Wednesday, September 20, 2017 ... /////

The European Union bans 43% of cartoons, wants to ban domestic rum

The Telegraph tells us that French and Greek cartoonists have submitted 28 cartoons for an exhibition. Well, a Ms Catherine Bearder, the only representative of her party in the European Parliament, blocked 12 of them – whopping 43% – because it isn't allowed to make fun of the European Union anymore and these cartoons were therefore blasphemous.

What's the name of her party which has this kind of a harsh attitude towards freedom and democracy? Is it the Dictatorial Totalitarian Party of the Fourth Reich Censors? No, it's called the Liberal Democratic Party! Cool.

But two weeks after another brutal ban on high-power vacuum cleaners (at most 700 watts are allowed now, wow! My Sencor bought a few years ago has 1800 watts consumption), a ban that would be considered way more serious by most Czechs may be getting prepared in Brussels. As the Czech media informed us, the European Commission may be preparing a universal ban on the domestic rum. Wow.

Morgan Freeman declares war on Russia

Yesterday, actor Morgan Freeman – who has starred as the U.S. president in some movies – was hired by a bunch of pro-Hillary and neocon, anti-Trump operatives and recorded an incredible monologue. America is at war with Russia because KGB agent Putin, grumpy about the fall of the Soviet Union, has hacked the U.S. computers and attacked 241 years of the U.S. democracy. This is no movie script.

Paul Joseph Watson and Marty TV gave some sensible responses.

Mr Freeman, this is indeed no movie script which is exactly the reason why you shouldn't have agreed to play it. It's no movie script, it's plain war propaganda. You've been an actor so you should play according to movie scripts and not according to war propaganda recipes. And if you and your comrades in the "Committee to Investigate Russia" – what a stupid and Soviet-like name for such a gang – managed to kickstart a big U.S. war against Russia, you should be treated as war criminals and probably killed.

You've been a great actor but the peace between the U.S. and another world's nuclear superpower is much more irreplaceable than you, Mr Freeman.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 ... /////

Wealth can't be created out of thin air

Jamie Dimon isn't missing anything

The New York Times published a diatribe by a Jeremy Philips,

What Jamie Dimon Is Missing About Bitcoin.
The question mark is missing and the answer to the question is "Nothing". The CEO of JP Morgan Chase, the 9th largest company in the world by its capitalization, isn't missing anything.

Philips, an adjunct janitor at Columbia, is even questioning Dimon's simple thesis
You can’t have a business where people are going to invent a currency out of thin air.
Philips teaches us that gold, the Euro, and almost everything else has value that was created from nothing, so it's natural when the same happens in the Bitcoin case. Oh, really? Were these values created out of nothing?

Monday, September 18, 2017 ... /////

Five good reasons why the governments will ban "independent" cryptocurrencies

Before I start to enumerate them, let me mention that the governments obviously can ban cryptocurrencies. This ability has nothing to do with some technical virtues of the crypto-technology. The governments can ban, look for, prosecute, and punish particular patterns of human behavior they declare illegal.

So just like it may be illegal to sell or even hold drugs, it may become illegal to sell or even hold cryptocurrencies. In principle, you may have cryptocurrencies in your living room – just like you may have hashish – but there may obviously exist laws that will send you to prison for XY years if a court gets some evidence that you're selling the cryptocurrencies, e.g. if you happen to sell them to a provocateur hired by the police. At that moment, almost all people will simply abandon cryptocurrencies – much like most people avoid hard drugs. They don't want to have anything to do with illegal things because they don't even want to take the risk of years in prison.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 ... /////

Decentralized blockchain and subjectivity of the wave function

A quantum-cryptocurrency analogy

Unlike some other people, I am not a real member of the cryptocurrency cult.

I think that the economics orthodoxy as imagined by the founders as well as champions of the Bitcoin is deeply flawed. Also, I don't find the key "virtue" of the cryptocurrencies – decentralization of the list of transactions – terribly important or practical. By the way, JP Morgan boss Dimon said that the Bitcoin was a fraud (something that most of the financiers may agree with) and the currency instantly lost almost 10% of the value. Not too resilient! BTW I have written exactly the same thing as his 1-minute monologue. When the tax losses etc. become significant, the Bitcoin will simply be banned, will drop to near zero, and this "economy" will be over.

On the other hand, I think that the switch from classical physics to quantum mechanics was the most important event in science of the last 100 years. And I generally dislike vague analogies. For these reasons, you would think that I just can't possibly sell the following analogy. But the analogy looks so self-evident and catchy to me that I simply have to dedicate a blog post to it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 ... /////

Apple: off-topic: to watch the Apple event showing iPhone 8 and iPhone X (a $1,000 beast that looks like this) etc. since 1 pm Boston time, open this page in Microsoft Edge on Windows, or in an Apple browser Gourmets may be convinced that e.g. Konrad Adenauer or Helmut Kohl were great leaders but the most famous German leader in the last 100 years was unquestionably Adolf Hitler. And because insanity seems to be what counts and what makes the tenure of the German leaders long-lived, Angela Merkel is quickly becoming the number two. We thought that we have already heard everything but last night, Czech readers were generally stunned after we were told about some exchanges of opinions during the otherwise super-boring German campaign. The Christian Social Union CSU, a semi-autonomous subsidiary of Merkel's CDU that only operates in Bavaria, the "Texas" of Germany, has proposed 200,000 immigrants as the upper limit of approved asylum seekers per year, in order to establish some pressures that will make sure that the year 2015 – when 1.2 million immigrants invaded Germany – wouldn't be repeated. CSU are therefore somewhat "softcore welcomers" who realize the sheer magnitude or at least the very existence of the problem that Germany has created. The current and presumptive future chancellor, Angela Merkel, answered a question from the audience in Lübeck about the proposed upper limit on the number of immigrants. Monday, September 11, 2017 ... ///// Why vanishing commutators imply there's no action at a distance I believe that an extremely similar blog post has been written in the past but I can't find it or what I can find isn't quite the same so that's why I decided to write this one again. Lots of people say that there must be non-local influences or some action at a distance in the real world, and this claim is implied by Bell's inequalities or something like that. This statement is completely wrong. Since the 1905 special theory of relativity, we have known that the non-local or superluminal influences would be equivalent – by the Lorentz transformation – to the influencing changing one's past, and those are logically inconsistent. So why don't entanglement experiments imply any action at a distance? In quantum mechanics, events are predicted probabilistically. Unless all the probabilities are calculated to be 100% or 0%, and they're usually in the middle, we can't say that the outcome will be something or something else with certainty. We can only say that the outcome will be something with some probability; and something else with some other probability. In this setup, the action at a distance obviously means that the willful action at one place which we will call Alaska (A) will modify the probabilities of some properties of outcomes of measurements at another place which we will call Boston (B). OK, let's imagine we have an entangled pair of particles or other physical objects that were created as entangled somewhere in Texas, to make it general, but the subsystems have propagated to Alaska and Boston, respectively. I chose Alaska and Boston for them to be on the left and on the right. Alabama's position didn't look convenient enough. Sunday, September 10, 2017 ... ///// Klaus: alarmists have won the climate debate Czech ex-president Václav Klaus was visiting Nuremberg, Bavaria, where (an uncle of mine lived from 1980 and where) Klaus supported the Alternative for Germany (AfD) before the parliamentary election where they're expected to get 9-10 percent. The city hall wanted to ban the event because of the presence of an AfD boss who had previously said that Germany should get rid of a PC politician. Klaus' support for AfD was criticized by the boss of the Sudeten German Patriotic Organization Mr Bernd Posselt, affectionately known as "a Hitler who returned from a fattening station" (a nickname invented by the current Czech president Zeman). Posselt said that Klaus and AfD hate the EU and it's bad. As you can read on German Google News, Klaus responded, on the contrary, Sir. AfD – representing a fraction of Germans who have been silenced – and he are doing what they're doing because of their love towards Europe, its traditions, and its future. German nuclear bomb on TV Norwegian "Heavy Water War" on Heisenberg et al. Last night, I accidentally caught the first episode of the Heavy Water War on TV, a (mostly) Norwegian 6-episode series from early 2015 about the Norwegian heavy water sabotage during the Second World War. The program was produced in Norwegian-Danish-British coproduction, the budget was$10 million or so, and it was shot in Norway and Czechia. See a 6-minute trailer.

My understanding is that the program was mainly created to promote this courageous picture of the Norwegian folks during the war. Such "Old Norwegian Legends" are particularly needed probably because the Norwegians have become the ultimate symbols of collaborationists with the Nazis, and the word "a quisling" – named after the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling – became a synonym with a traitor who maximally cooperates with a Nazi or similar force.

OK, in this program, we can watch a different Norway, a nation of brave chemists – such as Leif Tronstad, a Norwegian career chemist, heavy water worker, and warrior on the British side – who were saving the world from the German nuclear Armageddon.

Saturday, September 09, 2017 ... /////

Theories can't secure patents, copyrights, and monopolies

Mikael and many others sometimes say things like

...a physical system evolves in some way, then a measurement occurs and a sharp classical value comes out of it.

Therefore, quantum mechanics relies on classical physics and it's unsatisfactory, not a self-sufficient or standalone theory.
Similarly, assorted critics of string theory often say
...quantum mechanics made predictions for the LHC collisions and other low-energy processes. It follows that string theory already predicts nothing about the LHC.
The basic logic is the same in both cases. The logic is that an older theory – either classical physics or quantum field theory – has achieved something or defined some concepts. It follows that this Miss Older Theory walked to a patent office and asked the patent officer to register the patent. In this way, the older theory acquired a patent, copyright, or monopoly over the ideas, concepts, achievements, or rules and no other theory has the right to do the things in the same way, at least not without worshiping Miss Older Theory and without permanently acknowledging its own inferiority.

If you want to have a sharp result of a measurement anywhere, dear quantum mechanics, you can't have it. Classical physics has already secured a monopoly. Do something else, dear quantum mechanics. For example, you can clean the toilets. Similarly, dear string theory, quantum field theory has already predicted the low-energy LHC phenomena. So you obviously can't do it again. Do something else, dear string theory.

Czech calendar forecasts: Irma's big day is Sunday

TRF folks are praying and motling for Tony and Charles Wilson in Florida

Cuba is just experiencing Irma as a Category 5 hurricane, winds over 170 kilometers per hour are common. Tourists who came there for the Sun weren't given what was promised.

Everyone who is close enough to Florida should watch the nice animations at Ventusky.com and Earth.Nullschool.Net and maybe the National Hurricane Center.

But look at this. It's the Czech calendar for September 2017. Just to be sure, the weeks start on Mondays and end on Sundays. The words written under each day are first names. The people with that name have their name day on that day – which is almost as good for them as the birthday. They get gifts.

Thursday, September 07, 2017 ... /////

A chart with "interpretations"

Sabine Hossenfelder drew a banner with the "interpretation of quantum mechanics"

that was supposed to be in a text but it was later removed. I consider her a fake physicist which was fabricated by the affirmative action – at least if you talk about anything she's been doing since the grad school – but I think that she has learned some undergraduate physics in a better way than at least 90% of the people who write about physics for the public.

The chart and most of the things she says about it are largely reasonable, except for a few things. Two of them are fundamental: she is treating the Copenhagen Interpretation in an atrocious way and she doesn't really explain that and why all other "interpretations" are nonsense.

ECJ, top EU court, losing credibility in Central Europe

Czech leader: right to refuse migrants is more important than all EU funds

A year ago, Hungary and Slovakia sued the European Union because of its plans to forcefully Islamize territories of all EU member countries, including Hungary and Slovakia themselves. The decision about the "refugee quotas" was accepted by a majority of the EU countries but the dysfunctional policy is unacceptable for numerous European nations, including V4 – Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary.

Other V4 countries didn't join the lawsuit. On one hand, it looked unfortunate that we wouldn't support our Slovak and Hungarian partners. On the other side, we felt 95% certain that the European Court of Justice would side with the other central EU authorities – so the whole appeal looked like a futile effort. And make no mistake about it, the European Court of Justice did side with the pro-Islamists yesterday. They said that the policy was "proportionate" and a modest majority was enough for the European Union to decide to turn Hungary and Slovakia into another Syria despite the opposition of almost all citizens of these countries.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017 ... /////

Nine wasted hours of the lawmakers but Babiš is available to police

Two months ago, police asked the Czech Parliament to strip the presumptive future prime minister (after the October 2017 elections), the Slovak-born billionaire and ex-communist snitch Andrej Babiš (and his top deputy, both in the corporation Agrofert and the political movement ANO), of his (or their) immunity because of their apparent subsidy fraud.

The fraud was explained by a Spanish employee of Babiš above. ;-) A decade ago, Babiš decided to build the best project of his life, the luxurious farm the Stork Nest with the dominant building resembling the Olympic Bird Nest in Beijing. He found out that it wasn't profitable, by some $2 million, but he noticed an EU subsidy for small and medium companies working in tourism. So he moved the company constructing the company to a separate company with anonymous stockholders, which were first his kids and his current wife's brother, to agree with various criteria, and five years after the$2 million EU subsidy was received, he reincorporated the company back to his personal company Agrofert worth some \$3 billion.

Morally, it was clearly wrong because neither he nor his family was eligible for a subsidy addressed to small and medium companies. His exercise was a sequence of superficially kosher legal steps except that when you look more carefully, and the police did look more carefully, they weren't really right. The application for the subsidy was mentioning false or distorted data about the funding and true ownership while some other key facts were being hidden.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017 ... /////

Hate speech or how to silence the voice of the Internet

Guest blog by Pavel C. about his shocking encounter with an anti-hate-speech sect
The full name of the author, with his engineering degree, may be found in the original Czech text

What is being prepared behind our backs?

A few days ago, a screenshot [see above] landed among my messages. It came from Nyx, a discussion server. The user nicknamed ZUZKAOU (Ms Zuzana Ouhrabková, from NGO named PostBellum) is trying to find volunteers. Volunteers who will help the NGO InIustitia. The help will include the mass writing of criminal complaints because they're running out of their capacities. Criminal complaints, denouncements, against fellow citizens. To make sure that they will face prosecution, they will have a problem, and they will have to be careful next time. They will have to watch... their tongue.

I am a coder. I have been on the Internet since the beginning, from 1995. [I have been on the Internet since 1992, LM.] At the beginning, it was a squarely scholarly-intellectual infrastructure. The Internet underwent its puberty later, when the high schools joined. Then it became harsher and more folksy when the dial-ups were added. These days, it's often a cesspool. But on top of that, it also remained a free source of the information where, aside from total stupidities, you may also find some facts that you couldn't learn from the official media.

And that's why the Internet became inconvenient for someone. Proposals how to censor it belong to the official agenda of contemporary political parties as well as NGOs. An instructing seminar on this topic addressed to the pedagogic workers took place today, in the Scouts' (!) Institute on the Old Town Square in Prague. I am also a teacher who has taught machine codes and assemblers on the Czech Technical University for 17 years. I am also involved with the pedagogic issues of the leisure time, I am doing slam-poetry and theater improvisation in DDM. So I am the target group. That's why I registered myself for the event.

Monday, September 04, 2017 ... /////

Thermonuclear Korean EMP may send America back to the Stone Age

North Korea is a rogue country but whether you like it or not, it's also a country that has achieved certain things and it could be extremely unwise to overlook, deny, or mock these achievements.

Last January, when I wrote the blog post North Korea goes thermonuclear, we weren't actually sure whether the latest explosion was due to a Hydrogen bomb.

Well, yesterday's Magnitude 6.3 earthquake wasn't too natural. Because the estimated power is more than an order of magnitude above the previous one, I guess that this time, the explosion was almost certainly thermonuclear.

I can't say "welcome to the club" because Czechia hasn't managed to build even the most ordinary nuclear weapons. So maybe "welcome, our new overlords". ;-)

Sunday, September 03, 2017 ... /////

Caring about math of equations and math of solutions

A reader of the Tetragraviton blog named nueww highlighted an interesting footnote on page 126 of Polchinski's memories (arXiv):

Morrison came to UCSB from Duke about ten years ago, with a joint position in math and physics. He plays a unique role in tying these subjects together. He and I have an ongoing friendly dispute about whether I know much math (I claim not). I think that the difference goes back to Susskind’s distinction between the mathematics of the equations and the mathematics of the solutions, where I care only about the former.
David Morrison is a very smart string theorist who was trained as a mathematician. Well, he – and others – weren't just trained as mathematicians. I think that they were born and hardwired to think as mathematicians. The memes in the quote above – invented and promoted by Susskind and Polchinski – seem to crisply demystify the difference between the psychology of a mathematician and the psychology of a theoretical physicist.

Friday, September 01, 2017 ... /////

Lidl supermarket chain desecrated churches†﻿ in Greece

Last time when I talked about the Lidl discount supermarket chain – which should be opening its first shops in the U.S. now – it was about the Czechs' legitimate preference of models that look like us.†﻿

Well, it's a Greek Week in Lidl right now. The next week is the Bombshell Prices Week. See the Lidl fliers. I like these events so among other things, I bought four frozen packages of Eridanous food. It's a brand that belongs to Lidl, the products are made in Germany, but otherwise they're supposed to look perfectly Greek.†﻿