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

A project for you: anti-Unruhology

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.

Saturday, October 21, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Catalonia, Czechia: not too happy a day in politics

In Madrid, the Spanish government decided to say "you're fired" to the elected Catalan government and appoint a puppet government instead. Based on the parties that will be included, the puppet government is supported by 8% of the Catalan voters. Moreover, some "authorities" are threatening Catalan president Puigdemont with up to 30 years in prison for "rebellion". He's my hero. Tonight, he will make a speech. I will understand if he surrenders.

Clearly, Spain doesn't belong to the European civilization and their heavy-handed approach won't make the problem go away. They can mask it but the underlying tension and desires to be independent will strengthen. I don't understand whether they want to allow new democratic elections in Catalonia because the support for pro-independence parties is bound to strengthen.

Results after 73% of polling stations have reported their tallies (in Czechia, we only need 2 hours for that counting – most other nations should learn from us). At the end, not only STAN mayors with 5.2% but also TOP 09 with 5.3% made it.

Meanwhile, billionaire Babiš exceeded the expectations and won the Parliamentary elections in Czechia.

Friday, October 20, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

2.7 cheers for "shut up and calculate"

Nima Arkani-Hamed is a member of the Aryan & Dominant White Professors program at Cornell University (how many external clicks did this cause LOL?) and he gave a talk about "shut up and calculate" last month over there:

Three Cheers for "Shut Up and Calculate" in Fundamental Physics
Nima adopted the division of the theoretical physicists to the askers or seers – like Lee Smolin who loved to impress the people by saying that "I view myself as a seer" (be sure that we've talked about these matters a lot so he had folks like Smolin in mind) – and the insatiable problem-set solvers who just want to get the technicalities right at the mathematical level and solve additional well-defined problems once some older ones are mastered.

And make no doubts about it, the "shut up and calculate" people are unambiguously the right ones.

Thursday, October 19, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Madrid announces nuclear war #155

As we have expected for quite some time, further escalation has taken place in the tension between Spain and Catalonia. A week ago, the authoritarian government in Madrid issued an ultimatum to the Catalan government: revoke everything or else... The deadline was ultimately moved to today 10 am or so.

155 is the Czech telephone number to call an ambulance.

The Catalan government has previously announced that it would ignore the blackmail and the deadline because that's not an acceptable format for the political discussions about such important matters. Every civilized person agrees with that. Shortly after the deadline, Rajoy's government in Madrid announced that it would ignite the nuclear option, the Article 155 of the constitution, on Saturday. It enjoys the support of the socialists, the king, and virtually the whole fascist nation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Anti-inflation quacks supported not by science but by special anti-science social interests

Sabine Hossenfelder wrote a rant:

I totally mean it: Inflation never solved the flatness problem.
I would personally never allow a student to get a degree from theoretical physics or something like that if she were a quack like her who just doesn't get the most fundamental ideas in the field – and she doesn't. But there are good reasons why she can "totally mean it". Quacks like her may do well because while her total scientific incompetence is a minus from the viewpoint of the actual experts, it's a plus from the viewpoint of the bad people "around" science.

For example, George Soros just gave $18 billion (80% of his wealth) to his "charities". You can be sure that a part of this money will be used to attack science, just like it was used in recent years. Obnoxious antiscientific whores aren't that bad, are they? In fact, they are good, discriminated against by the evil white male scientists, so why don't we turn statements like "inflation never solved the flatness problem" in a virtue that should be rewarded?

Just try to appreciate how much evil may be done with $18 billion that is sent to carefully, ideologically picked corners.

The whole system underlying science and other meritocratic human activities – at least those whose importance isn't "immediately" impacting the well-being of the ordinary Joe – is collapsing as the people allow scum like George Soros to create "compensating" anti-meritocratic structures that switch the evolution into the reverse: What sucks gets to the top.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech elections: top 8 parties, programs, coalitions

I think that the number of readers of these posts on Czech politics is rather low but someone asked me. OK, we have elections on Friday and Saturday. Here is a forecast:

The top 8 parties above the 5% threshold are shown above. Sadly, the Party of the Free Citizens and similarly reasonable right-wing, new party of the Realists won't get to the Parliament, it seems, and they will subtract lots of votes of the wise right-wing voters. Also, STAN-the-Mayors have a slight chance to get to the Parliament, they're a more modern version of KDU discussed below.

What are the parties?

The winner is expected to be ANO, at 25% – it may be much more or much less. The name means Yes, and it is an acronym of the Alliance of the Pissed-Off Citizens. The owner of this movement is the second wealthiest Czech citizen (€3 billion, like Trump), former Slovak communist secret police snitch (now officially again) Mr Andrej Babiš. Everyone else in the party or movement is just a corrupt puppet so if and when someone physically removes Babiš, ANO will be dead, too.

Babiš, an owner of agricultural farms, production of chickens, chemical companies, newspapers, reproduction clinics etc. (through a trust) constantly plays the role of an outsider although he was the ultimate insider – top communist cadre – during communism; he's controlled the party bosses in the 1990s; and he's been the finance minister in recent 4 years. He repeats slogans that "everyone is corrupt but he can't be because he's a billionaire" while he steals billions in assorted subsidies, e.g. for his disgusting yellow rape (biofuels). He is being prosecuted right now for the €2 million EU subsidy fraud to fund his "Stork Nest" luxurious farm. He has done lots of other things that violated the laws, abused his power to destroy his competition etc...

At any rate, he's obviously the hero of the bottom 25% of the nation – mostly because he is a primitive just like them so they vote him as a member of their subspecies.

He has no ideology, he only cares about increasing his power and wealth. So he copies the majority opinions of the citizens on all these questions he doesn't care about. So he is somewhat skeptical about the EU and is considered to be a horror for the Brussels folks – although I believe this idea is wrong because it could be trivial for Brussels to turn him into a puppet. He is against the Euro, against the adoption of migrants – because a majority of Czechs is. He wants a much tougher terror against small businesses while collecting taxes and stuff like that. The EU may be dangerous but his desires to turn Czechia into a dictatorship seem much more urgent to me now.

Monday, October 16, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

LIGO-Virgo detects a collision of neutron stars

First simultaneous electromagnetic and gravitational wave observation

Please watch here, look at the LIGO Twitter account, LIGO web pages about the event (news, detection, chirp sound), and read a Nature paper or the paper on GRB 170817A in Physical Review Letters that was released exactly when the press conference began:

LIGO detected the collision first. Sadly, Virgo saw nothing. So they turned this fact into a virtue and concluded that the event had to be close enough to one of the blind spots of Virgo.

Sunday, October 15, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Far left terrorizes Dr Amy Farrah Fowler over her wise NYT essay on sex assaults

Mayim Bialik is an amazing woman. She was a kid actress but didn't get everything she needed so she also earned her PhD in neuroscience, much like Amy Farrah Fowler, her character in America's #1 watched TV series – who has just married Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. At some moment, she realized that she can't live quite happily without her entertainment skills to be displayed and that's why returned to acting.

On Friday 13th, she wrote an op-ed for The New York Times

Mayim Bialik: Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World
She wrote that she was "disgusted" by the magnitude of Harvey Weinstein's sexual predation. But the same sentence started with "though" and you may imagine – that was enough for a big problem for her.

Austrian elections: solid right-wing victory, greens implode

Recent Austrian presidential elections ended with a statistical tie. After some disputable oscillations, the green man defeated the younger anti-immigration candidate and became the president.

But Austria's right-wing inclination hasn't disappeared at all. On the contrary, today's parliamentary elections – with a shockingly high turnout around 80% – ended with a clear victory of the right-wing, "acceptably" anti-immigration party led by 31-year-old whizz-kid Sebastian Kurz. ÖVP has earned 32% which is 8% more than last time.

"Far right" and strongly antimigration Freedom Party FPÖ got 27.4%, over 6% more than the last time, and is Kurz's preferred coalition partner. The right-wing coalition will have a very safe majority.

At the end, the SPÖ social democrats led by current prime minister Kern dropped from the 2nd place to 3rd place with 26.7% but it won't be enough. They got as much as they did last time. Note that for an Austrian party to be successful above 10%, it has to have both Ö and P in their 3-letter acronym. So who lost deputies?

Saturday, October 14, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

German interior minister: let's celebrate Muslim holidays

Czech readers were shocked by yet another dose of staggering news about the Islamization in Germany. The German minister of interior, Thomas de Maiziere, has recommended to introduce Muslim holidays in Germany. Shockingly enough, this man is a member of the "Christian" Democratic Union, CDU, the strongest party in Germany.

The proposal was criticized by some other politicians – especially those from Bavaria's CSU – but immediately praised by Martin Schulz, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Germany's second most powerful party. Incidentally, the Czech party with the same acronym – SPD – is led by a Czech-Japanese nationalist who wants to completely ban Islam, among many other things. ;-)