And that's because those things are improving exponentially, just like Moore's law improves circuits with transistors.

I haven't watched the whole talk so there may be something amazing over there which I have missed. But I've listened to first 3 minutes plus 10 times random 10-second-long excerpts throughout the talk and I think that the dumb summary in the previous paragraph captures the content of the talk. So my impressions are the same as those of Fer137. The analogy between Moore's law and the progress in lithium batteries or electric cars is bogus because the latter has seen and will see a much slower progress than the transistor circuits in recent 50 years.

There will be a greater number of electric cars in the world in 2027 but I have serious doubts about the forecasts that they will dominate. And even the increased production of electric cars may be just a matter of evolution which mostly takes place in the good old rich car companies such as BMW which has introduced its "Tesla killer". At any rate, I don't see anything staggering that is going to happen. After all, electric cars aren't new – they're about as old as the combustion engines. And photovoltaic energy isn't new, either. I – a kid constrained by communism – had my first photovoltaic Casio calculator in 1980. What's the big deal?

And why would one talk about the cars' being clean? Electric cars may look clean but they still run on electricity – with extra losses – and that one is most reasonably produced by coal power plants. On top of that, much more toxic materials are needed for batteries and their production or the assembly of solar panels.

Monday, November 27, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Quantum mechanics invalidates naive dimensional analysis

Anomalous dimensions are counterintuitive for beginners, important, and omnipresent

I have mentioned this subtle surprising consequence of quantum mechanics in the blog post against the Lagrangians two days ago. Too many people think that the quantization only means to add elegant hats above all the degrees of freedom and increase the frequency at which they say words like "weird" or "entanglement". But they still think classically.

That's not what you have needed to do to think scientifically after 1925. Quantum mechanics is a fundamentally different theory whose framework is very different conceptually and whose quantitative predictions may sometimes be similar as in classical physics but sometimes they can be different or totally different. And even when quantum mechanics ends up with the same or similar conclusions as classical physics, the derivation or argumentation may be very different. One of the omnipresent changes that quantum mechanics forces upon us is a new, modified dimensional analysis in field theory. What's going on?

In classical field theory, you have the action \(S=\int d^D x\,{\mathcal L}\) if one exists at all. Because the action is dimensionless (in SI units, it has the dimension of the action i.e. the same as \(\hbar\) but I will set \(\hbar=1\)) – exponents e.g. in the Feynman integrand \(\exp(iS/\hbar)\) have to be dimensionless – the Lagrangian density \({\mathcal L}\) has the dimension of \(M^D\), the mass to the power of the spacetime dimension. The mass has the dimensions of \([M]=1/[L]\) in the \(c=\hbar=1\) units.

Sunday, November 26, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Mike Hughes cancels his rocket proof of Flat Earth

As some media reported, Californian constructor Mike Hughes – – canceled his Saturday experiment which he scheduled to prove that the Earth was flat.

The cancellation was justified by some refusal of the Bureau of Land Management to give him a permission for the area.

I find this guy unbelievable in many respects. The interpretation of the rocket launch that could be used to argue that the "Earth is flat" isn't clear to me – I am not even sure whether I want to listen to such a planned argumentation. But what strikes me is the incredible combination of this utterly ludicrous, anti-scientific belief in the Flat Earth; with his demonstrable status as an extremely skillful guy, basically a rocket scientist.

Saturday, November 25, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Competent formal theorists know they can't rely on the existence of the Lagrangian

An Ising model example of non-Lagrangian CFT methods

Japanese string theorist Judži Tačikawa (100% racially clean Czech nationalist Mr Tomio Okamura got over 10% in Czech elections so, as Luboshi Nakamotl, I plan to take over Japan with my Japanese nationalist party as a revenge) gave a talk somewhere at IPMU where he mentioned quantum field theories that don't have a Lagrangian – see the last page – while many courses use obsolete textbooks that pretend otherwise, namely that the Lagrangians are enough. This has attracted some interest of the TRF readers. The interest is fun but I am disappointed that something that I consider basic conceptual lore of modern physics is still so utterly unknown in the broader community of people who are interested in physics.

Lagrange. I admit it was my nickname during the introduction summer camp preparing and baptizing the soon-to-be freshmen at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the Charles University. The camps take place in Albeř, a village in Czech Canada on the Austrian border (not to be confused with Czech Switzerland on the Saxon i.e. East German border LOL).

Five days ago, I discussed some general and perhaps surprising insights about symmetry in Nature that theoretical physicists made in recent decades. In quantum gravity, exact symmetries have to be gauge symmetries while gauge symmetries may be emergent and their identity generally depends on the point in the configuration space. Everyone who hypes his theory of quantum gravity with global symmetries is probably an incompetent amateur. Everyone who assumes one particular gauge group for his theory of everything, including quantum gravity, is an incompetent amateur, and so on.

It's similar with the Lagrangian. Theoretical physicists who are up to their job know that Lagrangians are extremely useful but they simply cannot assume that the theories constructed from Lagrangians exhaust the list of all interesting, relevant, promising, or possible quantum theories of Nature. And even more obviously, they know that the methods and descriptions based on the Lagrangian aren't the only ones they have to master and use – simply because they're using different methods than the Lagrangian ones all the time.

So everyone who assumes that every quantum theory – it doesn't have to be one with gravity – must start with a Lagrangian is obviously not an expert who understands the lessons from recent decades in physics.

Thursday, November 23, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

When you should jump out of a (Bitcoin) bubble

No reliable answer may be said, of course, but the math is still interesting

Let me assume that the reader agrees that there is some probability of a huge, fast enough, cataclysmic collapse of the Bitcoin price – when the long-term sentiment dramatically changes, most people agree that the future trend is "down" so they try to escape as quickly as possible, or some big ban in an important country is enacted etc. That's the bad news. Let's assume that the probability of the sudden death is described by the mathematics of the decay of a radioactive nucleus.

On the other hand, there are good news: Let's assume that before the sudden death, the Bitcoin price will grow exponentially. We neglect some 20% fluctuations away from the growing line which are the "normal error margins" in the Bitcoin world. OK, what does mathematics tell you about how quickly you should sell your Bitcoins and how much you should hold at each moment? Surely smooth mathematics recommends you some nice algorithm quantifying what percentage you should sell tomorrow, what percentage you should sell next month, and so on.

Well, it doesn't. It tells you something less smooth and simpler. ;-)

Number of papers goes up quickly, number of readers doesn't

Number of readers per paper goes down, it's bad, and should be fixed

Someone asked the following question at Quora:

Does the number of academic papers grow faster than eyeballs are available to read them?
Jay Wacker – whom I have known at Harvard – has responded with a funny joke (which I will tell you more concisely). "If you stack all the papers that are written, the top of the pile will move faster than light in 2 years. It looks like a conflict with relativity but it isn't: relativity only prohibits information from moving faster than light."

But he – and others – basically uniformly denounce the worry that is implicit in the question. Lots of people are reading papers etc. I just don't think so. I would love to know the numbers – how many readers a median paper in one or another discipline has – but I've followed some trends and the approximate numbers seem to make it obvious that the number of papers grows faster than the time in man-hours that people dedicate to reading them, which makes it unavoidable that every page is read by a substantially smaller number of eyes than years or decades ago.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Thankfully, Alphabet's chairman realizes Google can't determine which side is right

Plus some disillusionment from suggestions that the truth must be profitable

Willie Soon sent me a link to a yesterday's CNBC article,

Alphabet's Eric Schmidt: It can be 'very difficult' for Google’s search algorithm to understand truth
Eric Schmidt, a boss of Google's parent company, expresses his opinion that Google isn't capable of determining which side of news is right and which is fake when two sides vigorously and fundamentally disagree about something. Hopefully, it should also mean that Google won't try to play the "minister of truth" in a foreseeable future.

Ivo Lukačovič, the owner of, a Czech local competitor of Google's, has been saying for years that he won't be dragged to politics etc. and be abused as a stamp of the truth by one side or another.

I think that Trump's victory has helped to calm down these worries about the Orwellian evolution in the U.S. 1984 may still be coming but I think it seems more distant now than it looked a year ago plus two weeks, before the latest U.S. presidential election. This optimistic description applies to the U.S. as a whole, not to some worst environments: for example, many universities already live in 1984.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Feminism and Bitcoin: two faces of Millennials' emptiness and relative truth

When increasingly ludicrous rewriting of the reality becomes a source of pride and identity for a whole generation

The generation born around 2000 – the Millennials – have been brainwashed by some stunningly stinky extreme left-wing lies at schools and outside schools. The consequences for their thinking have been devastating. Socialism is more popular than capitalism among those. Lots of these people are attracted to mass killers such as Che Guevara. They don't have any respect for freedom, the free market, and democracy.

And so far I only mentioned that old-fashioned, 19th century type of the extreme left-wing ideologies that used to worship the workers. These young folks have been much more contaminated by the postmodern left-wing ideologies – the cultural Marxism. That includes teachings such as feminism, homosexualism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, global warming alarmism, and others. The first goal of all this indoctrination is to make these people doubt the most self-evident facts out there, e.g.:

Most of the civilization has been built by men and, at least in recent 500 years, white men.

Heterosexual contact is more healthy and aligned with Nature's original purpose than alternative sexual orientations.

Carbon dioxide is a gas that is absolutely vital for the current life on Earth.

\(\pi\) is a perfect mathematical constant.
And others. After this lobotomy or simultaneously with this lobotomy, the teenagers have been encouraged to believe lots of would-be analogous but "more politically correct" counterparts of these statements such as
The civilization was equally built by all sexes and skin colors and if it wasn't, it's only because the white men are hardcore oppressors who need to be suppressed.

Gays are cooler than straight people, there also exist 28 additional genders, and everyone can choose zer own.

Carbon dioxide is a top villain and we must work hard to remove it from the atmosphere and punish those who emit it.

\(\pi\) is just a white male construct and its value actually depends on the degree of oppression by that evil group.
And others. Everyone who verbally prefers the latter statements over the former is demonstrably either a brain-dead, scientifically illiterate moron, or an optimized liar and shameless demagogue who probably spreads these ludicrous lies in order to elevate himself and his ideological and political allies. At any rate, the number of people in these two groups is staggeringly high and it kept on growing.

Monday, November 20, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Big advances in our understanding of the character of symmetries in Nature

Exact symmetries can't be global and all similar qualitative predictions of string theory seem to be getting experimental confirmations

Luke and Don tried to read

Symmetry and Emergence,
a written version of Edward Witten's talk for the American Physical Society in Utah, April 2016. Luke has decided that the stuff is hard and the text is not too comprehensible. I read it and it's a nice, comprehensible summary of the progress in physicists' understanding of symmetries in Nature. Well, I know this stuff so everything is comprehensible to me. Can I do better in explaining these things? Am I more patient than Witten? I am not sure. My texts about similar topics e.g. in 2009 and 2011 were not significantly more popular than Witten's.

But let me try.

What is a symmetry? Symmetry is an important idea in mathematics and physics. In the mathematical and physical understanding of the word, the symmetry isn't just "any kind of beauty" or "aesthetically pleasing virtue" of an object – which could be imagined by someone who is really detached from the exact content of the phrase. Symmetries are transformations you can do with an object – or the history of the Universe – so that the object looks the same afterwards (in the case of the object) or the history still obeys the same laws of physics (in the case of the symmetries of the laws).

Saturday, November 18, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Dark matter source of cosmic ray positrons more likely: a paper

The old intriguing PAMELA experiment and perhaps newer ones by Fermi-LAT and AMS-02 have discovered lots of positrons – the antiparticles of electrons – in the cosmic rays whose flux is generally higher than expected. Such positrons may originate from dark matter and would amount to an "almost direct detection" of the particles that make up dark matter.

That would be very exciting. However, there may also be more boring, astrophysical, sources of these positrons, and pulsars in particular (magnetized neutron stars or white dwarfs emitting a beam of electromagnetic radiation). Some pieces of matter may emit lots of junk and these processes may be completely compatible with the Standard Model – i.e. just slightly more extreme than when you cook a food in your kitchen.

Margining Bitcoin futures is possible

I sold all my cryptocurrencies two days ago – the second SEPA transfer arrived to my bank from AnyCoinDirect.EU just 5 hours after my Ethereum payment which is rather incredible – and the time I waste by watching movements in the cryptocurrencies has dropped significantly. In fact, I believe that the mankind wastes an insane amount of time by watching the events and wiggles of the Bitcoin and this time multiplied by a minimum salary could easily trump the whole Bitcoin capitalization every year by itself.

CME should start the Bitcoin futures in the second week of December. As Coin Telegraph informed its readers, big investment VIP Thomas Peterffy wrote a letter saying that "it's impossible to margin such a [Bitcoin futures] product" and the unlimited swings, especially the upside swings threaten the broker and all of its clients who hold safe products, too. So these things should be isolated.

I agree with him that aside from some continuity, the Bitcoin prices are a sequence of basically random numbers where no reasonable limits may be placed on the day-to-day price changes etc. And I agree with him that this "asset" is immature and its advocates are financially illiterate imbeciles. But I don't quite agree that it's impossible to offer a safe product based on such flimsy foundations.

Friday, November 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The most frustrating anniversary of Velvet Revolution since 1989

November 17th is a major Czech holiday. We celebrate the "Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy". This definition was a compromise codified by some lawmakers to point that the the celebration reminds us both of

  • November 17th, 1939, when Nazis closed the Czech universities in response to the anti-Nazi activities by the students, especially during the funeral of Mr Jan Opletal who was fatally injured during the previous October 28th (1918 anniversary) rally. For this reason, this day became the International Student Day, the only widely celebrated international holiday fully inspired by the modern Czech history. Communists celebrated that day as well – which is why it became softly but perhaps unfairly connected with their regime.
  • November 17th, 1989, when students of the Charles University in Prague (my Alma Mater) reminded themselves of the 50th anniversary of the event above. They were also dissatisfied with many things about the totalitarian regime, they were beaten by the police, and the protests against the police action kickstarted the Velvet Revolution i.e. the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia.
I only remember the latter rather well – and I actively participated in the events as a high school student. I have written numerous blog posts about the Velvet Revolution in previous years. It seems to me that I could take the basic changes made in 1989 for granted. In 2017, on the 28th anniversary, I am no longer confident.

Some really good 2017 time lapse video of Prague, by a Russian.

In the Parliament that arose from the most recent elections, about 1/2 of the lawmakers represent parties that openly prefer the communist regime over the post-1989 capitalism. As recently as one year ago, I was torturing myself with the nightmare of a coming government of the communist party (which hasn't participated in any government since the June 1990 elections, not even indirectly) and ANO, an anti-capitalist party led by a communist apparatchik and a communist secret agent who also became a billionaire because of his communist-era contacts, special knowledge, and his predator status based on the absolute absence of any morality (and because he escaped Slovakia before they would put him to jail for a long time).

Thursday, November 16, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Author of Czech tramping anthem dies

An hour ago, everyone was told that songmaker Mr Wabi Daněk died at 70. He has recorded lots of songs but the most famous one was his 1970 song "Dew on the Tracks".

It has become the anthem of the Czech tramping. Now, the word "tramp" surely sounds like a perfectly English word – sometimes, Czechs pronounce it "tramp", sometimes they read it like a Czech word, e.g. "trump" (which makes it even more relevant nowadays). I have heard or said the word every other day for 5 years before I learned how to say "I am" in English. ;-) Nevertheless, Wikipedia basically tells us that the word "tramping" is either from Czechia or from New Zealand, see a disambiguation page. Kiwis consider tramping to be "a style of backpacking".

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Scandalous EU behavior towards Poland reminds us of the Third Reich

As various news outlets told us, the European Parliament approved a resolution slinging mud at Poland that may be used to launch the process against the member state.

The Polish anthem has the music (by an unknown composer) of the pan-Slavic anthem – check e.g. Hey Slavs, the Czech edition with Samuel Tomášik's lyrics (written in Czech by a Slovak priest who was terrified to hear so much German during his 1834 trip to Prague LOL), or the defunct Yugoslav anthem as well as the Slovak Clerofascist State's ruling party's anthem.

I am absolutely shocked by this development and especially its contrast with the EU's support for the recent Spanish fascist campaign against the basic civic rights of the Catalans. 438 "deputies" supported the resolution, 152 were against, 71 abstained. (Almost one-half of MEPs have bought by Soros and Soros brags that they became "reliable friends". Note that he recently gave shocking $18 billion to his sick Open Foundation. How many such sluts may he buy when there are many sluts who will work for $50?) Polish prime minister reacted on Twitter: she will discuss the "scandalous developments" in the European Parliament on Friday. Hungary has used the same adjective. The foreign minister was shocked by the debate
in the EU Parliament.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Escaping the crypto-world: links for you

During the recent months, I spent a lot of time with the cryptocurrencies – studying what they are technologically, economically, as well as sociologically, how the people feel, why they believe what they believe, and so on.

Tony was very kind and brought me to the crypto-world as a practical person, not just a theorist, by his generous donation denominated in the Bitcoin. About one-half of that donation quickly evaporated by random conversions and depreciation of Bitcoin Cash at some moment etc., it's a wild world. I converted one-half of the rest to the Czech currency and played with the remaining half – unfortunately, it was in the tetherized dollar during the recent big growth of the Bitcoin price.

Monday, November 13, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Weinstein's view on quanta, geometry is upside down

Big Think has posted the following 10-minute monologue by Eric Weinstein, a trader working for Peter Thiel, the guy who is not the author of the Wolfram Mathworld (just a similar name, thanks psi_bar), a guy who promised us a theory of everything but all we got so far was some incoherent babbling, and the brother of a far left ex-professor who has nevertheless become a target of some of his approximate comrades, namely fanatical reverse racists in the Academia.

Weinstein says that in the recent 40 years, we've made a big progress in "mathematics of field theory" which was good for quantum field theory and general relativity. OK, one could perhaps summarize the progress in this way although I wouldn't. But in the following sentence, he complains that

we ended up geometrizing the quantum rather than quantizing gravity which we had wanted
and that's supposed to be "disappointing" because physicists only got a "golden age of mathematics of theoretical physics" rather than "golden age of theoretical physics". Wait a minute, this is quite a statement that deserves some commentary.

Sunday, November 12, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Bitcoin congestion singularity may be coming

The Bitcoin is under pressure since Friday.

According to, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – the cheaper, faster would-be main Bitcoin with bigger blocks that was created in August – is already the #1 cryptocurrency by trading volume – over $10 billion a day. Much of the trading takes place at Korean exchanges. But maybe it's not Koreans behind the purchases of Bitcoin Cash; it could be Chinese with accounts in Korea, too. Bitcoin Cash is also the #2 cryptocurrency after Bitcoin Core (BTC) by capitalization – ahead of Ethereum (although it's a statistical tie most of the day and ETH may occasionally get above BCH). I was always sure that it was the most promising cryptocurrency and held a lot in it – but I was too impatient and sold when it was $400. It's over $1,800 now. These changes aren't unusual.

The number of BTC unconfirmed transactions is around 160,000 – on Friday evening, it was already bad, 80,000 – doubling in less than two days. There are some 250,000 transactions on a weekend day. Clearly, the number is growing and I believe that by Monday, the unconfirmed transactions will actually surpass the 240,000 record high from May 2017.

Saturday, November 11, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

An attack on BTC may be underway

A dangerous November 16th "SegWit2x" Bitcoin hard fork has been suspended indefinitely according to an e-mail by the organizers who were unhappy that they couldn't persuade the true Bitcoin cultists – which is basically impossible.

However, the widely perceived probability that the fork will take place anyway hasn't dropped to zero at all. The BT2 futures jumped above $300, more than by 50%, in the recent day, while the SegWit2x futures remain above $400. These two probably differ by their behavior if the fork doesn't occur at all. On top of that, a website – which may be just bogus but publicly, nobody is sure – says that a group will proceed with the fork, anyway. And the user nicknamed BitPico has posted a message somewhere claiming that 30% of the miners will work on the SegWit2x fork.

Friday, November 10, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Japanese planned ILC collider shrinks to half

In 2013, I discussed the Japanese competition choosing the host of the International Linear Collider

The folks in the Sefuri mountains who created this catchy music video lost and Tohoku won instead – those had more credible, respected, and boring physicists behind themselves, not to mention a 5 times longer video with the 20 times smaller number of views. ;-)

Thursday, November 09, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Brain-dead green nut jobs attack Kathleen Hartnett White

Donald Trump has nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, an experienced Texan female politician focusing on the environment, as the boss of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She is a noted climate skeptic and a defender of CO2 and the energy industry. Last year, she and Stephen Moore wrote the book Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy. CO2 is the gas of life, the fossil fuels basically ended the slavery, and so on. I agree with all these statements. Every sane person does.

But somewhat unsurprisingly yet still shockingly, White immediately became a target of a coordinated vicious attack by the far left, by insane brainwashed and brain-dead whackos who deny basic scientific facts such as the key role of CO2 in the life processes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

CME Bitcoin futures: rules, forecasts, recipes

Greatly reduced volatility, smooth exponential decrease of the Bitcoin price, regulators' and short sellers' profits, boredom, even higher Bitcoin fees, exodus

One week ago, I discussed the plan of the CME group to allow trading of Bitcoin futures. See a CME web page, a press release, and its review in Business Insider, underlying reference rates (BRR real-time and BRTI daily rate).

Last night, Business Insider brought us

[We just got] a glimpse of how bitcoin futures will work
There are many details over there. Let me look at them first.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Huge fees and related shocking Bitcoin facts

Pure mathematics prevents the Bitcoin from becoming a payment method for tens of millions of people

In my Bitcoin texts, I have discussed the flawed economic reasoning of the users, the ludicrous idea that a new currency is created as a bubble of hot air, the crime- and similar reasons why government are going to ban it, the fact that the Chinese (most miners) are ultimately capable of decide even though most of the young Bitcoin cultists deny this basic feature of the non-currency, and irreversibility and anonymity which are serious flaws of the currency often presented as virtues, among other big practical problems with the notion that the Bitcoin could be the future of the money.

The average fee for a Bitcoin transaction today

But I haven't paid too much attention to some mundane technical properties of the Bitcoin as a system to make payments. Well, the simplest shocking number I want you to pay attention to is that the average Bitcoin transaction costs you $10 in fees these days. It's virtually impossible to bring the fee beneath $5 – you may order cheaper transactions if you're willing to increase the confirmation waiting period by something in between hours and days. And it's a lot. It's a "wow", especially because the Bitcoin is often promoted as being a good method to make payments.

Monday, November 06, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

October Revolution in Russia: 100 years

Tomorrow, it will have been 100 years since the start of the Bolshevik coup in Russia. In agreement with the plan, cruiser Aurora fired a blank shot in the harbor of St Petersburg, Bolsheviks began to occupy the palace, and the provisional government quickly surrendered. Long years of a civil war followed to confirm the transition to the regime of Lenin's muzhiks.

To some extent, the Chinese lantern marches were the communist counterparts of the Halloween events and their cancellation meant we became further both from communism and from America. ;-)

These days, we're surrounded by acronyms. It sounds sort of incredible that just 30 years ago, the Czech acronym VŘSR (Velká říjnová socialistická revoluce, Great October Socialist Revolution) was among the 5 most important ones – it surely doesn't make it to the top 100 today. ;-)

In Czechoslovakia, we the kids would be forced to go to a Chinese lantern march in the evening. Search Google Images for the Chinese lantern march for VŘSR. It was a relatively boring event. The lanterns don't emit much light so they're not spectacular. The fireworks at the end was the only thing that was worth mentioning.

But these marches played the same role as the May Day parades – except that May Day parades took place during the day and all industries as well as communist apparatchiks were proudly attending. For VŘSR anniversaries, kids had to draw pictures of Lenin or stuff like that. The generally promoted belief stated that the communism was there forever. In the mid 1980s, we wouldn't believe that there was going to be no celebration of the 75th anniversary let alone 100th anniversary of VŘSR.

Sunday, November 05, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Chinese communist bosses may poison, abuse, or cancel the Mao collider

Some questions must be asked because the freedom-loving Western scientists could soon be sorry

As Etudiant pointed out, Asia Society's ChinaFile (and has published a fascinating essay,

The Future of Particle Physics Will Live and Die in China,
by Cornell particle physics postdoc Yangyang Cheng who is self-evidently a profound political junkie – a homo politicus (with a physics PhD plus some political training at University of Chicago) who knows what she's talking about. The number of physicists, and especially female physicists, whose thinking about politics is this refined is tiny. That doesn't mean that I agree with her views about most questions. Her view on the "march for science" is clearly something I wouldn't sign, for example.

She discusses the political implications of the Chinese collider that may be built near the Great Wall of China – surrounded by the Great Firewall of China. Maybe she finds the ideological purity of the project (I mean the neutrality with respect to national and ideological interests) even more important than I do but otherwise she's clearly on a very similar frequency as your humble correspondent.

OK, so she interviewed an unnamed official of the Chinese Academy of Sciences by phone. After some problem-free exchanges, her last question was: "Will there be a unit of the Communist Party of China that supervises the collider project?" Now, this is clearly a rather fundamental question. Everyone who understands some politics and is interested in the project would like to know the answer. At some level, I think that especially the Chinese folks have a kind of a right to know the answer. The CAS official responded with a 20-minute tirade, personal attacks, and suggestions that Dr Cheng was killing the project because "politics is too sensitive". Wow. Can't you even ask simple questions like that?

Saturday, November 04, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Allanach, You apply for a $50 collider to find \(Z'\) or leptoquarks

Assertive implications of an LHCb beauty-muon deficit

How many articles about flavor physics have you published in the Grauniad? Well, it turns out that Dr Allanach and You have written the essay

Anomalous bottoms at CERN and the case for a new collider
in which they derive an appealing interpretation from an anomaly seen by the LHCb Collaboration. As I discussed in March and April, the LHCb detector insists on a deficit of \(B\) mesons decaying to \(K^* \mu^+\mu^-\). My previous texts are somewhat technical, Allanach and You are a bit less technical, and is arguably even more popular.

As Allanach and You put it, if you build 16,000 LHC colliders, you not only pay $160 trillion but you also get approximately one collider in which the agreement with the Standard Model in this single quantity is as bad as this actual single LHC collider of ours actually shows (or worse). When I mentioned the money, I can't resist to mention that the money that will evaporate when the Bitcoin bubble bursts are enough for a dozen of LHC colliders – and even more if there will be additional growth before it bursts. ;-)

OK, there's some 4-sigma deficit.

Among U.S. millennials, socialism beats capitalism

Tobias Sander has pointed out an article in Fox News (and elsewhere),

Millennials think socialism would create a great safe space, study finds
As shown in a PowerPoint presentation, YouGov and Victim-of-Communism-Memorial-Foundation have surveyed over 2,000 millennials. 45% would prefer a "socialist country" while only 42% would prefer a capitalist country. When the system is called "communism", the support drops to 7%, much like for "fascism". A major motivation seems to be that the "capitalist economy works against them".

The poll shows lots of other troubling things, ignorance about most things – over 60% have never heard of Maduro, for example – but it's far from the first one of its kind (see similar results from February 2016, for example) and the U.S. is far from the only country spoiled by this mental disease selectively targeting the youth.

Friday, November 03, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Political prisoners in Spain are unsustainable

There are 10 political prisoners in Spain. They have been segregated to 5 different prisons in Greater Madrid. Two guys with the beard are from some pro-independence organization. The remaining 8 are members of the Catalan government. 1 more member of the government, Santi Vila, "fully cooperated" so he or she wasn't jailed. Catalan president Puigdemont and 4 other government members stay in Belgium, cooperate with the Spanish courts remotely, but won't visit Spain because they don't trust the fairness of the trial.

I don't trust it, either. And I agree with lots of dissatisfied comments addressed to the EU apparatchiks, e.g.

Exactly. The political prisoners in Spain shed completely new light on things like the political prisoners in China that various European and EU politicians sometimes complain about. Interestingly enough, political prisoners in China are bad – but political prisoners in Spain, which is still an EU member country – seem to be completely fine for the hypocritical šitty likes of Mr Tusk, Mr Juncker, and this whole gang.

HEP: what was written, cited in 2017

TV: Don't forget that aside from S11E06 episode of The Big Bang Theory, the S01E02 episode of Young Sheldon finally aired yesterday – it's full of cool boy genius stuff – Sheldon was using Carnegie science to find friends.
If you search INSPIRE, a particle physics database, for find topcite 50+ and date 2017, you will get 102 hits – papers timestamped as 2017 that have already earned at least 50 followups. An unusually high percentage are experimental papers.

Various papers were published by the LHC collaborations – ATLAS, CMS, LHCb (various properties of mesons) – as well as LIGO and direct searches for dark matter such as XENON1T. LIGO has found the gravitational waves – from black holes and kilonovae – but otherwise the results of all these experiments have confirmed the null hypotheses.

The number of papers submitted to hep-th (pure particle physics theory) in this list is just 15. They include some papers about the microscopic information of black holes, soft hair, matrices in them, as well as the SYK model – a microrevolution of recent years – and Erik Verlinde's irritating abolition of dark matter. Except for SYK, these or similar papers have been covered in various TRF blog posts.

Thursday, November 02, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Wall of grief: Putin is courageous to question Stalin

Days ago, Vladimir Putin unveiled the Wall of Grief, a sculpture by Georgy Frangulyan which will be a memorial to the victims of communism in Moscow – the first such a memorial in Russia. See the pictures.

The sculpture shows many people – probably victims of Stalin. In this sense, it's analogous to the memorial to the children of Lidice, a Czech village razed by the Nazis. Well, the kids in the Czech sculpture look a bit dull and too similar to each other while the people in the Russian sculpture don't quite even look like people at all. But I know, it's arts. For me, the political message is more important.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

CME futures should stop, drive Bitcoin price towards zero

The judgement day could be December 18th when the trading starts
Update: CBOE will start earlier, on Sunday December 10th at 5 pm Chicago time

The Bitcoin price has set new records above $6,500 and nothing seems capable of stopping it on its way towards the infinity. As you know, I think that the only justifiable price of it is zero and everyone who doesn't see it is a moron. The whole capitalization of over $100 billion is a measure of the people's irrationality, a herd instinct worshiping a virtual ill-defined brand. But as Keynes said,

The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.
So I am unlikely to bet and short the cryptocurrencies although I am very tempted.

Between November 13th and November 20th, Bitcoin may collapse or cease to exist due to the disputed fork. BTC should divide to a new BTC and B2X, one with a doubled block size. Bitcoin exchanges have different attitudes to the question whether they will give the users B2X at all, which of the cryptocurrencies will be called the Bitcoin etc. It's possible that no fork will take place at all. But it's possible that it will and any of the four possibilities – B2X will [not] survive and BTC will [not] survive – is possible.

So be sure to have your Bitcoins at a place where you can access both BTC and B2X – some exchanges won't allow you that. B2X futures are currently at $1,167, you don't want to lose that even if you managed to keep the remaining $5,400 of BT1.

I think that much of the price growth of BTC and BCH in recent days is due to the expected fork that the financially illiterate "Bitcoin traders" consider to be "dividends for free", being completely unaware of the ex-dividend price drop (note that the BT1, BT2 futures linked to in the previous paragraph do realize that the numbers should add up i.e. there will be an ex-dividend drop). This panic buying may be mirrored by panic selling after the forks. On top of that, the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) group plans to offer its clients trading with Bitcoin futures by the end of 2017 (see press release).

And that could be a game-changer, I think. (Two Bitcoin real-time CME indices have been available since November 14th of the last year. See them now.)

Czech public shocked by gender programs at schools

OK, yes, I edited the time so that this text was posted on 1/11 at 11:11. ;-)

Three weeks ago, I discussed the politically correct indoctrination at schools. The number of subjects without any real beef – which just downgrade the pupils to stupid and obedient politically correct sheep – is growing every day. But lots of people keep on reporting that it's "not bad" at actual schools. Children and other witnesses don't report everything we may want to know. It would be interesting to see a whole week at contemporary schools.

Yesterday, readers of center-right were shocked by the article

Ministry of education teaches its employees about the genders, the project costs millions
We learn that the Czech ministry of foreign affairs has hired various experts – including a woman from an Olympic organization, Ms Knorre, whose "expertise" about anything related to education seems non-existent. How similar female outsiders may become "de facto bosses" is something I can't possibly understand. A particular project costs $300,000 which is not negligible but it's not a lot – I am sure that much more money is being wasted for similar junk.
Monty Hall: Off-topic: I noticed that Dr Roy Spencer wrote about the Monty Hall Paradox last month. Nicely enough, his solution "it depends on why Monty Hall does what he does" is exactly the same as mine in 2006. ;-)
The employees at the ministry, principals, teachers, and children are told that "children are choosing occupations according to gender stereotypes" and that should be changed. So hundreds of comments mock this attitude. The most popular comment simply says "it remains to milk the billy goat now". An overwhelming majority of readers is against this kind of stuff, they point out why it's natural for men and women to do different things – we could say "to have different statistical distributions in diverse occupations". The article mentions that some "gender equality experts" have been put in charge of censoring and editing all textbooks and they have the power to chastise all employees of the ministry who realize that this whole gender equality stuff is stinking garbage. These attitudes only exist because "these employees haven't been sufficiently educated to appreciate the gender equality". What an outrageously arrogant statement from these deluded despicable parasites.

I am pretty sure that all these programs are basically forced upon us by the European Union because I think it's obvious that in any larger, sufficiently random group of Czech citizens, you will find an overwhelming majority that opposes this kind of gender orthodoxy. The number of feminists in Czechia could probably be counted on one hand – it's plausible that I have already met most of the Czech feminists in my life.

Monday, October 30, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A branch of SJWs: deniers of Bitcoin miners' power

The Bitcoin has forked to several currencies and a new fork will materialize in the middle of November. Arguments between various people connected with the Bitcoin are the reasons why these branches of the Bitcoin are being created.

These arguments may look like some unimportant technicalities about details you couldn't possibly care about – like the splitting of the Christian church (Martin Luther wrote 95 theses exactly half a millennium ago, more than a century after Mr John Huss was burned at stake, and Protestantism was born).

But when you study the details a little bit and especially when you discuss with the champions of both sides, you will realize that the basic argument isn't technical at all. It's basically a standard argument between "pro-capitalists" and "fans of meritocracy with rules" on one side; and "communists" or "SJWs" on the other side. Why is it so? What's going on?

Catalan officials are potential refugees who actually deserve the asylum

Spain has become an uncivilized, dangerous country not far from the average country of the Muslim world

Catalonia has declared independence; the Spanish Senate immediately responded with the activation of Article 155, a nuclear option. Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, an attractive 150-centimeter-tall female dwarf with the Napoleon complex, was named the Imperial Protector for Catalonia. I guess that there are lots of feminists etc. in Catalonia who won't discuss any absurd features of this new "leader" sent from Madrid.

But to think that her job of the Imperial Protector is more than a joke, I first want to see her arrive to Girona or Barcelona, walk into Carles Puigdemont's office, and greet the citizens. She should show that the population loves her, much like when Protector Heydrich drove in his open-topped Mercedes 320 Convertible B through Prague. ;-)

Saturday, October 28, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czechoslovakia: 99 years

Ninety-nine years ago, on October 28th, 1918, Czechoslovakia was created on the ruins of Austria-Hungary. This cartoon for kids explains the basics:

Charles I, grand-nephew of the long-lived emperor Francis Joseph I, came to the throne in 1916. He wanted a huge amount of autonomy for the nations of Austria-Hungary, he wanted to be crowned the Czech king (and he spoke Czech) but it was too late. In the late Summer 1918, the fate of Austria and Germany in the war deteriorated dramatically. The empires surrendered and accepted the conditions of the victors, including the U.S.

On October 28th, lots of happy people in elegant hats were on the streets. Czechoslovaks were capable of pushing the Austrian forces away from the centers of power. Things went smoothly.

U.S. president Woodrow Wilson had assumed the division of Austria-Hungary to smaller countries at least from early 1918. Prof Thomas Garrigue Masaryk became the first "daddy" president of Czechoslovakia because he did most of the hard diplomatic work to convince the West that it's an optimal new country for our region. Czechoslovakia immediately became a modern democracy with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government, with the new Czechoslovak currency – which was the Europe's hardest currency by the late 1920s.

Friday, October 27, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Catalonia enjoys independence while it lasts

Minutes ago, Catalan lawmakers approved the independence of their new, Catalan Republic. The ballot was secret – which will make it harder to punish the lawmakers for "sedition" or their "anti-imperial heresy". 70 lawmakers voted "leave", 10 voted "stay", 2 blank ballots, 53 (People's Party, Socialists, Ciutadans) absent during the vote.

I do believe that the gradual approach of Prime Minister Carles Puigdemont has been both wise and responsible so far. Everyone could have seen that they really wanted to negotiate and avoid dramatic steps but they were threatened by Article 155 – indeed, it was only a "threat" so far because the Spanish Senate hasn't approved it yet – and given this mostly unprovoked threat for basic autonomy of the region, it makes sense to defend the region by the full-blown independence.

(Update: the Spanish Senate approved Article 155 minutes after the independence declaration, 214-to-47.)

Pythagorean theorem, \(\pi\), and whiteness

Willie Soon, Ann, and Mike N. have brought our attention to a remarkable story about an attractive Latino "expert" in math teaching, Rochelle Gutierrez of UIUC, who complains that algebra, \(\pi\), the Pythagorean theorem, and probably most other pillars of mathematics are evil because they seem to remind (or brainwash?) children of the Greeks who were whites and one therefore concludes that whites are smarter.

So "mathematics itself operates on whiteness". And that's a problem.

This is arguably the most transparent universal visual proof of the Pythagorean theorem you can find, an animated edition of this proof. You move two triangles of area \(ab/2\) to different places and what is left in the \((a+b)^2\) square is either \(a^2+b^2\) or \(c^2\) so those are equal.

All of us are sane. So we know that the observation that mathematics was largely discovered by whites is mostly right – if you ignore the Greeks' suntan – but this fact is also largely just a historical coincidence. Mathematics doesn't directly impose conditions on the skin color of those who practice it. Mathematics may be done by everyone even though in practice, one needs some talent for it. The talent may have correlations with the skin color but that's not really the fault of mathematics.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Cross sections: visualizations are possible but reality is their generalization

In particle physics and similar disciplines, cross sections are quantities that determine the probability that a collision of two objects with a "particular desired outcome" is successful. The Symmetry Magazine wrote an article promoting the concept and saying how wonderful it is that it's used in several disciplines of science.

I want to use the example of the "cross section" concept to show in what sense quantum mechanics "builds upon" the pictures we could draw in classical physics; but it isn't quite one of the classical pictures. So yes, this is a blog post in the "foundations of quantum mechanics" category.

"Cross sections" play the very same role as general "probabilities" of some evolution, transition, or process except that they're optimized for a special class of initial states – initial states that look like two particles or objects heading for a collision.

Every anti-physics nut job should write her "Not Even Wrong"

More than a decade ago, in 2006, two third-class pseudointellectuals, Peter Woit and Lee Smolin, wrote their notorious tirades against physics as a science that were titled "Not Even Wrong" and "Trouble With Physics", respectively.

The subsequent events have proven that there exist millions of people in the society who viscerally hate physics and who are willing to pay lots of money to talking heads who repeat some anti-physics populist gibberish sufficiently many times. The two central šitheads have simply picked up the profit from the sidewalk. Even ten percent of the Smolin's and Woit's readership may be a good basis for a business project.

That much was understood by Sabine Hossenfelder, a protégée of Lee Smolin's, one of the crackpots from 2006, and as she announced on her weblog, she wrote her own "Trouble With Physics", too. Hers is called

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
The author gives you a great reason to buy the book:
This isn’t a nice book and sadly it’s foreseeable most of my colleagues will hate it.
This may sound as a negative appraisal but it's actually as positive as you can get from the viewpoint of the scum that has literally paid for Smolin's and Woit's šit a decade ago.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A project for you: anti-Unruhology

Off-topic, web: Some arXiv preprints may be converted from PDF to nice HTML with maths using arXiv Vanity. More info.
Imagine that you're a grad student, postdoc, or a Milner prize winner who feels that his or her number of physics projects is limited now. I think that you should do a homework exercise and write a paper – as revolutionary a paper as possible – according to the following sketch.

Analyze the quantization of QFTs and quantum gravity – or vacua of string theory – on the spacelike, hyperbolic slices in the Minkowski space\[

x_\mu x^\mu = R^2.

\] If you do it right, you should conclude with some insights about
  • the black hole complementarity – the refusal of different slices to be independent – and therefore the information loss puzzle
  • the horizon degrees of freedom and the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy
OK, why is it interesting and what it is?

Monday, October 23, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Genuine progress requires competition, deeper changes than optimization

Why Babiš and other communist managers aren't good enough

Czechs chose a new parliament and Mr Andrej Babiš's ANO movement, a Führer-style political party, ended up with optically dominant 29.6% of the votes which were translated to 78 out of 200 lawmakers. The remaining 122 lawmakers are divided to a whopping number of 8 political parties, a record high (9 in total). It's this fragmentation that makes the billionaire Babiš – who is deceitfully labeled a Czech Trump by most fake news media – look exceptional.

Babiš's family during Christmas.

But as most of you will surely agree, the absolute number of voters who supported ANO is very far from an overwhelming one. It was less than 30% of voters who came to the polling stations – more than 70% voted for "non-ANO" ("non-YES") or "NE" ("NO") parties. And I haven't included the 61% turnout yet. Because "Babiš or not" was such a vital question of these elections, one could also argue that "no to Babiš" side has overwhelmingly won. After all, he "only" got 1.5 million votes – some 15% of the total population of Czechia.

So it's fair to say that despite his being charged by police for his subsidy fraud (10 years in prison; the charges are suspended because he regained the immunity as soon as the election results became official), he's rather likely to create a new government, one that would surely move us closer to Hungary and Poland according to the "authoritative government" criterion that I am not happy about. I think that he's way more authoritative and ready to abuse the government for his own benefits than either Kaczynski or Orban; but he's way less ideological. Babiš doesn't really have any ideology or moral values surpassing his egotist personal interests at all. He's changed his opinions about pretty much everything where the public opinion wasn't clear enough.

Even though pretty much all the other 8 parties refuse a government with him, he may just find 1-2 parties that will accept some "carrots" and/or buy some individual lawmakers from some other parties or across the spectrum. I don't think this outcome is guaranteed – a big coalition or "opposition agreement" of many subjects without ANO is possible and I prefer it – but it's surely likely enough for Babiš to become a prime minister so that no sane pundit should rule it out at this point.

Sunday, October 22, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Golden binary strengthened relativity, aether crackpots don't care

Because it is the first combined electromagnetic-gravitational observation of an astrophysical event, the recent announcement of the LIGO-Virgo and electromagnetic discovery of the "golden binary" or "kilonova" has many consequences. One of them is about the process that may have created most of gold and platinum in the Universe, not to mention numerous less famous elements.

Another implication is the "standard siren". An article in Nature used the kilonova to measure the Hubble's constant in a new way. Instead of using "supernovae" as the "standard candles" whose distance may be determined from their luminosity, the "kilonova" is used as the "standard siren" whose distance is determined from their "sound" i.e. the gravitational wave. The terminology is supposed to be both witty (or creative) and self-explanatory so I hope you appreciate it.

But another consequence for "fundamental physics" is a new measurement of the speed difference between the gravitational and electromagnetic waves.