Friday, August 18, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Religion of peace enriches Catalonia, Finland

With some compensation, Muslims should be banned from vans, knives in the public

I am sure that many of you have undergone a similar emotional evolution as your humble correspondent. A few years ago, I would be shocked, deeply hurt when a terrorist attack took place. However, one simply gets used to any events that are occurring sufficiently frequently. What's new about the 2017 Barcelona attacks and the 2017 Turku attack is perhaps just the "new" European countries, namely Spain and Finland, respectively, but otherwise the sad events look like business-as-usual.

While Muslims represent about 4% of Spaniards, they are 8% in Catalonia. So it makes sense that the first attacks in Spain take place in Catalonia.

In downtown Turku – where most of Finland's Muslims live (so it makes sense, too; note that only 1% of Finns are Muslims) – one person died and six were injured after a person screamed Allahu akbar. In Barcelona, a white van rented by a man of Moroccan ancestry has driven on the sidewalk of La Rambla, a popular tourists' boulevard, and killed 14 people. A few hours later, five Muslims – some of them had fake explosive belts – had to be killed in Cambrills after their Audi A3 tried to overrun pedestrians as well.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Harlow, Ooguri: entanglement/AdS proof that there are no global symmetries in QG

Daniel Harlow wrote or co-wrote numerous interesting papers about quantum gravity, entanglement, locality, error code correction, weak gravity conjecture etc. within AdS/CFT.

John Preskill has tweeted about an interesting, soon-to-be-published result by Harlow and Hiroši Ooguri:

They seem to make some lore rigorous.

Bitcoin at $100,000 is possible

Bitcoin fans and owners will learn to bribe cryptocurrency critics

A theorist often lacks some genuine feelings associated with a certain real condition or activity. In particular, when you own a not quite negligible fraction of a Bitcoin, you may see how you actually want to behave and what many other owners of Bitcoins will do.

If you can afford to lose the value but you see the genuine chance for many doublings of the Bitcoin's value in the future, you are inclined to keep it – and not convert it to the real world currencies.

Exactly one month ago, on July 17th, BTCUSD bounced from lows around $1,800 and it went to $2,150 or so. Those values looked incredible but in the following month, as we can see today, the price has doubled again. Exactly. One Bitcoin is worth some $4,300 or CZK 96,000. You may watch the prices and capitalizations of top 1,000 cryptocurrencies (by capitalization) if you click at this sentence.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czechs amazed by a PC lawsuit against a Czech Swedish writer

Czechia's economy grew by impressive 4.5% yoy and 2.3% qoq in Q2 of 2017, brutally beating estimates. Donald Trump made a speech about Charlottesville that has offended many – surely not me. Most importantly, I agree that both sides, "alt right" and "alt left", need to calm down in Virginia and elsewhere in the U.S. And yes, the removal of Confederate heroes' statues is bound to produce lots of understandable anger.

But I want to mention a seemingly irrelevant story about a lawsuit. Rossana Dinamarca is a Swedish student (a very old one for a student, she was born in 1974) who came to Sweden from Chile. She is a lawmaker for the Left Party which is, despite the impressively general name, a tiny communist party that has never made it to the Swedish government.

Swedish newspapers and their Czech counterparts such as iDNES and Echo24 informed us about a lawsuit that Dinamarca filed against Ms Kateřina Janouchová (picture above), a Prague-born writer (in Swedish).

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A future proof of \(P=NP\) or \(P\neq NP\) may be far-reaching or not so much

A few days ago, Norbert Blum, a professor (and a chair) from Bonn, the ex-capital of West Germany (picture) whose publication record looks good released the preprint

A Solution of the P versus NP Problem
claiming to contain a proof that \(P\neq NP\).

John Baez and Alon Amit, a brilliant mathematician at Quora, have offered their opinions. The preprint isn't "self-evidently wrong" according to some basic "smell tests" that may be used to "sniff" for wrong proofs of this kind, Baez concluded. In fact, a bunch of computer scientists has so far reacted in the same way: it looks rather credible so far. So it's good enough news for Blum.

At the same moment, neither Baez nor Amit could tell us "I have found a clear mistake" or, on the contrary, "I have verified the proof and joined those who claim that a proof has been found". Francis Villatoro, Gary Knife, and Scott Aaronson claim to know about incorrect statements "proven" at places in Blum's proof, however, although they don't know where's the error in Blum's proof. Sadly for Scott Aaronson who offers you $200,000 if he is wrong, he was mindlessly building on a statement by Luca Trevinsan who has already renounced his own criticism (he misunderstood what Andreev's function was).

James Damore: aftermath

I find Edwin's ideas worth listening to (I am sure he is annoyed by calm comments about "worth" and "blah blah" and would prefer warmer ones, so yes, I love you, Edwin LOL) which is why I have watched this 80-minute video recommended by Edwin:

Prof Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux (both from Canada) are two main individualist YouTube pundits who have previously interviewed James Damore, the former $162,000-a-year Senior Google engineer who became a hero of freedom. So in this discussion, they talked to each other. They covered a lot of ground. You may see that their thinking and values are close enough to each other. But you may still see that they're individualist and they want similar audiences to dedicate time to their videos, so to some extent, this insightful debate still sounds like a competition of a sort.

Saturday, August 12, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Arctic mechanism: a derivation of the multiple point criticality principle?

One of the ideas I found irresistible in my research during the last 3 weeks was the multiple point criticality principle mentioned in a recent blog post about a Shiu-Hamada paper.

Froggatt's and Nielsen's and Donald Bennett's multiple point criticality principle says that the parameters of quantum field theory are chosen on the boundaries of a maximum number of phases – i.e. so that something maximally special seems to happen over there.

This principle is supported by a reasonably impressive prediction of the fine-structure constant, the top quark mass, the Higgs boson mass, and perhaps the neutrino masses and/or the cosmological constant related to them.

Czech trams in Pyongyang

Tough words directed against North Korea have been a pleasant distraction for Donald Trump because the negative attitudes towards North Korea seem to be uncontroversial in the U.S. and beyond. There's a problem: North Korea may hypothetically erase several cities from the map but no one seems to care.

Americans generally support a strike against North Korea. But do they know where the country is located? That's what the folks at the Hollywood Boulevard, a major avenue in L.A., were asked. The answers were all over the map, literally, but the consensus seems to be that North Korea is in Northeastern Canada. Prepare your bunkers, Mr Kim IV Trudeau!

Friday, August 11, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

GR=QM paper shows Susskind isn't a real co-father of ER=EPR

I have always appreciated that in comparison to other top physicists, Leonard Susskind was among those who deserved to be called heuristic thinkers, creative mavericks, talkers rather than calculators, and to a large extent, I have found this spirit inspiring. Susskind was always a role model for me. The number and diversity of ideas he helped to emerge from the darkness was amazing.

Of course, as the well-known lore says, physics depends on the delicate balance between the hot, bold, philosophical speculations on one side; and the cold, hard, boring facts on the other. When this balance is broken, physics degenerates either to philosophy or to botany (or stamp collecting). This lore is not meant to be an insult when it says that philosophy and botany are inferior because they self-evidently are inferior.

Well, the first outcome seems to be a good description of Susskind's new paper

Dear Qubitzers, GR=QM
The 15-page paper is free of equations, begins with "Dear Qubitzers" (a hybrid of quantum bit and kibitzers) and ends with "Best regards, Lenny".

Thursday, August 10, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Police finally asks lawmakers to enable prosecution of Babiš

Will he win the October elections while arrested?

Andrej Babiš, a Slovak billionaire, a former communist cadre, an ex-agent of the communist secret police, and the Czech finance minister up to Spring, was fired by the social democratic prime minister Sobotka a few months ago, in a series of events that looked like a farce mainly because Sobotka repeatedly changed his opinions how to deal with the problem named Babiš. The reasons were numerous.

At least at the level of economic morality that Babiš – and Sobotka – loudly demand from everyone else, there was no doubt that Babiš has done too many immoral things.

He has done lots of strange things to fool his former business partners, evade taxation of CZK 1 bonds by tricks with the rounding to the nearest integer etc. but the most famous wrongdoing is the subsidies for his Stork's Nest, a luxurious farm and rural tourist resort I saw a year ago. He temporarily moved the company owning the project to his relatives, they secured $2 million of EU subsidies that were meant to help small and medium businesses, and then Babiš – who owns a $3 billion company – restored the ownership of his Stork's Nest company.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Women are neurotic: research

Almost none of the critics of James Damore's memo has actually read it and virtually all negatively sounding statements that have been made about the memo have been malicious, outright lies mindlessly screamed by fanatical lynch mob. But several people who actually wanted to find something wrong about Damore's text found the following statement to be among the most controversial ones:

Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).

This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.
Women are more anxious in average, he dared to point out. Well, everyone who is at least slightly interested in related disciplines of biology and psychology – and even most people who aren't interested but they just observe the people around them – must have known it for many years. Let me mention several papers, popular reviews, and facts.

Monday, August 07, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

James Damore deserves $100 million as a compensation from Google

His observations about the stifling PC culture may be necessary for reforms that Google needs to survive

Updates: "$1 million in bonuses" was changed to "$100 million as a compensation" after Damore was "fired" by a Mr Kunda Píča whom I have never heard of; Damore plans to sue Google; he had previously complained to NLRB and wants to argue that his dismissal was a revenge which would be illegal. See a Damore's defiant answer to Reuters.

Donations up to $60,000 to JD. I haven't verified that website.
Recently, James Damore (here's where I learned his name) has studied towards his PhD in systems biology from Harvard but just like some other young men with numerous talents, this 23- or 28-year-old Gentleman immediately went to Google (in 2013, Damore's team won a computational challenge to evacuate a big city; more awards; he's been at Google since 2013) and became a Level 5 Senior Engineer – a position somewhere in the middle of Google's corporate hierarchy – focusing on the infrastructure of the search engine.

(I decided that a photograph of James isn't needed. Imagine a picture of Mark Zuckerberg's twin brother over here.)

Last week, he wrote an e-mail to some internal list of recipients at Google which was both relevant for the future of the company as well as related to the topic of his PhD program that he had previously undergone from a university that isn't quite unknown, ;-) either to me or to the world.

The full text of his 10-page-long essay, Google's Ideological Echo Chamber, may be found at Gizmodo (along with some less valuable appendices) if you click at the link in this sentence. See the original 10-page Damore's PDF file with charts and references; or a special website of the memo (later, a new Damore's domain). The stifling atmosphere of political correctness has largely conquered Google, Damore argues, and people who just suggest that they would prefer a more serious discussion about the actual causes of the gender gap in STEM fields are immediately demonized, threatened, and silenced.

Damore, a centrist and a sensibly self-described classical liberal, explained some characteristic features (which may become vices in too high concentrations) of the leftwingers and rightwingers, argued that the left-wing bias at Google has become staggeringly obvious, and this bias is increasingly preventing sensible people from saying self-evident facts such as that women's have a greater focus on people and emotions while men's focus on things and hard reasoning, aside from other biological differences he discussed eloquently.

Sunday, August 06, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Vanderbilt: mathematics is sexist

In the 1990s, left-winger Alan Sokal wrote a bogus paper mocking his fellow leftists who were also postmodernists, feminists, or otherwise mentally crippled beyond the usual standards of the Left. Just because Sokal was licking their rectums and amplifying some of the most stupid propositions by these pompous fools, the reviewers of a "prestigious" journal have accepted the paper despite its complete absurdity.

Related to this topic: at least one engineer wrote at least one 10-page essay titled Google's Ideological Echo Chamber arguing that the STEM gender gap is natural. Let's hope that Google won't Bing him. One should be afraid – assorted parasitic neurotic vice-presidential bitches for diversity at Google immediately began to threaten the wise gentleman (and prove his thesis in a clear way). Ranting monkey ran a great story about it.
One of the recurrent themes in his funny paper was the idea that mathematics was sexist and the discipline would look very different if we stopped the discrimination against women etc. Serious papers weren't quite saying these things at that time – yet.

Now, two decades later, papers claiming to be serious are saying the same things as Sokal's hoax from the 1990s. Andrzej pointed out the following Tweet

which promotes a article about a remarkable paper Unmasking the Male Superiority Myth... The author, Luis Leyva, is a junior professor at the Vanderbilt Peabrain University.

Saturday, August 05, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Gary North, Mojmír Hampl on fatal volatility of cryptocurrencies

...and my thermodynamic metaphors...

Mojmír Hampl is one of the 7 members of the Czech National Bank's board – which determines the main interest rates in Czechia etc. He was the key hawk-turn-dove in 2013 whose vote decided about the interventions against the previously strengthening crown and the alleged deflation threat. And he's arguably the most outspoken pundit among the seven. I've had a lunch with him some years ago.

Parallel Polis, a Bitcoin café in Prague

Days ago, he published his opinion about the Bitcoin:

Don't be afraid of bitcoin
It was published on the Czech National Bank's website – and elsewhere. Others in the board probably agree with him. By the "fear", Hampl means that the cryptocurrencies don't really represent any "competitor" to the fiat currencies. In particular, the Czech crown – the currency only used by 0.15% of the people on Earth – is used in a 6 times larger volume of transactions than the Bitcoin – almost 50% of the cryptocurrencies' capitalization over $100 billion and a global mania.