Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Physicist argues for Bayesian politics

Sean M. Carroll has a lengthy Mindscape podcast rant about the current American political situation.

His political views are just what you would expect. Typical leftist academic groupthink. I don't have much to say about that. But he claims to be driven by rational scientific thinking. He is essentially lecturing us on how a physicist should view President Trump.

The key is Bayesian analysis. The idea is to develop a healthy and enlightened set of prejudices, which he calls "priors", and then to accept or reject new evidence in the light of those priors.

As an example, he says you should think of allegations that the election was stolen in the same way that you treat the idea that the Moon is made of green cheese. That is, you should refuse to be distracted by evidence about cheese and ballots, and reject the whole thing out of hand as being too far contrary to the accepted worldview.

This is not rational thinking. The Trump allegations are summarized in the Navarro Report. You can read it, and then read a refutation. I cannot find any systematic refutation of the report. That tells me something. Some of the allegations are surely false.

It is possible to hold elections in a much more secure and reliable way. That was not done.

Carroll's soft-spoken demeanor and physics vocabulary give the illusion of reasonableness, but you have to remember that this is a guy who believes that we have no genuine free will, and that every time we appear to make a decision, we are actually witnessing a splitting of the universe into parallel worlds.

While he talks about probabilistic reasoning all the time, as should dominate any Bayesian analysis, his many-worlds view of physics involves extinguishing probability altogether.

If he made arguments this stupid, and then supported Trump, then physicists would start ostracizing him, and getting him banned from social media. But he supports the dominant Leftist agenda, so it's all good.


  1. No, no, no, no, ... no, Roger,

    ...Nothing of the sort!

    I *have* something new and nice and wonderful about QM to report to you and to people like you! (May be, I think, also, to Sean(!!))

    For the time being, I'm having a bit of a drink, but you should check out my Twitter feed, here:


    I will try to be honest and will try to be back in a day (on my blog), but if the hangover is a bit stronger than I expect, then at the most two days...

    But yes, I cracked it! For real!!

    (Documentation will arrive after about a month or so.)


    Will sure try to get the blog post in, within a day.

    You have a nice one, too!

    PS: BTW, I think it was on your blog (or so) that I got to see a mention of Lamb, Jr.'s "Anti-Photon" paper, for the first time, way back in Q4-2015 or so. That got the ball rolling... BTW, thanks for all the opportunities to post comments here. ... Best!

  2. Question:
    What is the difference between a politician and an advocate/activist scientist?

    There isn't one.

    You can choose to pursue an agenda or(exclusive) the truth. Not both.