Tuesday, May 30, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

America, Visegrád vs globalist Paris climate pact loons

The tension between the U.S. and the politically correct Western Europe has become obvious. After she met Donald Trump in Sicily, Angela Merkel said that the U.S. was no longer a reliable partner, Europe should become self-sufficient (Trump has been saying the same thing for some time!), and her discussions with Trump about the climate hysteria were "very dissatisfying". Merkel is so annoyed by Trump's attitudes that she wants to "work with Russia". Putin's being rather conservative was always the main reason why radical PC fanatics such as Merkel have escalated their Russophobia and now, when Trump has arguably trumped the center-right Putin, Russia no longer looks so bad to the far left loons.



A previous German-American rift that had just ended in Pilsen.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has said that the "Germans were very very bad" because the BMW, Mercedes, and other German carmakers sell lots of cars in the U.S. Well, this is the only thing in this collection where I won't agree with the Donald at all. You know, Mr President, the fact that the BMW and other German companies can sell so many cars in the prestigious American markets so easily means that "they are very very good", not that "they are very very bad". Fix your signs! ;-) To say the least, lots of American consumers – and Trump's voters – still think that these German cars are immensely good and reliable – although some numbers indicate otherwise.

Monday, May 29, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Is the Millennials' dependence on smartphones dangerous?

25 years after the final high school exam, we had a reunion in the open-air museum in Chanovice, a village 40 miles South of Pilsen. The open-air museum (or "skanzen" as we call them in Czech) was built in recent decades and my classmates have been one of the key groups of workers that made it possible. Historical buildings from the rural Klatovy area (between Pilsen and the Bohemian/Bavarian forest) were accumulated in a village that had previously had a chateau, a church, a rather impressive granary, and now also has an observatory.

It was fun to meet them. 21 people – a clear majority of the class – has attended. I surely don't claim that such reunions that are much more than "a few hours in the pub" are rare at the global level but they're rare enough. We had fun, drank beer and ate sausages, visited the skanzen, chateau, observatory, and received some expert stories about the history of the rural buildings from a local guru and our classmate LK whose knowledge – and contributions to the place – was amazing. He was born in the countryside and knows a lot – theoretically and practically – about the rural life in the recent as well as distant past.

We would rarely talk about serious topics but e.g. U.S. politics couldn't be avoided when we talked to PS who has been the U.S. citizen for some time and works for CDC (epidemics) in Atlanta, GA. Well, he voted for Mickey Mouse and almost none of my classmates are really interested in politics. They may have better things to do. But I could talk about things such as electron-positron annihilation in medicine (PET/PAS) and the status of the theory of the photoelectric effect with a classmate – named Camille, an X-ray professional and physics enthusiast – too. ;-)

Friday, May 26, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Zuckerberg's embarrassing degree, commencement speech

I have avoided Facebook for years but I think it's right that its primary founder is a billionaire. When billions of people think that this particular social network qualitatively trumps all others that have existed before or at the same time (something I could never see), it's simply unavoidable in a fair business environment for the owner of that network to get very wealthy. He has also demonstrated lots of programming, social, and other skills and lots of good luck, too.



Hackers have improved the main page of The Harvard Crimson.

But I don't think it's right for a credible university to give him a doctorate because of this commercial success. And yes, the dropout has just bought an honorary degree to become the doctor of law (a four-minute video). I think it's formally a PhD although it could be some JD, too. Add any adjectives you like (honorary) but the degree for a dropout demonstrates that at the end, the money trumps any values that Harvard ultimately tries to defend.

Many Americans love to imagine that it's some other countries, perhaps in Latin America, Asia, or Eastern Europe, that are corrupt. But this is plain corruption standing in front of your eyes.

Physics World insults me, simultaneously promotes climate alarmism and crackpottery in HEP

The writer's cognitive dissonance is amazing

Most readers of news outlets about science have begun to notice that most of the conventional semipopular news sources about physics – but also most other topics – are fading away.

They haven't been sufficiently financially rewarded for the quality of their writing so they reduced the quality of the writing and focused on cheap things that were enough for the undemanding readers. That decreased their attractiveness among the demanding readers as well as their revenue which led to a further, forced decrease of the quality because it's increasingly obvious that almost anyone can produce similar low-quality texts.

The actual, especially big shot, professional physicists know that The Reference Frame is arguably the highest-quality medium discussing current events in physics – especially those whose status is being misinterpreted elsewhere – and while they are sometimes cowardly and don't want to associate themselves with your humble correspondent too tightly, most people have noticed that this weblog actually is the spokesman of the world's scientific elite which is a little bit under attack from a coalition of aggressive simpletons.

So the simpletons and their mouthpieces increasingly frequently react to my texts. Well, there are many inkspillers on their side but they're missing a detail: The truth is not on their side.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

W-Z-Unruh's solution to the cosmological constant problem is intriguing

Several folks have asked me how I reacted to the paper

How the huge energy of quantum vacuum gravitates to drive the slow accelerating expansion of the Universe (March 2017)
by Qingdi Wang, Zhen Zhu, William G. Unruh (who is famous for the Unruh radiation i.e. the simpler Hawking radiation in the flat Rindler space). They claim that the Hubble constant implied by some vacuum energy density – which arises thanks to the quantum fluctuations in the vacuum – isn't the usual\[

H \sim \frac{\Lambda^2}{M_{Pl}}

\] but instead, it contains some shocking exponentially decreasing factor\[

H \sim \Lambda \exp(-c \Lambda / M_{Pl} ), \quad c\sim O(1).

\] If true, the decreasing exponential could be identified with the tiny factor of \(\exp(-123)\) and this mechanism could explain at least the "old" cosmological constant problem. My first reactions were skeptical or "incomplete" but the more I look into the paper, the more it reminds me of an attempt of mine that I first invented some 15 years ago. And that's an encouraging sign. ;-)

A new finance minister: a typically gradual Czech resolution of a crisis

First, different news from Czech politics: the Czech Parliament recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and criticized UNESCO for its anti-Israeli stances. It has asked the government to stop the Czech funding of UNESCO because of its politicization. Not bad. Sadly, the government is much more "supervised" by the likes of Merkel whose positions aren't that pure.



The Czech government crisis sparked by the scandals of the former billionaire and finance minister Andrej Babiš looked very dramatic, serious, and comical but all the tension is gone and the resolution looks like a non-event. I would say that it is a typically Czech development.



So the government hasn't collapsed and the social democratic prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka – dissatisfied with Babiš's growing pile of scandals – has basically succeeded because the president accepted the proposed firing of Babiš and named Mr Ivan Pilný as a new finance minister. Pilný (see the picture above) is a former Microsoft executive and a member of Babiš's populist ANO movement – often considered to be rather independent from Babiš. At any rate, Pilný at least looks independent enough so that the other politicians could have been satisfied. Perhaps, it was just enough for them to pretend that they're satisfied.

I actually do believe that Pilný is independent of Babiš – and by his membership in ANO, Pilný basically fooled Babiš. Why? Because it seems to me that Pilný is "mostly" an admirer of Václav Klaus, one of the top "evil people" whom Babiš has claimed as the reason why he became a politician. (These days, Babiš's references to Klaus are totally negligible relatively to those about his predecessor Kalousek.)

Needless to say, this is not necessarily the end of Babiš. He is still expected to safely win the October 2017 elections. Assuming that he will have less than 50% of the Parliament, and I am convinced that he will, we will see whether he has any coalition potential left. A grand left-right anti-Babiš coalition is rather possible and for the sake of freedom and democracy, I would personally prefer it over almost any government with Babiš in it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Hep-ph arXiv conquered by GAMBIT

Most of the new hep-ph papers on the arXiv were released by the same large collaboration called GAMBIT which stands for The Global And Modular BSM Inference Tool. Note that BSM stands for Beyond the Standard Model. Most but not all BSM models that people study or want to study are supersymmetric.



This stack of cards may actually be seen in the lower right corner of all graphs produced by GAMBIT. ;-)

Click at the hyperlink to learn about their project. I have always called for the creation of such systems and it's great that one of them seems to be born by now.

Much of the work of model builders is really about some routine work – one works with some new fields and interaction terms in the Lagrangian, some methods to calculate particle physics predictions, scan the parameter spaces, compute probability distributions, and compare predictions with the experimental data etc.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Salman Abedi (23) strikes in Manchester

My condolences to the friends and families of the (so far) 21 innocent victims of a suicide attack (involving a home-made explosive device with nails) in Manchester's MEN arena. The victims were mostly kids and young teenagers, fans of Ariana Grande (*1993), an American singer.

The explosion occurred at 22:32 local time, Monday night. Few hours before the massacre, at 18:28 and 18:32 local time, the Twitter account @Owys663 warned in broken English that "the just terror" was coming to the #ManchesterArena – this hash tag was included in one of the two relevant tweets.

Monday, May 22, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Conceptual penis drives climate change

The 1996 Sokal hoax has shown that the social scientists' journals considered prestigious didn't have any standards, the "research" done by that community had no content, and its editors were indeed unable to distinguish absurd satirical nonsense from something they were ready to call "true scholarship".

You could have thought that the publication of Sokal's ludicrous article was an anomalous mistake and nothing of the sort would be repeated because the editors in similar journals would become more cautious. However, this improvement hasn't happened. In fact, it couldn't have happened because there is really no well-defined difference between the work done by scholars in "gender studies" and the jokes that you may invent about them in minutes to mock them. The jokes about these "social scientists" are funny because they are true.

As Breitbart, WUWT, CFACT, and others told us, a new hoax of the same kind was just published in "Cogent Social Sciences", a peer-reviewed journal in sociology.

Sunday, May 21, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

EURCZK: the distortions of the market may fade away now

About two weeks ago, my broker (similarly to at least some others) increased the margin requirements for CZK-based pairs by a factor of 20 – the justifiable reasons seem non-existent to me. (Update: They warned by a factor up to 20 to make the clients close the position, but then they increased it 5-fold "only", still too high for me.) It was the 4th annoying shocking change of the rules (and the most far-reaching one) so I decided that it was no longer usable and closed my position – and extracted all the money – with a nontrivial but modest 50% return on the money I reserved for that account. The plan was at least 300% – and even by this point, I could have easily achieved 200% if I were a little bit less cowardly.

I am not rich but I am more impartial now which is a more precious value. ;-)



You may still make big profits if your broker is more well-behaved. This is the chart of EURCZK since Fall 2004. Click to magnify the graph. You see that at the end of 2004, one euro was some 31 crowns (CZK). It was strengthening by some 4% i.e. one crown per year and reached the low of 23 crowns per euro in mid 2008. The Lehman Brothers-like events weakened the crown almost up to 29 in 2009. CZK strengthened back towards 24 or so by 2011 and was expected to return to the 4% strengthening per year.

Saturday, May 20, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Quantum mechanics is another example of deductive reasoning

Objectivity of the truth is separate, unnecessary, and non-existent

For various psychological, metaphysical, and quasi-religious reasons, many people find it insanely hard to understand an extremely simple fact – namely that quantum mechanics allows you to reason to pretty much the same extent (when it comes to the applicability) as classical physics did before the birth of quantum mechanics; but it fundamentally rejects the idea that there are statements about Nature that are objective in character.

I say it's simple and it really is. The point is that the laws of a quantum mechanical theory are tools to produce lots of statements of the form

"IF... THEN..."
These two words, "IF" and "THEN", basically cover everything that you need to understand the basic character of quantum mechanics. You don't need 43 pages of rubbish about Jesus Christ, John Wheeler, and random statements by 150 philosophers and physicists.

Quantum mechanics requires that you know some assumptions – the propositions behind the "IF". Those are the latest measurements that you, an observer, did in the past. And it allows you to derive or calculate some conclusions – the propositions behind the word "THEN". Because of this structure, "propositions are derived from others", we may say that the reasoning is deductive.

Well, the conclusions sometimes include the word "probably" or "with the probability \(P\)" where \(P\) is a number. For this reason, it may sometimes be better to say that some of the quantum mechanical reasoning is inductive or abductive. But the differences between the adjectives inductive, abductive, and deductive are not what really matters.

What matters is that it's normal that there are some assumptions or inputs – the observations that have been made – and one shouldn't be surprised that there is no objective way to decide whether the assumptions are right. The truth value depends on the observer's perspective.

Friday, May 19, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Flynn-Trump witch hunt is McCarthyism reloaded

Astro breaking news: Tabby's star is dropping again
What our finance minister Mr Babiš has been doing – and how our president has provided him with his marginally unconstitutional support – was pretty bad but in recent days, I was reminded of the poor level of the political culture in the world's only superpower. Some of the events that have followed Trump's decision to fire the FBI's boss Comey look incredible to me.

Under a Washington Times article about some events, I added my vote "Yes, it's the greatest witch hunt in the U.S. history". 77% of the readers of that news outlet have answered in this way. I answered not because I am certain that it's the greatest one – I have also been to the Salem, Massachusetts museum of the literal witch hunts ;-) which is another fact that makes me uncertain – but it seems as the greatest witch hunt among the obvious ones I can think of right now.

The Washington Times article says that an investigation of Comey's departure has turned into a "criminal investigation". In a similar context, what can this phrase possibly mean outside a banana republic? The only act that has taken place is Trump's "you're fired" for Comey which was partly powered by Trump's dissatisfaction with Comey's harassment of Flynn that the president considered inappropriate. And so did I: if I were the U.S. president, I would probably order waterboarding of those who gave Mr Flynn such a hard time for no good reason. It seems utterly obvious to me that according to the laws, Trump has had the right to fire Comey – he has extracted this political power directly from the American electorate. Aside from Trump, no one else has done anything that would matter.

Spacetimes as thick (objects and) amplifiers of information

There are a whopping 23 new hep-th papers today, not counting the cross-listed ones, and some of them are very interesting. For example, Kachru and Tripathy find some cute number theory inside the engine of \(K3\times T^2\) compactifications of type II string theory. Max Guillen shows the equivalence of the 11-dimensional pure spinor formalism to an older one.

Dvali studies the chiral symmetry breaking, a physicist named Wu presents a theory of everything based on "gauge theory in a hyperspacetime". Some paper answers whether patience is a virtue by references to cosmic censorship LOL. But mainly the following two papers look like they belong to the black hole (or spacetime's) quantum information industry:

Spacetime has a `thickness' (Samir Mathur)

Classical Spacetimes as Amplified Information in Holographic Quantum Theories (Nomura, Rath, Salzetta)
Mathur wrote a (silver medal) essay for a "gravity foundation" and the point is right. However, the suggestion that these are new ideas is not really valid. He says that the spacetime (or its state) isn't just given by a shape. One must also specify the "thickness" of the wave functional defined on the configuration space (the space of 3-geometries).

[The 4th prize in the same contest went to Shahar Hod, also cross-listed today, who claims to have proven our weak gravity conjecture as a consequence of "generalized Bekenstein's" [I wouldn't use these words] second law of thermodynamics within quantum gravity. The second law implies that the relaxation time is \(\tau\gt 1/(\pi T)\). When the imaginary parts of quasinormal models of a charged black hole are used to extract the relaxation time, one proves the weak gravity inequality. If it were a correct paper, he would have repaid my proof and our proof of his log-3 numerical observation. Well, I would still view it as "another" proof among many – similar to the proofs we already had in the original paper. It's surely personally intriguing that he has combined two things I've studied, the quasinormal modes and the weak gravity conjecture.]

If you think just a little bit, you will realize that it's an equivalent statement to my 2013 observation that coherent states form an overcomplete basis which implies that that field operators in QG cannot be localized in a background-independent way. Derivations with similar or stronger consequences have appeared in papers by Raju and Papadodimas, Berenstein and Miller, and a few others.

Even if the content of papers like Mathur were totally right, it's an unfortunate development – trend towards Smolinization of physics – for researchers not to follow their colleagues' work.

Thursday, May 18, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Young Sheldon: a first look

Sheldon Cooper is arguably the centerpiece of The Big Bang Theory which has been the most successful TV sitcom in the world in the recent decade. Jim Parsons – who just got "married" (the quotes indicate that the verb is incorrect according to the conventions in which I live) – was getting the same $1 million per episode as "Leonard" and "Penny" but he's had a little extra X-factor.

Watch the trailer at IMDB (5:16)
It was therefore logical for CBS to build on his success. As I mentioned in March, Iain Armitage, a 9-year-old literary critic, became the filmmakers' boy of choice to star as the young Sheldon. The TV station chose the most obvious no-nonsense name for the new series that will actually compete against the 11th season of The Big Bang Theory, namely Young Sheldon. I would have recommended them the same title.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

US, sane European countries should warn EU against anti-Hungarian blackmail

First, off-topic news from particle physics:


A new paper looking for a Z'-boson in the quark-quark-jet channel finds a modest excess (2.9 sigma locally, 2.2 globally) for the Z' mass around \(115\GeV\). No, the bump is not exactly the at the \(125\GeV\) regular Higgs' place. But record that LEP as well as some early LHC hints suggested a new boson at \(115\GeV\) in some easier channels.



Today, the Parliament of the European Union – whose members are "lawmakers" that are not allowed to propose any laws – has adopted a new pathological resolution directed against Hungary (393 yes, 221 no, 64 abstain). Hungary's minister of foreign affairs has already classified the resolution as a new attack by the Soros network. The EU-Hungarian exchanges sound like a post-modern addition to the Hungarian dances.



Aside from Hungarian dances, don't forget about the Slavonic ones, either. The latter may be a bit less spicy, much like Czech cuisine is more bland than the Hungarian one (and except for Dumka, all of them are in X-major, not X-minor), but they're underappreciated in the West, anyway.

Recently, Hungary adopted laws allowing the migrants to be transferred to Serbia and laws regulating foreign NGOs and foreign citizens' owned universities on the Hungarian territory. The algorithm proposed by the EU Parliament to blackmail Hungary was described in a press release.

The members of the Soros network don't like the Hungarian laws – or any common sense let alone signs of a European country's sovereignty – so they decided to harass Hungary as a nation state. They claim that Hungary is violating Article 2 of the EU treaty which should lead to the activation of the Article 7(1) of the EU treaty – preliminary work on sanctions that could strip Hungary of the voting rights and/or EU funds, among other things.

Richard Lindzen's talk in Prague

I am still a bit overloaded (also because the new phone I bought yesterday had a defective charging/battery and speaker so I returned it). So let me post some material that deviates from the most typical genre. John Archer wanted some report about Lindzen's talk in Prague. Here you have a fast translation of an initial draft of a report in Czech that I have to write.

Richard Lindzen's talk in Prague

Richard Lindzen, prof emeritus at MIT, is the most famous atmospheric physicist among the climate skeptics. I know him from Greater Boston, and because he spends several months in every year in Paris, I have convinced him that Czechia (Prague but even Pilsen) is worth seeing.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

QBism: Fuchs vs Bohr+Motl

Quantum Bayesianist Christopher Fuchs wrote a laughable, 43-page-long reply (titled Notwithstanding Bohr, the Reasons for QBism) to two blog posts of mine,

Bohr, Heisenberg, Landau wouldn't find QBism new [116]

Is quantum reality "personal"? [117]
which tries to claim that he has found something that Bohr and other founders of quantum mechanics didn't know about the meaning of the laws of quantum mechanics and the probabilities that they predict. Fuchs thanks two people who live in "time portals to our history", several other uninteresting names,
and Luboš Motl for showing off just how poor the scholarship on this subject can be in some corners of physics [116, 117].
Because of an extreme time and sleeping deficit (days of hosting Richard Lindzen and his wife, including a rather intense yesterday's trip to Prague where Lindzen gave a wonderful talk masterminded by your humble correspondent, hosted by Czech ex-president Václav Klaus, and we ate in two expensive restaurants and meeting with a top archaeologist at noon and Václav Klaus and his aides in the evening, new phone I just received, and many other things), I won't read this preprint carefully and I think that credible physicists won't read it, either, but the abstract will be enough for them to be rather certain that I am right and Fuchs is wrong: He just hasn't added anything on top of Bohr that would make sense.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

I doubt Mileva contributed much to Einstein's work

Tonight, National Geographic CZ airs the fourth episode of "Genius" about Einstein. (I will have to watch it later because of another cultural event.) There's physics in it but the series is obviously focused on Einstein's relationship to other people, especially (but not only) women.



Ms Emily Jordan at Salon.com was inspired by the series yesterday and she published a piece titled

Well Hello, Dolly: Mileva Marić, Albert Einstein and the myth of the Great Man
emphasizing Einstein's flaws as a male and the idea that women may also be geniuses. Women may surely be geniuses but I am not sure whether Mileva Marić is a great example of that. She was very smart... but a genius is a slightly different category.

Saturday, May 13, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Journalists respond to the inflation wars

Two days ago, I wrote about two open letters about the cosmic inflation published in Scientific American. In February, critics ILS claimed that it wasn't even a science. Days ago, GLKN (Guth, Linde...) along with 29 other heavyweights who just signed defended the inflationary cosmology.

There have been some reactions in the pop science media.

First, Amy Adams wrote a Stanford press release:

Despite a popular media story, rumors of inflationary theory’s demise is premature, Stanford researchers say
It was later copied to Phys.Org. You may see that Amy Adams is working for Stanford which is proud about Linde, so it is a pro-Linde, pro-inflation story – which is reasonable. Similar comments apply to the text in the Stanford Daily
Stanford scientist defends inflationary origin theory of the universe
by Sarah Wishingrad. Stanford may be considered the world's headquarters of research on inflation. Aside from the inflation's co-founder Andrei Linde – who thrilled us by posting a comment on Thursday – Stanford also has numerous other brilliant researchers of the cosmic inflation. Some of them have written TRF blog posts in the past.

Aside from some self-evidently credible technical research on inflation, Stanford is also one of the hotbeds of the anthropic reasoning which I don't find so nice. But it's clear that it's a kind of metaphysics that is somewhat naturally suggested by the technical results surrounding inflation – and its realization within string theory – and Stanford is arguably contributing the more rational things to the anthropic reasoning, too.

Friday, May 12, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

How Tim Maudlin "solved" the information loss puzzle

I believe that I have encountered the name "Tim Maudlin" of a self-described "philosopher" before 2011 but Fall 2011 was the first season when I was first fully exposed to his staggering arrogance combined with his utter stupidity. As discussed in Tom Banks and anti-quantum zealots, Maudlin was the most combative troll in the comment section of a guest blog about the foundations of quantum mechanics written by my former PhD adviser on Sean Carroll's blog.

Maudlin's name has appeared in the following years several times. But I honestly don't remember anything special about this particular "Gentleman's" opinions about quantum mechanics. He is just another anti-quantum zealot who accepts classical physics as a fact and says all the wrong things that "therefore the world is surely nonlocal" and the stuff that the anti-quantum zealots share. Mr Maudlin, don't you think that if it were enough to be a worthless peabrain like you that only understands the rough basics of classical physics to solve all problems in modern physics, the physicists would have already noticed?

Well, his "answers" to all questions in quantum mechanics based on the dictum that only classical physics is allowed wasn't enough for him. He decided to address a famous puzzle in contemporary decades, the black hole information paradox, too. The result was the fresh paper (Information) Paradox Lost whose content is equivalent to the following sentences:

The final slice after a black hole evaporated isn't a Cauchy surface – because some timelike trajectories don't quite get there (they end in the singularity). That is why this late surface shouldn't be expected to hold the whole information about the spacetime. Some information got clearly lost in the singularity. My solution is so straightforward that I refuse to call this trivial thing a "paradox" and all people working on complementarity, ER=EPR etc. have been idiots.
Maudlin is a stuttering moron so he needs 25 pages of rubbish to convey this point. The pages are full of trivial introductions to some aspects of the black hole geometry, repetitions, and variations of the basic claims that theoretical physicist are idiots.

So has Maudlin given us the right answer to the questions about the information loss so that we may stop thinking about it? Well, he hasn't. His answer is simple but a slight problem with it is that for some two decades, we have known for certain that it is wrong. The information is not lost.

Thursday, May 11, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Why the "testability" criticisms of inflation are silly

Because the inflation revolution is analogous to having eaten a forbidden apple

In February, three critics of inflation Ijjas, Steinhardt, Loeb (ILS) published a diatribe in Scientific American titled "Cosmic Inflation Theory Faces Challenges". They tried to defend the seemingly indefensible – the claim that there exist reasons to abandon the inflationary cosmology. They combined various unflatteringly sounding, mostly irrational sentences about the experimental status of inflation as well as its theoretical underpinnings.

As Sean Carroll and Peter W*it have mentioned, a day or two ago, dozens of authors signed under the response (also) in Scientific American named "A Cosmic Controversy". Note that ILS's title already tried to summarize their opinion while the title of the pro-inflation article doesn't make it clear that it's pro-inflation. This pattern can be seen repeatedly: Wrong statements often appear as titles but correct ones almost never do. Why is it so? I think that the journalists believe that more readers are attracted when the title is a wrong proposition.

The new pro-inflation text was penned by folks like Guth, Linde, Kaiser, Nomura (GLKN) but also by famous folks like Hawking, Witten, Maldacena, Susskind, occasional TRF guest bloggers Randall, Silverstein, but also by Sean Carroll, among others.

Most cosmologists would agree that the inflationary cosmology is a vital fundamental building block in most of the thinking about cosmology in the modern era. In its rather general form, the theory of inflation says that the Universe has undergone a period of intense, approximately exponential expansion driven by a scalar field that was away from the minimum where it's sitting now. The previous sentence is a huge insight but it's not a complete theory so most of the detailed questions may remain – and indeed do remain – unanswered even if you deduce all derivable consequences from the paradigm that I have already described.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

What 30% of Czech voters tolerate to Babiš is incredible

I have written critical blog posts about the political culture, the atmosphere of cowardliness, collective irrationality, and the evaporating democracy in Germany. So it's somewhat refreshing to see a series of events in the Czech basin that make Germans think and behave in a more civilized way than Czechs. Such events show that the world is still alright. ;-) The West is in the West and the East is in the East.

Czech billionaire (second wealthiest Czech after financier Petr Kellner who [also] funds the Klaus Institute but is otherwise not interested in politics) and former Slovak communist snitch Mr Andrej Babiš has been a villain in numerous scandals and about one-half of them emerged in the recent weeks or a month. First of all, he shouldn't have become a minister because he was a snitch and the "lustration" law declared it impossible for these 160,000 citizens (1%) of Czechoslovakia who were reporting their politically inconvenient compatriots to become ministers or similar top politicians.

He also became a billionaire – his Agrofert Holding, held through a trust since February, is worth some $3 billion. Babiš is about as wealthy as Trump. Lots of recent data show that he simply stole the assets of the communist company Petrimex. He also stole the share of his former classmates in Switzerland. Yes, during communism, much like in the case of Kim Jong Un, the elite communist parents sent their spoiled brat to study to Switzerland.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

PBS hypes Tyson and his simulation stupidities

The PBS spacetime is a textbook example of a pop-science channel that collects and sells the most widespread laymen's and journalists' misconceptions about science as if they were real science. Sometimes the videos summarize the insights or views of the somewhat informed laymen, too, but more often, they don't. I have criticized their takes on the foundations of quantum mechanics and other things.

Just to be sure, there are also some episodes on elementary enough things that are basically OK and maybe even helpful to educate the public.



In this 6-days-old episode, the main host Matt invited Neil deGrasse Tyson, probably to attract some truly superficial viewers who consider this obnoxious moron to be a symbol of science. Relatively to Tyson, Matt talks like a genius. Tyson is reduced to offensively idiotic comments about an extraterrestrial or futuristic teenager in their parents' garage. This kind of a talk is probably expected to make the whole picture "hip" and that's enough for it to be widely accepted among the degenerated youth that pretends to be "into science" but they are really "into pseudoscientific stupidities".

Monday, May 08, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Hawking: mankind, leave Earth in 100 years

As The Independent and dozens of other sources told us, Stephen Hawking has "improved" his previous recommendation on a recently aired BBC program.

Half a year ago, he said that the mankind had to leave the Earth in 1,000 years if it wants to survive. He has corrected the number and what he says now is the following: all the men have to shoot themselves to another celestial body in 100 years if the mankind and/or the Earth wants to survive.

The stupidity of all these proclamations seems breathtaking to me.

Sunday, May 07, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Macron beats Le Pen

Right now, I believe that my statement that the "Macron defeat wasn't very unlikely" was incorrect, after all. It's still being predicted, based on partial results, that he will score a 65-to-35 victory over Le Pen. If something changes dramatically, I will revise or delete this blog post.

But the data available now do indicate that some 3-sigma fluke was needed so the probability of a Macron victory was close to 99.7% and the bookmakers have overstated the chances of a surprising result. I hope that Tom Vonk has kept his bet and won some modest interest. On the other hand, my condolences to John Archer who has made a bet on Le Pen.

Saturday, May 06, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Techmania: physics fun but something is missing without the maths

On Friday, we spent almost five hours in Techmania, Pilsen's science center built on the land that belonged to Škoda Works: the Pilsner episode of War of Tanks (where tanks can fly) is taking place almost exactly in Techmania. The only Czech 3D planetarium is a part of the facility. With a friend, we went to the planetarium last year or so.

But I haven't seen the main expositions for more than 2 years. So yesterday I could see that things got much more polished (even though you can still see in most of the area that the place used to be a factory), some gadgets were added. Sadly, some helpful gadgets have apparently disappeared, too.

Thursday, May 04, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech government crisis is tense, fun to watch

Two days ago, the Czech prime minister Sobotka announced his intent to resign – and, according to the traditions, this includes the removal of the whole government. The move was unexpected for almost everybody including myself (we assumed that he could only say "it's OK" or "fire Babiš only"). People have lots of opinions about the usefulness or legitimacy of the step.

I think that my opinion that it was a potentially ingenious chess move is a rare one but some other pundits, like the former ideologue of center-right ODS Vlastimil Tlustý, seem to agree with my view. It's rather likely that a similar government will complete the term that ends by the Fall 2017 elections but the details matter, the events may be spun in totally new unexpected ways, and there exists some chance that the elections will end up very differently than the outcome that people have been taking for granted for years.

The unexpected plan to resign was similar to the decision of an ice-hockey coach to remove the goalkeeper to increase the chance of a victory. The "temperature" increases and so does the probability of otherwise unlikely events.

The populist billionaire Babiš would normally be expected to get some 30+ percent of the votes but things may be very different because of the havoc that started on Tuesday. To say the least, Babiš seems extremely anxious. Things aren't evolving according to his plans.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Ann Nelson's embarrassing essay about "minorities" in physics

Ann Nelson is a physics professor in Seattle. I think that she is a very good particle physicist and when I was visiting their place, I wasn't forced to abandon the implicit assumption that she was basically a sensible person. Well, like so many women in physics, she became a part-time feminist activist. In the May issue of Physics Today, she "enriched" us with the following diatribe:

Commentary: Diversity in physics: Are you part of the problem?
What an amazing pile of junk, Ann. She complains that she doesn't have a black colleague at the University of Washington's physics faculty. If this particular comment were meant to be a tool to hire a smart black guy whom I knew as a Harvard graduate student, it's a very painful way to push the pendulum in similar questions.

After a few sentences about shame, forced guilt, and self-celebration of this self-anointed pioneer of the female penetration to physics departments, Nelson writes:
I often get asked, “Why are there so few women in physics?” That anyone would ask that question shows how oblivious many people are to the sexism and bias that permeate our society and physics culture.
If you often get asked why there are few women in physics, it's pretty painful that you have made no progress in understanding the answer – even though it's so simple. The average women's IQ is only smaller by 2-3 points than men's and wouldn't make a big impact. What's more important is that the IQ distribution (much like distributions of many other quantities) is wider among men, by about 10%, relatively to the women. And this makes the number of men above the (math-related) IQ score of 140 greater than the number of women by almost one order of magnitude. See e.g. this article by La Griffe du Lion for some simple numbers extracted from the normal distribution.

Aristotle's Sudoku puzzle

...and a metaphor for the exceptional structures in algebra, theoretical physics, string theory...

The most mentally demanding gift I received for our spring Xmas last night ;-) is the "Great Minds Aristotle's Number Classic Wooden Puzzle" which you may buy at amazon.com. Aristotle must have not only played with that – I think that he invented it. Unless it was invented by the Chinese because it's also sometimes named the "Lo Shu puzzle". And it may be just a modern (Chinese?) invention inspired by more primitive work of Aristotle's, I am not sure. If you hate Sudoku, you will hate this puzzle because it's Sudoku on steroids.

At those times, thinkers must have played with such wooden pieces and marbles a lot. I just verified that up to the obvious 12-element symmetry transformations, the solution to this puzzle is unique. This fact seems rather shocking. Why is the number of solutions exactly one? How could he invent it?

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Resignation of Czech government

More than three years ago, the Czech social democracy won the elections ahead of the populist billionaire Andrej Babiš's "ANO" (="YES", an acronym for "Alliance of the Pissed-off Citizens") – it was almost a tie. A calm, uncharismatic leader of the social democrats, Mr Sobotka, a life-long politician, became the prime minister because the ANO's result was just slightly worse than that of the social democrats. But it has been generally understood that the "de facto prime minister" was the somewhat charismatic, aggressive billionaire Andrej Babiš, the finance minister.

This wasn't the first time when the finance minister was considered the "de facto prime minister". In the government of center-right plasma physicist Mr Petr Nečas, the finance minister Mr Miroslav Kalousek was the by far louder and more controversial and combative guy. Kalousek is not only Babiš's predecessor as the finance minister – but also the "personification of all evil" that Babiš constantly talks about in his sermons addressed to his brain-dead quasi-religious sect. Babiš and his sheep seem as obsessed with Kalousek as some believers are obsessed with the Devil.

In late 2013, the Christian Democratic Union – the Czechoslovak People's Party (yes, they keep this name) – became a junior coalition partner. They liked to join most governments after the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

OK, when Sobotka joined forces with Babiš, the social democracy wanted to build on what they have in common: the hatred towards the small businesses, populism, licking of the aßes of the losers who are always easier to be manipulated than the people who depend on themselves. But there were lots of differences and time bombs. Babiš sometimes acts as if he were a rightwinger – all owners of "very big corporations" unavoidably do so at some times. More seriously, Babiš is a completely "apolitical" politician who has no values, no ideology, no spine. That's different from the social democrats who try to extend the tradition of a party that has existed for more than a century.

Monday, May 01, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Gerry's postcard from 1895 and an unknown town

Beneath the blog post about Google Translate, Gerry told us about a postcard that his wife's grandparents stored in the attic since 1895.



They didn't have time to read it up to May Day 2017 ;-) but Gerry is rather certain that the writing is in German. Well, I am rather sure as well. In fact, my German is more or less enough to understand what's going on.