## Saturday, March 17, 2018 ... /////

### A new book on Czech climate skeptics

Lisa, Hawking, and TIME: Lisa Randall wrote an obituary in the Time magazine. Hawking managed to have fun in sex, black holes, space travel, and he has even saved a seat for Lisa Randall. The main thing she worries about is that because of Hawking's heritage, people will think that to be a great physicist, you need to be handicapped and you can't be e.g. a hot babe from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Did I understand it well, Lisa? ;-)
In 2011, I went to a café with Petr Vidomus who described himself as a humanities student at the Charles University who was working on a project "How the Czech climate skeptics bring the global Armageddon closer". At least that's how I understood it – despite his intense efforts to preserve a "neutral image". In 2014, we had some additional online exchanges.

Because of a new Facebook post by Alexander Ač, an occasional TRF commenter who has only gotten into the book through a comment by your humble correspondent, I have learned about a newly published book.

## Friday, March 16, 2018 ... /////

### Bitcoin dominance is an irrational faith

...or a mostly dishonest marketing slogan...

Peter Thiel has bought the Bitcoin for some $20 million which is really just some one percent of his assets (and/or his fund's assets) so this amount may be considered a silly, homeopathic part of his image. But according to CNBC, he is neutral to skeptical about all other cryptocurrencies. For the Bitcoin, there's a 50-80 percent chance that it will be worthless (which is a reasonable estimate of the probability, up to a factor between 2 and 1.25) and a 20-50 percent chance that it will be moving higher, whatever that statement exactly means. He is a Bitcoin bull despite the fact that the Bitcoin is "cumbersome for payments". But it will be the "Internet equivalent of gold". It must be the gold because it's the largest one. And that's why everyone will always be attracted to it. Thiel isn't the only rich supporter of the Bitcoin who says such things. They're slogans that aren't repeated just by the most stupid Bitcoin cultists but also by numerous smart folks like Thiel. I think that he's being nutty. ## Thursday, March 15, 2018 ... ///// ### Jester's unconstructive recommended HEP reforms Yesterday, Adam Falkowski published his first blog post since September 2016, Where were we?. He starts by saying that particle physics is in crisis – which is no longer a prohibited word – because the LHC hasn't found any physics beyond the Standard Model. He mentions texts by Hossenfelder, Giudice, and the Economist to prove that the "crisis" is being used. But there have always been people who preached about crises. More than two decades ago, in 1996, John Horgan published his "End of Science" diatribe. Ten years later, Šmoits introduced their own crisis hype. Adam, if you think that you're still substantially different from these three imbeciles, you might be wrong. According to Falkowski, the continuation of particle physics as we knew it would be like the prolonged existence of the Soviet Union. Wow. Another troubling aspect of these assertions is that Falkowski continues to write business-as-usual papers on particle physics. Adam, maybe it's normal in your environment to do things that you consider worthless and be paid for them. But I think that you're showing the absence of academic integrity by doing so and I will always emphasize that this behavior is immoral. ## Wednesday, March 14, 2018 ... ///// ### British witch hunt against Russia is immature, unfair, myopic, and dangerous A week ago, a former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal (the name looks like the rare Czech surname "Skřípal" which means "he was squeaking") was found poisoned, along with his daughter, in Salisbury, UK where he moved in 2010 after a swap of agents. (The U.K. had insisted they had to get him.) They remain in critical condition. His sons and/or other relatives have already died years ago in suspicious circumstances. Britain's PM is surely preparing her marine Davids to attack the Russian Goliath, too. British PM Theresa May has "determined" that it must have been the Russian state that is "culpable" over the poisoning of the agent with the nerve agent, novičok (=novice), which was found there (she claims and we doubt), or Russia has lost the control over this "most effective" nerve gas that has ever been used which is a scandal, too. So Russia was given an ultimatum – which Russia intentionally ignored – and the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, freezing of Russian assets in the U.K., planned ban of Russia Today in the U.K., ban for the royal family that may have wanted to visit a sports event in Russia (World Cup 2018), and other things are already underway. Russia reacts by saying that the British steps are unprecedented provocations and there will be some revenge if those steps are adopted. For example, the answer the RT ban would be the ban on all British journalists in Russia. Wow. ### Stephen Hawking: 1942-2018 The world's most famous scientist of the current era was born on January 8th, 1942, exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo Galilei, and – sadly – he died today after the midnight, on March 14th (Pi Day), 2018, exactly 139 years after the birth of Albert Einstein. He could clearly choose the dates well. Well, I can actually imagine that he was planning the date of his death. The Guardian's Ian Sample must have prepared the obituary before the announcement from Hawking's kids (see also Google News). At any rate, it contains lots of things about Hawking's life and Hawking's science, indeed. ## Tuesday, March 13, 2018 ... ///// ### What erases and can restore the interference patterns LHC anomaly: look at this fresh paper on Higgs decays, page 26 (28 of 35), top. The graph shows $\sigma_{VH}/\sigma_{SM}$ to be $12.88\pm 5$ instead of the expected $1$. A dramatic difference but it still translates to a 2.5-sigma deviation. Under the latest discussion about the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment, the basic questions kept on coming. Can you replace the beam splitters by humans who press switches? Will the interference pattern reappear? Does the consciousness of these humans matter? And so on. OK, let me discuss the experiment and its pieces again. On the picture above, you see the laser beam on the left upper side. The parent photon enters a double slit – there are two slits, the red slit (in San Francisco) and the light blue slit (in Los Angeles). If that parent photon just continued, it could contribute to an interference pattern on a photographic plate. Here I assume that you know the basic double slit experiment. However, we want to make the experiment more complicated and combine it with an entanglement experiment. So the parent photon actually undergoes a process with a complicated name in the BBO crystal. That splits the parent photon to two photons of lower energy. That splitting is applied to every parent photon. The upper daughter continues through some (yellow) lens towards the detector D0 where the coordinate $x$ is measured – just like in the simple double slit experiment. Some values of $x$ should be more likely (interference maxima), others should be very unlikely or prohibited (interference minima). ### An incredible racist restaurant in New Orleans I received a link to this article in The Washington Times (right-wing) Restaurant charged white customers more to combat ‘racial wealth disparity’. A Nigerian man in New Orleans has invented a new scam that actually isn't using e-mail. He created a restaurant where white consumers have to pay extra$18 because they are white. Well, this "tax for being white" is optional but if you are white and you don't pay, the owner isn't treating you equally cordially or professionally which is why 78% of the whites do pay this "tax".

His justification for this scam was that whites are wealthier so they must pay more. Well, that's not the case. Not so dear guest from Africa, you have clearly misunderstood the concept of money. When someone is wealthier, it means that he can buy more, not that he pays more for the same thing. ;-)

## Sunday, March 11, 2018 ... /////

### Users of the Bitcoin are sponsors of organized crime

Forbes has published musings by Jason Bloomberg,

We Need To Shut Bitcoin And All Other Cryptocurrencies Down. Here's Why.
He's the president of a company of tech analysts. Bloomberg is expected to publish a corresponding article by Jason Forbes. ;-) Well, here's a nice anti-Bitcoin story at Bloomberg by Paul Ford (from Friday).

Bloomberg (that one at Forbes) argues that the cryptocurrencies with the public blockchain – Ripple is the only possible counterexample of a semi-permissioned blockchain – should be banned for one reason he focused on: every user funds anonymous criminals. In particular, he's concerned with the criminals who run illicit cryptomining on computers that they attack.

Needless to say, the Bitcoin cultists have overwhelmed him with kilotons of nasty personal attacks containing zero worth of ideas (well, perhaps this text has an infinitesimal amount instead of zero).

## Friday, March 09, 2018 ... /////

### Aspects of Lawrence Krauss' alleged sex attacks

In his newest blog post, On Lawrence Krauss, BuzzFeed, And #MeToo, Tommaso Dorigo cited me twice and he probably expects me to cite him, too. ;-) So as you can see, I cited him. But I did not cite him back because it's wrong to mutually cite each other.

He discusses the women's complaints that they've been sexually attacked – or led to uncomfortable situations – by famous men, especially cosmologist Lawrence Krauss. To introduce himself, Tommaso brags that he once analyzed the clothes and underwear of a hot babe named Lisa Randall. You must have read these tedious analyses many times because the Washington Post and all the mainstream media have been repeating Dorigo's views on Randall's underwear for years. In the new blog post, Dorigo prefers the freedom of speech over excessively strong regulations on the sexual misconduct; and he wants you not to see things as black and white. I surely agree.

Dorigo is the Italian man who went to Malta and, when facing an attractive waitress, he demanded t*o f**k on the table. She replied that everybody wanted to f**k on the table. But you know, when you compare guys like Dorigo (or me, for that matter), there is a difference from the likes of Lawrence Krauss:

Dorigo is mostly talking and writing while Lawrence Krauss is acting.
If you're at least slightly sensible, you will surely agree that Krauss is a different league. I sincerely hope – but I am not sure – that Tommaso is sensible in this sense and understands that the accusations against Krauss are ultimately somewhat more serious than Krauss' joke about the Queen and Krauss' nipples.

Buzzfeed has presented Krauss as a predator who has basically tried to rape several young ladies if I have to avoid the term "girls" before they overpowered him using a combination of tools. Krauss has tried to defend himself against the claims and you're expected to decide for yourself whether he has succeeded.

## Thursday, March 08, 2018 ... /////

### No superstitions in the delayed choice quantum eraser

People should listen to arguments of different types than they expect or they're used to

I've noticed that lots of the people's annoyingly irrational, stubborn approach to rational arguments – that are relevant in very many diverse topics, from multiculturalism to the quantum entanglement – may be blamed on this tendency of theirs:

Just attack every kind of an argument that you're not used to, that you don't expect, and don't listen to it at all. Only the statements or arguments you are used to repeat should be repeated.
In effect, I am often talking to a wall. When I try to explain why the energy carried by a strictly periodic configuration is quantized in quantum mechanics, the recipient of the explanation just doesn't like the conclusion. So he often attacks every piece of your explanation by irrational fog and hostile chants, effectively pretending that you haven't made any argument (and sometimes, it's basically a complete proof) at all. He effectively assumes that he already knows everything even though he knows and understands almost nothing.

Even if one knows lots of facts, arguments, derivations, and proofs, there always exist additional facts, arguments, derivations, and proofs. To say the least, there exist other ways to look at a problem, other ways to deduce something new about the problem, other conclusions that may be deduced. And curious, impartial people are interested in those. But the people who just don't listen and assume that what they "know" is the only correct thing or the only thing worth knowing are just arrogant idiots.

## Wednesday, March 07, 2018 ... /////

### Gravity surely changes relative quantum phases

Easily doable "tests of quantum gravity" won't teach us anything new

Natalie Wolchover wrote an article about quantum gravity,

Physicists Find a Way to See the ‘Grin’ of Quantum Gravity
which eclectically mixes people and idea associated with the phrase "quantum gravity" who otherwise belong to totally different layers of the scientific community.

The interwar Czechoslovak artist Joseph Čapek, the brother of Karel "Robot" Čapek, is also known for the fairy-tales on doggie and pussycat. One of them is "How Doggie and Pussycat Were Making a Cake". To celebrate the doggie's name day, they added bones, cheese, sausages, caviar, cucumbers, strawberries, everything they liked to the cake. They ate it and felt sick. I think that at the end, an evil dog-thief stole the cake and felt sick, too. Czechoslovak kids could learn that it's not a best idea to mix everything. I am afraid that Wolchover hasn't been exposed to this fairy-tale.

She starts with the Soviet physicist Matvei Bronstein who proposed an early derivation of effective field theory of quantum gravity involving gravitons in 1935. Joseph Stalin said that there was a threat that this quantum gravity could grow to string theory – which Stalin's comrades Smolin and Woit (whose birth was already planned by the party at that time) won't like – so he executed Bronstein at the age of 31.

### A chip from Nokia Bell Labs touches the Shannon limit

Around 2000, I bought several computers and printers from Hewlett-Packard and that company was naturally overrepresented in my perspective on the tech world. Well, since 2007, it's been Finnish Nokia – a previously non-existent company. I have used the Nokia 1600 dumbphone for years, before switching to Nokia Lumia 520. And I still think that even this (now extremely cheap) phone was better in many ways than my current otherwise great Xiaomi Android phone.

The purchase of the smartphone section of Nokia by Microsoft was promising but ended as a financial failure. However, the Nokia brand got resuscitated. These days, Nokia is earning 90% of its profits from equipment to transfer data over the Internet. That's because Nokia bought Alcatel-Lucent some 2+ years ago.

Well, Nokia also began to produce smartphones again – this time with Android. Well, Nokia is actually getting $10-$30 trademark royalties per smartphone from HMD, a nearby Finnish phone maker that has bought this contract to use the brand. Nokia, HMD have headquarters across the street in Finland and you should avoid the temptation to confuse HMD with HTC – the latter is Asian. ;-) At a recent MWC 2018 event, Nokia was the most talked about brand – because of 5G (discussed below) as well as new phones including a modern resuscitation of the Nokia 8110 4G "banana phone" from the Matrix movies and a visually stellar flagship Nokia 8 Sirocco based on stainless steel.

Along with Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia has also bought the Bell Labs, the wonderful New Jersey-based deeply scientific engineering lab that has produced eight Nobel prizes. Note that in 2008, The Bell Labs' theoretical physics center was formally abolished but as far as I can see, they keep on doing scientifically high-brow stuff which was another reason (along with my exposure to the products above; and the preparation of the 5G networks) why I bought a nontrivial amount of Nokia stocks and you should consider the same. (The price of the stock dropped by a factor of five since iPhones stole the fame from Nokia.)

## Monday, March 05, 2018 ... /////

### A trade war won't ever make America great again

To prove that he's the world's most powerful user of social networks on the Internet, by a single tweet, Donald Trump managed to erase two percent from the value of the global equities. We learned that he was ready to impose tariffs or taxes on steel imports.

China responded in the most mature, pro-trade way among the economic powerhouses – well, maybe it's not quite a paradoxical exception. China will revenge if something like that happens but it "doesn't want a trade war". Theresa May has also tried to persuade Trump to reconsider.

Well, the European apparatchiks speak a bit different language. They're enthusiastic and eager to join the post-Olympic trade war games. Europe will impose tariffs on jeans, bourbon, and Harley-Davidsons imported from the U.S. Nice. But Donald Trump really loves such pissing contests. So he tweeted that if bourbons are restricted, America won't allow European cars to be imported which is fair because U.S. cars can't really be sold in Europe at all (which is rubbish but OK).

And so on and on. Quite a slippery slope.

## Saturday, March 03, 2018 ... /////

### Czech communists' self-confidence has just skyrocketed

Czechoslovakia has removed most of the communists from power quickly and peacefully in late 1989 and early 1990, in the so-called Velvet Revolution. Throughout the decades, communists were getting some 10-15 percent in the Czech parliamentary elections which wasn't enough to think about the re-conquering of the government.

And no other party in the Parliament really wanted to cooperate with them in these 28 years. So while they were allowed to be represented in the Parliament – a choice that our politicians made after 1989, and I don't think that it was the only imaginable one – they were a dead chunk of meat. Coalitions had to be formed within the remaining 80% of the deputies. At most, the social democratic party discussed "how dogmatically" their resolution not to cooperate with the communists should be interpreted. But they've never found a majority to actually start to return the communists to the power.

Paradoxically, now, in the wake of the October 2017 elections in which the communists scored the worst result in their history (7.5%), they came out of the isolation and, in fact, became the essential party in the establishment of the new coalition.