Saturday, November 12, 2016

Entangled black holes and other delusions

Scientific American has a cover story by theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena on an idea known to the experts as ER=EPR.

I thought this was a joke where some physicist tried to show how clever he is by pretending that two unrelated papers are related. SciAm takes this way too seriously.

The idea is that two black holes might be entangled by their interiors being connected by a wormhole. A wormhole is a science-fiction shortcut thru spacetime.

This kooky. It is not science. It is not even science fiction.

What is the appeal of this? Among those who hate quantum mechanics, they have never been happy with the idea that two distant particles could have correlated properties. It seems magical that a measurement of one could predict a measurement on the other. So maybe they would rather believe that the particles are connected by an invisible wormhole!

Meanwhile, Scott Aaronson is still an emotional wreck from the election. I don't want to get too political here, but maybe there is some relation between belief in entangled black holes and belief in various liberal myths. Scott has his second post-election rant:
It’s become depressingly clear the last few days that even most American liberals don’t understand the magnitude of what’s happened. ...

Finally, I wanted to share some Facebook postings about the election by my friend (and recent interviewer) Julia Galef.  In these posts, Julia sets out some of the same thoughts that I’ve had, but with an eloquence that I haven’t been able to muster.  It’s important to understand that these posts by Julia — whose day job is to run rationality seminars—are far and away the most emotional things I’ve ever seen her write, but they’re also less emotional than anything I could write at this time! ...

I realized it’s not clear to many people exactly why I’m so upset about Trump winning, so let me elaborate.

What upsets me the most about Trump’s victory is not his policies (to the extent that he has coherent policy positions). It’s not even his racism or sexism, though those do upset me. It’s what his victory reveals about the fragility of our democracy.

Trump incites violence at rallies. He spreads lies and conspiracy theories (birtherism, rigged elections) that damage the long-term credibility of the political process, just for his own short-sighted gain. He’s ruined [EDIT: tried to ruin] journalists’ careers for criticizing him, and bragged about it.
Really? Is that the core of her gripes?

99% of the political violence in the last year came from Democrats, not Republicans. Clinton incited violence far more than Trump.

Believing that the President should be a natural born citizen is not a lie or a conspiracy theory. It is reading the Constitution.

Clinton promoted the lies that racist cops are killing innocent blacks for no reason, with Ferguson being the prime example.

About 95% of journalists are opposed to Trump, and they print lies and nasty accusations against him on a daily basis. Their editorials compare him to Hitler.

And somehow Trump is the bad guy for criticizing some of the jounalists who are smearing him?

They mention the well-known gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, and he is infected with the same anti-Trump hysteria. If you ask him about Hillary Clinton, he will launch into a detail monologue about how she is a terrible person in nearly every way. Dishonest, corrupt, incompetent, hateful, warmonger, wrong side of key issues, etc. He gives detail and convincing explanations of why someone like her should never be President. But ask him about Trump, and he degenerates into mindless name-calling and incoherent babble.

It is funny how these folks can act as if they are smarter than everyone else, and especially Trump voters. If they were, then they would be able to give some reasoned arguments to back up their positions. As it is, they appear deranged and delusional.

Update: Scott Adams (aka Dilbert) writes:
Earlier this week listed 24 different theories that pundits have provided for why Trump won. And the list isn’t even complete. I’ve heard other explanations as well. What does it tell you when there are 24 different explanations for a thing?

It tells you that someone just dropped a cognitive dissonance cluster bomb on the public. Heads exploded. Cognitive dissonance set in. Weird theories came out. ...

This brings me to the anti-Trump protests. The protesters look as though they are protesting Trump, but they are not. They are locked in an imaginary world and battling their own hallucinations of the future.

Yes. The physicists who talke about entangled black holes and Trump-Hitler comparisons are locked in an imaginary world.


  1. Major news endorsements: Clinton: 57, Trump: 2. Delusional!

  2. When someone says "I sure hate those trump supporters, they're nothing but RACIST BIGGOTED ISLAMAPHOBIC HOMOPHOBES etc...They're SO intolerant!" I just start to laugh and say "Oh my god, the IRONY, it burns! it burns!"

    Never before in American politics have so many people who consider themselves educated admitted they have contempt for literally everything and everyone they don't agree with, namely those who aren't democrats, and have so little fear of admitting that they think the United States should be a one party country. The ideological link between fascism and the left is becoming quite visible.

    It is both fascinating and terrifying to watch a college indoctrinated liberal transform from a self righteous social justice warrior into a frothing anarchist of a two year old. I don't seem to recall this kind of behavior from the conservatives when Obama won the previous two elections...good grief, you would think the little snowflakes don't somehow remember they've had control of the White House for the last eight years.