Tuesday, May 21, 2013 ... /////

Tommaso Dorigo impressed by a cold fusion paper

...but the paper is 100% crackpottery...

In his text "Is Cold Fusion For Real?", Tommaso Dorigo seems highly impressed by the following new Italian-Swedish preprint about cold fusion:

Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device
They claim that an Andrea-Rossi-style tube with nickel and hydrogen produced 10+ times more energy per liter of fuel than any known chemical reaction, as measured by thermal imaging cameras during 96- and 116-hour experimental runs.

Dorigo says that "the conclusions of the tests are at the very least startling". He "continue[s] to believe in the scam hypothesis, but [he] must admit that this study impressed [him] for its reported result." Also, he must say that "[he] will from now on follow more closely the developing story of Rossi's E-CAT...".

Light Dirac RH sneutrinos seen by CDMS and others?

What is dark matter made of?

We almost know that its mass should be dominated by a new light particle species that is heavy enough so that it moves rather slowly relatively to the speed of light ("cold" dark matter). Because dark matter isn't gone yet, such a particle must be stable or almost exactly stable – lifetime in billions of years, to say the least.

The lightest particle carrying a "new type of charge" is the best explanation why it's stable. By far the most popular clarification what this new charge is is the R-parity, a new "sign" introduced by SUSY. All the known particles in the Standard Model have the R-parity equal to $+1$ which is why the Standard Model interactions never produce individual superpartners whose R-parity is $-1$. For the Standard Model particles, the R-parity may be written as $(-1)^{3B-3L+2J}$ where the odd coefficients may be replaced by any odd integers (although some values may be more correct for the exotic particles).

Monday, May 20, 2013 ... /////

Investigation of the largest Czech credit union: assaulting the victims

Another annoying event occurred to me on Friday – and it's still happening and will be happening for quite some time.

I learned that the Czech National Bank, the supervisor of our financial markets, began to audit MSD (imsd.cz) or Metropolitan Credit Union (the largest Czech credit union) where I sent a very large amount of money on Tuesday. The transaction wasn't completed (which is why I started to be interested in the situation on Friday) and the money should have been returned but they remained in the air, invisible at both places. Today, I learned from the chairman of MSD that a reverse transaction (sending the money back from MSD) was ordered by MSD last Wednesday but it wasn't allowed because the authorities began to block outgoing payments (approximately) on that very day (?) and they didn't do it right.

Between Friday and today (Monday), I was gradually learning what was happening. The audit by the Czech National Bank that found it suspicious that the percentage of "loans given by MSD that need monitoring" is extremely low, was apparently combined with another (totally independent?) intervention, an investigation (by the Supreme Office of Prosecutors in Prague, whatever is the right English translation) of two large loans worth \$50 million in total which are apparently fraudulent (attempts to rob most of the members of MSD such as myself by some individuals).

Saturday, May 18, 2013 ... /////

Ways to discover matrix string theory

...more precisely screwing string theory...

The 5,250+ TRF blog entries discuss various topics, mostly scientific ones, including minor advances. However, there isn't any text on this website that would talk about matrix string theory (inpendently found 2 months later by a herald who inaugurated the new Dutch king and an ex-co-author of mine along with two twins).

If you search for the closest topic, you will find one article about Matrix theory published a year ago and a supplement about membranes in Matrix theory that was added a week later.

President is right to veto Martin Putna's professorship

What is the most intensely discussed event in the Czech news these days?

Czech president Miloš Zeman decided to reject the recommendation of an academic council at the Charles University and not to name Dr Martin C. Putna as a full professor. The title "professor" is supposed to be somewhat more special in Czechia because the people with this proper title are named by the president of the country personally. In some sense, they're more analogous to the holders of the National Medal of Science. Like the amnesty, pardons, and members of the constitutional courts, the ability to influence the composition of the full professors is one of the traces of the power of the Czech president – a role that has become largely ceremonial over the decades.

Judging by the screaming in the media and comments and votes in various discussions, about 95% if not 99% of the people in the political parties, schools, and various intellectuals and pseudointellectuals criticize president Zeman for the decision. I can't even imagine how isolated I would feel if I belonged to that environment. In certain cases, one simply has to remain a dissident. When one dares to agree with such a decision by the president of the country, it's clearly one of these heresies.

It must be politically incorrect to point out that Mr Putna is a decadent moron and bigot who shouldn't be considered a good scholar – and who would clearly devaluate and humiliate the ring of the word "professor" if he were elected one. President Zeman must see it in a similar way and he wrote the justification of the refusal to the ministry of education. Many people are screaming that he must publish the justification except that 1) it's not the president's duty, 2) it would only lead to an escalation of the problems. How would it help if President Zeman pointed out that from a scholarly perspective, Mr Putna is just a pile of politically correct decadent crap? (Update, Sunday: Zeman suggested that the problem with Putna was his presence at Prague Pride, a gay parade.)

Friday, May 17, 2013 ... /////

William Happer on CNBC

Things have improved a little bit in the attitude of the media to the climate debate.

This is what Princeton physicist Prof Will Happer was allowed to point out on TV – and it wasn't even Fox News! ;-)

String theory = Bayesian inference?

The following paper by Jonathan Heckman of Harvard is either wrong, or trivial, or revolutionary:

Statistical Inference and String Theory
I don't understand it so far but Jonathan claims that one may derive the equations of general relativity – and, in fact, the equations of string theory – from something as general as Bayesian inference by a collective of agents.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 ... /////

Valtr Komárek: 1930-2013

U.S.: As predicted and discussed on TRF exactly 3 months ago, Ernest Moniz became the new U.S. secretary of energy.
Valtr Komárek died today (Fox News). He was one of the key minds behind the Velvet Revolution, in some sense a senior collaborator of the current Czech president and the previous one, and a left-wing politician whom I respected – and be sure they make up a very exclusive set.

His unusual biography reflects the dramatic history of Czechoslovakia and the whole world in the 20th century.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 ... /////

Novim Group: "Just Science" AGW app

Paul O. helped me to possess an iPod Touch, because of my modest contributions to his Our Climate app. I have downloaded about 500 applications on the device and the new addition today is called Just Science. This free app occupies about 50 megabytes on your iDevice.

It was created by the Novim Group led by Michael Ditmore at UC Santa Barbara; the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature team led by Richard Muller belongs to the group.

The application does one thing only – it shows you a map of the globe with animated colorful maps showing how the temperature was changing between 1800 or so and today in various regions around stations that reported and on a monthly basis.

Richard Dawid: String Theory and the Scientific Method

Richard Dawid is a philosopher of science who was trained as a high-energy theoretical physicist and his new book that you may pre-order – it will be released at the end of June – isn't another addition to the rants by endless rows of populist crackpots, jerks, and imbeciles who try to criticize string theory without a glimpse of a rational justification (those extraordinarily stupid and dishonest books peaked about 7 years ago).

Instead, it is a philosopher's attempt to identify and localize, name, summarize, articulate, and present the reasons why string theory could have become the definition of status quo in the state-of-the-art theoretical physics despite the fact that the most natural conditions that string theory has something "new and direct" to say about seem to be inaccessible far from the currently doable experiments.

Sunday, May 12, 2013 ... /////

IRS was used to intimidate political opposition in the U.S.

During my decade in the U.S., my tax returns got audited at least twice – both of them had to be fixed when I was already back in Europe and Obama was in charge (2009, for 2007); one was federal and the other one was a Massachusetts tax audit under Deval Patrick (related to 2006, done in 2010). The number seems high to everyone and I view it as rather strong evidence that it's no coincidence.

A scandal in the U.S. strengthens the case:

IRS official knew in 2011 of 'Tea Party' targeting: watchdog report
In 2011, the tax-collecting organization was specifically harassing tax-exempt social welfare charities with keywords indicating that they were Tea Party-affiliated or conservative in general. Their applications were selectively delayed, they were ordered to publish the names of all the sponsors, and so on, and so on.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 ... /////

Feynman, Schwarzschild: anniversaries

Richard Feynman would celebrate his 95th birthday today.

BBC2 on Sunday: The Fantastic Mr Feynman to be aired; Telegraph review. Those who pay TV fees in the UK are probably allowed to download the video via this torrent. Well, they can watch it via iPlayer, too.
One of the most colorful and ingenious physicists of the 20th century would deserve much more than a blog entry – so just like in the cases of other giants, I will abandon all attempts to write a would-be comprehensive biography.

Instead, you may watch this 37-minute NOVA interview (above) filmed in 1973. You're also invited to remind yourself about the story of Feynman and feminists (the latter were clearly immensely obnoxious already decades ago). Interestingly, you may look what I wrote exactly five years ago.

Friday, May 10, 2013 ... /////

Why we should work hard to raise the CO2 concentration

Many texts about the climate and related issues are highly, boringly repetitive. I believe that a typical person who regularly follows the research and debate about similar issues has heard 99% of the things that are written about the climate change or carbon dioxide etc. Even the research that claims to be new is often just rehashing some memes that have been around – and we usually have very good reasons to suspect that the results of the research were decided before the research was performed.

But there are some good exceptions. Two days ago, ex-moonwalker Harrison Schmitt and physics professor Will Happer of Princeton wrote an opinion article for the Wall Street Journal from which I could have learned some new things:

Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature.
The basic theme of the article is simple and most of us learned it as fifth-graders: CO2 is primarily the plant food while its other implications for Nature are negligible in comparison. Humanitarian organizations should work hard to help the mankind to increase the CO2 concentration and it's surprising that virtually all of them are failing to do so.

In the honor of the heterotic string

Heterosis or the hybrid vigor or outbreeding enhancement is the lucky event (and an important component of Darwin's evolution) in which the offspring has qualitites that surpass both parents, usually because it inherits the good characteristics from both.

The parents are on both sides.

If you search for "heterosis" or "hybrid vigor" via Google Images, you get lots of pictures of corn, puppies, cows, fictitious animal species, and Barack Obama, among other things.

In 1985, four Princeton physicists ignited the second part of the first superstring revolution (that began in 1984) when they discovered the cleverly named heterotic string in their two papers. These men, Gross+Harvey+Martinec+Rohm, are sometimes referred to as the Princeton String Quartet. You won't find any concert of theirs on YouTube but there are lots of pieces by the Brentano String Quartet playing at Princeton.

Thursday, May 09, 2013 ... /////

Nassim Haramein: science as religion

It is the second time when I was contacted by someone who seems to be a fan of Nassim Haramein. Who is that? Another surfer dude in Hawaii, a self-taught supergenius, we are told, who will give us unlimited free energy according to the green optimists (no, there has never been anything remotely rational about the environmentalists), who has an impressive website called The Resonance Project, who will unify the mankind, and do tons of other wonderful things.

In fact, when you search for YouTube videos with him, you seem to get over 75,000 hits, videos that cover not only his unified theory, physics and spirituality, the pyramids and orion belt, but also everything else that some folks could find deep and important.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 ... /////

Short questions often require long answers and proofs

Several debaters as well as complexity theorist Boaz Barak religiously worship their belief that it must be that $P\neq NP$ and that the question whether the proposition holds is extremely deep because $P=NP$ would revolutionize the whole world.

Most of their would-be arguments are examples irrational hype, fabricated justifications of the limited progress in a field, and group think. I will primarily focus on a single major wrong thesis they promote, namely the idea that a mechanical or polynomially fast or efficient algorithm to solve a problem specified by a short prescription must be short, too.

So let me begin.