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La Rubujo de la Ĥemi-Elektra Rubulo • The Chemo-Electric Trashman’s Trashcan


7 majo 2012, 01.45

I did the equivalent of turning in my test without the last minute check that catches the major oversight that can be corrected before time is up if you just hold onto the test for longer.

My disproof is done

6 majo 2012, 01.36

My disproof of the basis for ‘quantum non-locality’ is complete, though not fully discussed, as it were: <link>
The joint probability result is the one that is supposed to be impossible without spooky superluminal action at a distance, but here it operates in an ordinary manner (if ‘moving tangent vectors’ can be considered ordinary objects). To make the counterproof even more devastating, the ‘correlations’ are between two experimental runs on the same apparatus.

To reproduce the error made by the orthodoxy, instead of doing an integration over theta, you would do a double integration over two different variables, one for each cosine-square in the integrand. This error is what is ‘justified’ by claiming it ‘encodes’ ‘locality’.

It’s absolutely astonishing what theoretical physics has become, but then it seems less so when I consider how overblown the reputation of physicists is in our society. We would actually expect such incompetence and orthodoxy in many other academic fields.

While barking up a wrong tree

29 aprilo 2012, 11.00

While barking up a wrong tree
I noticed something different
Between ‘modern probability theory’
And ‘calculus of plausible inference’.

Suppose you want to make a robot.
Suppose you want it free of prejudice.
Then you must make that robot
So it never adds a new assumption.

It happens often that some quantity
Shows up in your expressions
But what you know about that quantity
Amounts to less than a hill of beans.

A robot, faced with this situation,
And programmed according to the ‘moderns’,
Must come to you for more instructions,
To be given a density for the quantity.

The human must make a declaration,
‘Assume that X is uniformly distributed’,
Which the robot on its own cannot do,
Because it never makes assumptions.

In calculus of plausible inference, though,
The robots are commanded as follows:
‘You must never neglect what you know,
And you must never disagree with your fellow.’

Thus the robot must choose a density
That every other robot would have chosen,
Which always gives the same conclusion,
No matter how you integrate, etc.

Of course it ends up the same function,
Just forced by logic instead of assumed,
A little weightier in human judgment,
And keeping robots off our lazy backs.

This would help explain A LOT

28 aprilo 2012, 17.45


A number of physicists began to advocate vitalism. Niels Bohr was one of the first to suggest that special laws not found in inanimate matter might operate in organisms. He thought of these laws as analogous to the laws of physics except for their being restricted to organisms. Erwin Schrödinger supported similar ideas, as well as the physicists Walter M. Elsasser and Eugene Wigner.[25]

Physicists by day, superstitious kooks by night.

I have hidden yesterday's posting. Here is why.

27 aprilo 2012, 08.07

 I have a constant obsession that I will drop dead while working on a problem and not finish it. This leads to a compulsion to post whatever half-baked level of thought I have at the moment, so at least that won’t be lost. It used to be much worse.

That this is due to my fear of leaving an unfinished problem, due to death, is a clarifying insight after many years of self-observation. By that I mean this explanation for the compulsion may actually be correct.


24 aprilo 2012, 22.13

Unfortunately, if I get this right, I still won’t write a paper, due to my disability. I’ll just make a summary available to people who can write papers. We could use more laypeople writing scientific papers, though.

The difficult part, which I have not seen done by anyone, is how to make correlation due to phase more intuitive without forcing the reader to revert to the mind-picture of a classical field. Little known may be that it is insufficient to produce the right numbers; you must convince with geometry. This goes against the romantic picture of ‘self-correcting’ science; the force of your argument depends on how you speak.

My brain pain, and my back pain

24 aprilo 2012, 21.55

Hofer’s argument in geometric algebra can be more intuitively given in the conformal model of space and by using coordinate systems less. Also his presentation uses questionable (though probably not uncommon) GA terminology and has at least two ‘shortcuts’ given without explanation. I plan to reformulate, as soon as I figure out one or two things. Well, really, it’s how best to fill in one of those shortcuts.

Meanwhile I have back spasm. Not fun.

On the other hand, the burn on my arm seems to be healing.


24 aprilo 2012, 03.29

BTW I imagine the late Dr. Feynman as one of the majority of physicists who don’t understand QM but also don’t care enough to worry about it. I saw some of his lecture statements today and they were of the ‘I don’t understand this and don’t think anyone does’ variety, without any ideology laden upon that. Also his own contributions to physics are renowned for their contrived character and desire mainly to get the answer as easily as possible, from what I have read.

As so often is the case, it’s the philosophers we really have to worry about. (For this dispute, their main technique is Special Pleading. I think d’Espagnat was illustrating the method at its finest, though for some reason he wrote in florid free verse.)

Hypothesis confirmed

23 aprilo 2012, 22.51

I was curious to verify my prediction that the author of the postmodern poetry at http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0302167 would be a kook, and was not disappointed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_d%27Espagnat

What I did not predict was that he would be a kook of a little stature, who has even been published in Supersticious American.

( :) I unsubbed from Scientific American many years ago, having tired of its ‘balanced journalism’, ‘he said, she said’. Have they reformed, or by now are they publishing ‘Intelligent Design’ articles to balance out the paleontology reports?)

Surprise, surprise!

23 aprilo 2012, 19.47

I had been trying to remember who it was, and when I found him again (http://www.liv.ac.uk/~whofer/) it turned out he too recently used geometric algebra to make an argument against ‘non-locality’.

This actually shouldn’t surprise me, even though it does; geometric algebra is increasingly popular in physics as a substitute for the vector algebra we used when I was in school. (Whether GA has made inroads in the electromagnetic engineering field [pun intended] I do not know.)

Looking over Joy Christian’s paper, I see she seems to give Bell’s ambiguous notations a different reading that IMO does not apply to his Lyons-Lille example, so IMO probably she is reading them incorrectly, or alternatively the Lyons-Lille example was a poorly devised analog for his argument about EPR. (Bell wrote several papers, sometimes using very poor notation.) But that would merely change where the math error manifests, given that no matter how you read Bell he arrives at the wrong result. She’s going to argue (I peeked ahead) that he assumed the products of functions of the ‘hidden variables’ in the ‘local’ theory had to be commutative.

Hofer’s article looks more interesting, because it seems he’s actually claiming something like a new interpretation for the quantum mechanics; he seems to be blaming Bell’s error on discounting a phase component (in the ‘local realistic’ case) because in QM it was represented by imaginary numbers. In geometric algebra it can be represented by real numbers and given a visualizable geometric interpretation.

Wish me luck.

A disproof of Bell's conclusion by (counter)example that I ought to read

23 aprilo 2012, 18.17

See http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0703179.  The math in it is geometric algebra, which I happen to be working with at the moment anyway, so it is fresh in my mind. Therefore, it is a good time for me to read this paper, especially as I am in a programming rut (partly due to migraine).

One type of response to this kind of argument is that it doesn’t strive to provide a model for that actual experiment. This response is entirely irrelevant, though it is understandable how it would appeal to physicists. If you write a simulation, for instance, it is necessary not only that the simulation disprove the argument, but that it look as much like the published experiments as possible. Thus we have papers like this one: http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0105034

(An error in application of Bayes’ rule is just one of the ways the problem can be characterized, and happens to be the first on record and probably the one most accessible to non-specialists. Lots of people know probability theory, and some of them actually trust it to give the right answers if you strictly follow its rules.)

Watching Mister Ed

23 aprilo 2012, 16.59

I am not the biggest advocate of television, but watching Mister Ed is a far superior use of one’s time than speculating on the philosophy of a brain in a vat. That horse hasn’t seen a mitzvah he can’t violate and try to make up for later.

(It is an obvious fact that every healthy, living brain already is in exactly the type of vat that would be necessary! Just do scientific research, and refer the philosophers to a psychiatrist.)

As I said, catalogued at Nizkor

22 aprilo 2012, 21.20

Bell’s error in writing P(AB) = P(A)P(B): http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ignoring-a-common-cause.html

Actually his error is the contrapositive of this (‘A cannot cause B, therefore A and B are not connected’).

When someone commits one of these catalogued errors, in a way it is not a big deal; they are catalogued because they are so common. Many of them are a challenge to avoid. More interesting, I think, is the psychology behind the whole scandal. To quote ET Jaynes in ‘Clearing up mysteries::

[S]omehow, many physicists became persuaded that the success of the QM mathematical formalism proved the correctness of Bohr's private philosophy, even though hardly any { even among his disciples { understood what that philosophy was. All the attempts of Einstein, Schrödinger, and others to point out the patent illogic of this were rejected and sneered at; it is a worthy project for future psychologists to explain why.
In part it may be that Bohr was some kind of modernist:

Since today some think that merely to verify the correlations experimentally is to refute the
EPR argument, let us stress that EPR did not question the existence of the correlations, which are
to be expected in a classical theory. Indeed, were the correlations absent, their argument against the
QM formalism would have failed. Their complaint was that, with physical causation unavailable,
only instantaneous psychokinesis (the experimenter's free{will decision which experiment to do) is
left to control distant events, the forcing of S2 into an eigenstate of either q2 or p2. Einstein called
this ‘a spooky kind of action at a distance’.

To understand this, we must keep in mind that Einstein's thinking is always on the ontological
level; the purpose of the EPR argument was to show that the QM state vector cannot be a
representation of the ‘real physical situation’ of a system. Bohr had never claimed that it was,
although his strange way of expressing himself often led others to think that he was claiming this.
From his reply to EPR, we nd that Bohr’s position was like this: ‘You may decide, of your
own free will, which experiment to do. If you do experiment E1 you will get result R1. If you
do E2 you will get R2. Since it is fundamentally impossible to do both on the same system, and
the present theory correctly predicts the results of either, how can you say that the theory is
incomplete? What more can one ask of a theory?’

While it is easy to understand and agree with this on the epistemological level, the answer that
I and many others would give is that we expect a physical theory to do more than merely predict
experimental results in the manner of an empirical equation; we want to come down to Einstein's
ontological level and understand what is happening when an atom emits light, when a spin enters a
Stern-Gerlach magnet, etc. The Copenhagen theory, having no answer to any question of the form:
‘What is really happening when - - - ?’, forbids us to ask such questions and tries to persuade
us that it is philosophically naïve to want to know what is happening. But I do want to know,
and I do not think this is naïve; and so for me QM is not a physical theory at all, only an empty
mathematical shell in which a future theory may, perhaps, be built.

My own attitude is indeed that a scientific ‘theory’ is not actually a theory unless it has the ontological character. A purely epistemological ‘theory’ is not a theory; it is a phenomenological law, a kind of pre-Newtonian regression. It is Kepler’s elliptical orbits, without comprehension of why and how planets move in elliptical orbits around the sun. A theory, on the other hand, gives you a kind of metaphorical picture of how the world works; if for no other reason, it is necessary for science to do this to satisfy the same deeply human urges that used to explain day, night, rain, and drought as the activities of divine beings. But we could always let religions continue to fill that gap, even if they do a halfass job of it. Perhaps more important is that a purely epistemological theory is a dead end for future scientific development; the human brain simply cannot function most efficiently unless it can picture what it is thinking about.

Paĝfino (end of page)