The most recent exchange about the extraterrestrial life made me think of this monologue of Richard Feynman,
especially its last minute. Why? Because it seems to me that some people are so frightened not knowing things that they prefer quickly chosen wrong answers over the admission that they're ignorant or uncertain.
In these sentences (taken from The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, BBC/NOVA, 1981), Feynman said that some people are searching for answers to deep questions that science can't answer or basically labels as unphysical, so they may get disappointed and turn to religion and other mystical world views instead.
He also describes the Copernican principle – the existing religions seem too provincial, too connecting the fundamental entities of the Creation with our particular stinky pond here on Earth, our DNA etc. These links seem totally out of proportion.
The most recent exchange about the extraterrestrial life made me think of this monologue of Richard Feynman,
EuroNews.cz has published an interview with Klára Samková.
Samková for EuroNews: Ambassador of Turkey has behaved as an old woman. Muslims are expecting that their ideology will be tolerated.
An interview: It is quite appropriate to compare Islam with totalitarian ideologies and the Turkish ambassador has escaped the hall as a pubertal boy, attorney Klára Samková says in an interview for EuroNews.cz. She has ignited passions by its speech directed against Islam. Does she expect some further repercussions of the story? And why did she voluntarily help to Muslims years ago?
Recent immigrants from the Muslim world are not the only group that seems to stand above the law in Germany. During the weekend a week ago, there was a violent rally inside a power plant and a brown coal mine in East Germany, close to the Czech border. The events at the Schwarze Pumpe looked like this:
Some more videos
Both businesses had to be pretty much closed for the weekend. The fences were destroyed and the police action was costly, too. You may imagine that it would be very hard for these mostly worthless terrorists to pay for all the damages they have caused.
Santa Barbara's David Berenstein and his student Alexandra Miller published a paper
LLM refers to Lin, Lunin, Maldacena – it's the bubbling AdS space – and this aspect of the Berenstein-Miller paper is new. If you click at the hyperlink, you will be brought to a January 2005 blog post about LLM. The date should assure you that TRF is quite an ancient source of information about physics.
There have been dozens of blog posts about the extraterrestrial life. I generally believe that the widespread opinion that the life is almost everywhere is unjustifiable, directly clashing with certain emerging data, and the life on our planet may very well be very rare if not unique. I've agreed with Michael Crichton's criticism of Drake's equation, among other things.
Geological data suggest that the life began shortly after the Earth was created. But this doesn't prove that it must be likely for life to emerge. Instead, one may argue that life came from outside the Earth – panspermia – and depended on the satisfaction of many conditions that required increasingly concentrated and increasingly advanced seeds of life.
Almost equivalently, the evolution of the early life forms may have depended on many deadlines. Some amino acids or other things may have been much more likely to be created when the Earth was new, hot, and chaotic, and the probability may have been dramatically decreasing ever since. The required stages of life had to be created during the early stages and they were – but they didn't have to. This picture is compatible both with a tiny concentration of life in the Universe and with its early appearance on Earth.
But that's not what I want to talk about here.
Almost all the speakers at the event "Should we be afraid of Islam?" organized in the halls of the Czech Parliament four days ago were giving the answer "No, they are or we are friends". Klára Samková gave the answer No, we should fight which has become well-known, at least to the readers of Breitbart.
The only other speech that was unequivocally arguing against the Islamic immigration (albeit a bit less loudly than Samková) was one by Benjamin Kuras, a British writer, playright, and translator who was born as Miloslav Kuraš in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in 1944 (not easy for an ethnic Jew!), has practiced Judaism since 1974, six years after he emigrated to the U.K. in 1968. Here is my translation of his speech. (It's likely that he has an English version somewhere but let me practice.)
Update: When you become familiar with this talk, you may also read the similar speech by Benjamin Kuras at the same event (which is slightly more peaceful than the speech below). Check also Czech ex-president Klaus' speech in Tel Aviv 3 days ago about the supply-and-demand side of mass migration and why the "entitlement behind it" is a big misinterpretation of human rights.When I studied in detail, I found the well-known attorney's lecture for the ambassadors of the Muslim countries and other guests in the Czech Parliament much better than I expected (even though "stronger" than the type of language that I would naturally use), so here's a translation. There are many references to things like physics, some of them a bit silly, but they make the text more appropriate for this blog, anyway.
A translation to Portuguese here.
Update: See a newer interview with Samková
Dear guests, [May 18th, 2016]
thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to give a speech. Today's conference is supposed to help to answer the question whether we should be afraid of Islam. My answer to the question is straightforward: we should definitely not be afraid of Islam. We should deal with it in the same way in which the European civilization has dealt with all totalitarian and inhuman regimes which it had to face during more than 2,000 years of its history. In particular, we should fight with Islam, beat it, and prevent its proliferation once and for all, just like in the case of previous monstrous ideologies, declare the very existence of Islam as a criminal act that contradicts the human naturalness, freedom, and especially the human dignity.
After a 3-hour-long flight from Paris and shortly before it was supposed to land in Cairo, EgyptAir's MS804 disappeared from the radar and some two hours later (or maybe much earlier), it crashed to the Mediterranean Sea, somewhere between Egypt and Crete, and the wreckage was just found near Karpathos, a Greek island. In a few hours, this finding will be declared invalid but tomorrow, the Egyptian army will find the wreckage 290 km north of Alexandria. My condolences to the friends and relatives of the 56 passengers and 10 crew members.
The cause is unknown but it's generally believed that terror is a more likely explanation than a technical problem. Seven hours ago, Donald Trump tweeted:
Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!A great question.
The music analogy is much more accurate than most people want to believe
Tetragraviton is a postdoc at the Perimeter Institute who has written several papers on multiloop amplitudes in gauge theory. Even though none of these papers depends on string theory in any tangible way, I've thought that he's a guy close enough to string theory who could potentially work on it which is why I was surprised by his blog post a week ago,
You’ve probably heard this story before, likely from Brian Greene.I was imagining that there was something subtle. People may dislike the overabundant comments about "music and string theory" etc. But I didn't find anything too subtle in the blog post. While there's always some room for interpretations what a somewhat vague sentence addressed to the laymen could have meant, I think it's right to conclude that Tetragraviton is just flatly wrong.
Most of the people who want to argue with me about quantum mechanics are marginal figures such as the psychopath named John Duffield who has picked Paul Dirac as the ultimate man who was "hampered because he didn't have an understanding of the electron".
Imagine, among tens of billions of humans who have ever lived or live on the Earth, Paul Dirac has clearly introduced much more clarity to our understanding of the electron than anyone else, but this Gentleman is willing to pick Paul Dirac as the "guy who was hampered by misunderstanding the electron". It often looks like these people are competing to write the most absurd or psychopathic sentence anyone can write down.
So it was refreshing to have some disagreement with MIT's Peter Shor again, a guy who is well-known because of a quantum algorithm. I think he's an expert on many related things and most (?) of his comments about foundations of QM are just fine. But like the postmodern feminist philosophers, he seems to believe that the theorems in mathematics and physics only apply when certain sociological criteria are obeyed.
A month ago, ABC News discussed the Czech factor behind the Donald's presidency, his first wife Ivana Trump or Ivana Zelníčková-Winklmayrová-Trumpová-Mazzucchelliová-Rubicondiová, if you wish, and I have generously omitted Syrovatková. ;-)
Trump is often presented as an ultimate egotist or materialist or serial divorcer. But he's really an idealist faithful saint relatively to his first wife. He must have loved her but their marriage didn't last indefinitely.
Ben Heidenreich, Matthew Reece, and Tom Rudelius (Harvard) have won the 5th place in the 2016 Gravity Research Foundation Essay Contest (I will avoid the general rating of this kind of essay contests):
The essay shows that the inequality has implications for inflation (naively excluding a long enough inflation and maybe forcing one to talk about specific types of inflation), for AdS/CFT (charged operators with low enough dimensions should exist), and for pure mathematics (because the inequality should hold for compactifications on complicated enough manifolds, and such an inequality therefore sometimes turns into a nontrivial geometric theorem about those).
I am overbohmized – the Bohmians recently exploded like the mosquitoes on a warm and wet summer evening – but this is a story I can't omit. The Quanta Magazine published an article by Dan Falk
New Support for Alternative Quantum ViewThe title and the subtitle are just 100% lies. They should have said:
An experiment claims to have invalidated a decades-old criticism against pilot-wave theory, an alternative formulation of quantum mechanics that avoids the most baffling features of the subatomic universe.
Another nail in the coffin of an anti-quantum hypothesisCan you spot the difference? I find it amazing how these people don't just "subtly modify" and "distort" the message. They just lie into your eyes. They're eager to turn things by 180 degrees and tell you the exact opposite of the results. These individuals lack the basic morality.
An experiment has verified a decades-old criticism against pilot wave theory, a superfluous ideological superstructure meant to deny the most important insights of the quantum revolution.
Off-topic, annoying: The Central Committee of Both F*cked-up and Non-F*cked-Up Feminist Whores at LIGO has publicly attacked and bullied a senior LIGO member – Barry Barish who rescued the experiment from an epoch of mismanagement and is therefore the most well-deserved Nobel prize candidate among currently active members and who has also led the ILC design group – because the bitches found an image in an after-dinner speech at Pheno16 "offensive". Why is it so hard for you to f*ck off, ladies? And dear reader, can you find what offended them (PDF/PPTX)? I can't. Maybe the penis-like shape of LIGO on slide 8? It's an unedited photograph! Or a similar potential ATLAS+sex theme on the introductory slide? If LIGO had the shape of a vagina, see my undergraduate hostel collectively decorated by all the students inside, 50% of the tubes would be wasted and the acute angles would reduce the sensitivity, too.I've seen many new bizarre responses by the advocates of Bohmian mechanics. Maybe my responses have contributed to their activity in an example of a vicious loop. ;-)
First, let me mention an old website I found, bohmianmechanics.org. It was created by James Taylor who got a PhD at Rutgers in 2003 (two years after me at the same school – he used the same macros). His adviser was Sheldon Goldstein, a noted Bohmist, and the thesis was dedicated to the ideology of Bohmism.
The actual main guru of Bohmism. (Note that Chen and Kleinert say that Madelung basically discovered the pilot wave theory a year before Louis de Broglie.)
Thankfully, Taylor didn't continue as a physicist and the website has no visitors (just like bohmian-mechanics.net) and that's good news. One of the pages in the table-of-contents of the website is Advice for debaters in support of Bohmian mechanics (that's how the page is referred to at the main page of the website).
Wow, this sounds just like the 135 million pages ;-) written by Al Gore's disciples (and courses taught by them) about how to manipulate your parents concerning the climate, how to deceive the Nobel peace prize committee, how to talk to a conservative, how to fool a denier, convince a neighbor, steal real estate in Tennessee and California, and how to escape police and laugh at everyone. ;-)
John Archer told us about a new movie by Martin Durkin, the man behind "The Great Global Warming Swindle" which I considered an excellent rebuttal to the global warming hysteria. The movie argues that the Britons should vote "Leave" in the coming Brexit referendum about the U.K. membership in the EU:
I watched those 71 minutes at the 1.5 times normal speed, native speakers may almost certainly try the same thing (or faster). Aside from the British TRF readers, I recommend the movie to the Americans – 1/2 of TRF readers and a nation that seems deeply ignorant about the meaning of the EU – and non-British Europeans, too.
ATLAS released an interesting preprint
I've met Dominik Duka, the current (Catholic) Primate of Bohemia, two years ago, on a celebration of ex-president Klaus' birthday. I was drinking beer and debating the ex-director of the National Gallery Milan Knížák when Duka joined us. I have totally forgotten whether he had a beer as well. Would it be OK for him to have one? I don't know. ;-) I felt nothing in the air that would prevent him from drinking beer.
At any rate, Duka is a relaxed, smiling, and friendly man and I just find him much more pleasant than e.g. his predecessor Miloslav Vlk, a sourball of a sort. Duka has also had warm enough relationships with Klaus and now, just a bit less cordially, with Zeman which I consider a plus – I think that the church shouldn't play the role of a "revolutionary force" undermining the regime (perhaps bad regimes are an exception). Duka is a rare dissident (see below) who became constructive in the new regime (which was often not the case, see extreme "permanent dissidents" such as Mr Milan Kohout, the nutcase who is spreading his sperm over the Polish churches, not to mention hundreds of similar "artworks").
But you shouldn't imagine that he's some materially oriented careerist. In 1981-1982, he was jailed here in Pilsen – pretty much at the same time and the same place as Václav Havel. (See a fun, relatively recent discussion of Duka and Havel about their imprisonment.) When he was released, he was drawing diagrams for Škoda Works, also in Pilsen, up to 1989.
Last night, I spent an hour by watching a part of the Eurovision song contest finals and now, when the results are known, I am confident that it was the last time I did anything of the sort. There were lots of expensive colorful light effects in the big hall but the content was weak and not terribly entertaining.
Among the 26 finalists, Sergey Lazarev was expected to win by the bookmakers. His You are the only one was an average song, I think, but at least the effects were expensive (paid by the Russian government) and he had by far the largest number of viewers etc. (And it was a song compatible with all the prevailing European fashions such as the pro-gay attitudes etc.) If you want to know, the typically Central European entry, one from Australia LOL, was very good.
To make the story short, Lazarev won the voting by the regular viewers. The winner was a Ukrainian Tatar contestant – I have a trouble to call her a singer – who ended up at the 2nd place both in the popular vote and the vote by the more murky national committees (new rules of voting were applied for the first time). The contribution named "1944" (that some people call a "song") was said not to be about the expulsion of Crimean Tatars from Crimea in 1944 but everyone understood it in this way, and that's what mattered (and it was almost certainly the purpose).
Photons are incompatible with the Bohmian picture
And so is atomic emission and the energy conservation law
Bohmian mechanics is a framework (partly well-defined in some very special situations) proposed to replace the postulates of quantum mechanics by a new classical theory that largely borrows the mathematics controlling the state vector as if it were a classical wave; and that is supplemented with extra beables (in the only semi-successful example, positions of non-relativistic particles) that behave classically and whose trajectories are affected by the pilot wave.
The theory allows you to assume that if you measure the non-relativistic particles' positions, the random outcome isn't decided at the moment of the measurement. Instead, these positions were already ready before the measurement. And the defining assumption of the Bohmian paradigm is that any measurement may be reduced to such a measurement of the positions (or other beables if you knew what they are) so that the random collapse in the standard quantum mechanical treatment of the measurements isn't ever needed. For example, it's sometimes semi-successfully claimed that the measurement of particles' spins may be reduced to the measurement of the positions of the same particles. But we will see that this is not the case for observables that commute neither with the position nor with the momenta such as energy.
In several recent articles, I discussed the incompatibility of Bohmian mechanics with some of the physical phenomena that go beyond non-relativistic QM, e.g. with loop corrections in QFT. User7348 was dissatisfied with the claim that Bohmian mechanics fails in this test so he asked for a "rebuttal" of my claims. There must be one, right? Everyone who believes that Bohmian mechanics doesn't suffer from these lethal defects is invited to write the pre-planned "rebuttal" of my proof.
Obama blackmails all schools: you will lose funding if you don't allow perverts in restrooms of their choice
These news sound just like the stories in The Onion but they seem real.
North Carolina's lawmakers saw some confusion about the meaning of the words "men" and "women" (and the corresponding logos) written on restrooms. So they have adopted a special law saying that "men" are those who have a little limb in between the two legs while "women" have a slit over there.
This knowledge may be trivial for most kids in the kindergarten but it seems that the perverts in assorted city halls (which decided to boycott North Carolina!) and the folks in the White House haven't mastered these insights yet.
Instead, the individual widely yet ludicrously called the President of the United States of America has sent a childish letter to all schools across America in which he blackmails them: If you don't allow all kids saying "I am a man" in male restrooms and all kids saying "I am a woman" in female restrooms, I will make sure that your school loses the federal funding.
Wow. This is an example of the utter insanity that a country may face if it doesn't regulate left-wing extremists before it's too late.
Willmutt reminded me of a paper I saw in the morning,
At that time, the particle was conjectured to be so heavily bound that it would be a tachyon, \(m^2\lt 0\). I actually think that composite tachyons can't exist in tachyon-free theories, can they? (You better believe that such a tachyonic particle is impossible because such a man-made Cosmos-eating tachyonic toplet would be even worse than an Earth-eating strangelet LOL.)
The zodiac, a similarly strange bound state of 12 particles.
Unlike my numerologically driven weakly bound states of new particles, they propose that the particle could be a heavily bound state of 12 top quarks in total.
On May 14th, 1316, Charles IV, the Czech king and the Holy Roman Emperor, was born. A decade ago, the Czech public chose him as the "Greatest Czech" in a poll, after the universal genius Jára da Cimrman was eliminated because of some anti-quantum zealous complaints concerning his "reality". ;-)
Charles IV was extremely educated, did a lot of uncontroversially great things for this golden era of the Czech kingdom, and equally importantly, he did quite something to grow the fame and imperial influence of our kingdom, too. Just to be sure, we're not one of those nations that consider imperialism to be an insult.