Wednesday, September 23, 2020

No text info comes out of burning books

In Mindscape 115, Sean M. Carroll gives this explanation of the black hole information paradox:
That's why it is different from just throwing a book into a bonfire, for example. ...

Somehow, it's weird. That information in the book -- maybe a lot of people don't get how natural this is to physicists.

We would say that literally all the information about where the ink marks were on the lettters in the book somehow affects the light and heat and ash that comes out of the fire, and that doesn't seem to be what happens in a black hole.

His guest agrees with this.

This is bizarre. First, his claim that the letters affect what comes out of the fire is not something that has ever been corroborated by any experiment or required by any theory. It is almost a religious belief, like believing that the human soul survives death of the body.

But then he jumps to saying that black holes are different!

This is like a theologian saying human souls go to heaven, but then being puzzled about why space aliens from the Andromeda galaxy don't have souls.

Carroll gives good explanations of a lot of standard physics, but then he goes off the rails with these statements that seem to have nothing to do with science. This shows how theoretical physics has gone astray.

1 comment:

  1. 'If you threw a book into a black hole, you would DESTROY information'...What a bunch of drama for such a simple experiment. Of course, Sean Carroll loves drama, he IS a WOKE activist more than an actual scientist. NEVER trust a scientist with a political agenda, as the science will ALWAYS take a very distant backseat to the politics.

    For something far more scientific, try this instead:
    'Throw a book into OUR sun.' Hmm. Where did the info go? (far more practical, economically feasible, and conceivably testable)

    Or, by far more testable and affordable, 'Write your goddamn name in the sand at the beach at low tide. Wait a few hours.' then get back to me with your information retrieval.

    Then, there is always the very very easily tested 'Spell your name out in baby blocks for free! Now release one of the most destructive forces in the known universe (a Kraken, i.e. a human toddlder) loose upon those poor defenseless blocks...Oh my, where oh where did all the widdle biddy info go?

    Using a black hole to prove a testable point is pointless both literally and figuratively. The only known use for such a speculation is publication.

    1. No one actually knows how a black hole functions internally, they speculate blindly, guess, and bullshit with curved maths...

    2. No one could actually get near enough to a blackhole to perform said test, ever.

    3. Dividing by zero is a no no, both by children and physicists who really should know better. Points carry no forces (they definitionally do not have a degree of freedom to do so), and have no physical extension which is required in the calculation. Assigning mass to a point makes as much sense as assigning tensile strength to a one dimensional line segment, or reflectivity to a two dimensional plane. You can have a center of mass in a volume, but you can not have mass or density at a point (which is purely diagrammatic abstraction and has zero volume or any other physical extension whatsoever), unless... you have figured out how to divide by zero.

    If anyone actually does figure out how to divide by zero, best they lead with that first, get published, then become fabulously rich and famous instead of mucking about with black hole waste removal.