Monday, September 26, 2022

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are Not Enough

Social Pscyhology professor Jonathan Haidt writes:
I was going to attend the annual conference in Atlanta next February to present some research with colleagues on a new and improved version of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire. I was surprised to learn about a new rule: In order to present research at the conference, all social psychologists are now required to submit a statement explaining “whether and how this submission advances the equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals of SPSP.” Our research proposal would be evaluated on older criteria of scientific merit, along with this new criterion.

These sorts of mandatory diversity statements have been proliferating across the academy in recent years. ...

The SPSP mandate, however, forced us all to do something more explicitly ideological. Note that the word diversity was dropped and replaced by anti-racism. So every psychologist who wants to present at the most important convention in our field must now say how their work advances anti-racism. I read Ibram X. Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist in the summer of 2020, so I knew that I could no longer stay silent. 

Diversity is not enough anymore. Now it has to be anti-racist.

The word anti-racist is defined by Kendi's book. It means anti-White hatred. See the book for yourself. He is very much against eqaal opportunity, non-discrimination, and other such liberal values. He wants to promote Blacks, and demote Whites, so that Blacks will achieve cultural and economic superiority.

This is crackpot anti-White stuff, and it has taken over academia.

I predicted that “the conflict between truth and social justice is likely to become unmanageable … Universities that try to honor both will face increasing incoherence and internal conflict.” It’s now six years later, and I think it’s clear that this prediction has come true.
Universities are going into a decline.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

NewScientist Magazine is Against Free Speech

Left-wing science journals are now opposed to free speech. From a NewScientist article:
It turns out that information overload is just as toxic to democracy as censorship is. We need to chuck out the US myth that bad speech can be “cured” with more speech. Without moderation, ground rules for debate and thoughtful regulation in our digital public squares, it is impossible for us to reach agreement on anything.
Wow. When does Science ever require that we reach agreement?

There is no consensus on covid-19, global warming, causes of crime, or the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Nor should there be. The vaccine might be good for you, and not someone else.

Nor does democracy require consensus. Democracy is rule by a 51% majority.

It is increasingly clear that the Left wants to impose its program on everyone, with no dissent. Allowing free speech to express alternative views will wreck their plans.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Anti-White Propaganda Creeps into Physics Journals

Here is a new anti-White Physics education paper that is absurd as it looks:
Observing whiteness in introductory physics: A case study

Authors’ positionalities.—Robertson is a chronically ill and disabled, physics-Ph.D.-holding, thin wealthy white woman. Her analysis and writing were shaped by these identities, including her “insider” status in physics: because of her socialization in the discipline, she is able to name and make sense of physics values, representa- tions, and practices.

For most of Robertson’s life, whiteness (including whiteness as social organization) has been invisible to her; this invisibility is rooted in part in the hegemony of whiteness and in Robertson’s position of power within white-dominant culture [36,51]. Her efforts to “make whiteness visible” in the writing of this paper, then, reflect her position as a learner and as a white person; in writing this paper, she is sharing her in-progress learning, as someone who is waking up to the world as it is, with gratitude for the support of Friends, Scholars, and Activists of Color. Her position as a learner about whiteness has been deeply informed by her own marginalization and oppres- sion as a chronically ill person.

It was funded by the National Science Foundation. Watch this excellent video mocking it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Superdeterminism does not Save Locality

A new paper argues:
This paper addresses a particular interpretation of quantum mechanics, i.e. superdeterminism. In short, superdeterminism i) takes the world to be fundamentally deterministic, ii) postulates hidden variables, and iii) contra Bell, saves locality at the cost of violating the principle of statistical independence. Superdeterminism currently enjoys little support in the physics and philosophy communities. Many take it to posit the ubiquitous occurrence of hard-to-digest conspiratorial and coincidental events; others object that violating the principle of statistical independence implies the death of the scientific methodology.
This paper is really misguided. First, superdeterminism is not an interpretation of quantum mechanics. As you can see, it is not listed as such on the Wikipedia page. The premise of superdeterminism is that QM is wrong. It only appears correct in some cases, because we cannot properly test it.

Second, superdeterminism does not save locality. QM is local, while superdeterminism requies nonlocal conspiracies.

Bell’s theorem is almost universally considered as conclusively showing that nature is fundamentally non-local. ...

If so, Bell’s argument shows once and for all that no local hidden variables are possible and that nature is fundamentally non-local. Or so the vast majority believes.

Superdeterminism offers an alternative approach to this. In a nutshell, superdeterminism amounts to an attempt to save locality despite Bell’s experiment.

No, competent physicists do not believe that. Bell's argument shows that a classical hteory of local hidden variables cannot explain the predictions of QM. That leaves two obvious possibilites. Nature could be nonlocal classical, or local quantum.

Local quantum is what everybody believes, and what the textbooks say. You only get nonlocality if you insist on pre-1925 classical mechanics.

To justify the superdeterminism conspiracies, it invokes time travel arguments.

As it is well known in the time travel literature, time travel cannot result in changes in the past (see, among others, Lewis 1976 and Arntzenius and Maudlin 2002). Suppose a time traveler travels back in time and tries to kill his younger self. We know the time traveler will not succeed, or else contradictions will ensue. For if the time traveler kills his younger self (and we bar resurrection), he will not grow up to later jump back in time and kill his younger self. Even if time travel were possible, autoinfanticide by exploiting time travel is not.4 Time travelers who attempt to kill their younger selves will fail. Why do they fail? The standard answer in the literature is that they would fail for ordinary reasons: a sudden change of heart, the bullet will surprisingly miss the target, a bird would just pass through and stop the bullet, failure of nerves, or (famously) the time traveler would slip on a banana peel. In an interesting twist, Horwich (1987, ch. 7) discusses a thought experiment devised to cast some doubts on this idea. What would happen, so goes the thought experiment, if a future Time Travel Institute for Autoinfanticide were to send back in time thousands of time travelers attempting to kill their younger selves. Despite (we can imagine) their training, their loaded weapons, their strong motivations, and the easy unprotected targets, they would all fail---for autoinfanticide is impossible. A big series of coincidences must be guaranteed to happen to stop their attempts.
So if a big series of coincidences can stop you from kill yourself when you travel back in time, then then could also make QM appear to be true when it is really false.

No experiment can tell you what is going on, because the superdeterminist rejects it.

The third argument against superdeterminism that is voiced by authors as Shimony et al. (1976), Maudlin (2019), Baas and Le Bihan (2021), and Chen (2021), boils down to the idea that the enterprise of doing science would not be possible in a superdeterministic world. Maudlin (cited by Chen 2021) phrases it this way (2019):
“If we fail to make this sort of statistical independence assumption, empirical science can no longer be done at all. For example, the observed strong robust correlation between mice being exposed to cigarette smoke and developing cancer in controlled experiments means nothing if the mice who are already predisposed to get cancer somehow always end up in the experimental rather than control group. But we would regard that hypothesis as crazy.”
Again, the idea is that experimental science is only possible if our choices of testing conditions are independent of the physical properties that determine experimental outcomes – an assumption violated by superdeterminism.
That is all correct. But this paper goes on to advocate superdeterminism, because it is supposed to be a way of saving locality from Bell's argument.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Man has Not Even an Illusion of Free Will

Here is a comment from a leftist-atheist-evolutionist blog. Somehow it keeps coming back to denying will.

I’ve never understood the idea, expressed by both compatibilists and incompatibilists, that “it feels like we have free will,” or that “we have the illusion of free will.” Never mind the fact that the concept of “free will” seems only to be found in W.E.I.R.D. cultures, and seems mostly tied to monotheistic theology; I find that my own lack of free will is powerfully salient in the manifest image. To me it feels like my thoughts, including decisions and choices, just appear in my brain. When I pay close attention, when I carefully observe what is actually going on, I get no sense whatsoever that I conjured up these thoughts. They seem thrust upon me and I sometimes even wish them away to no avail.

I don’t think I am alone here. There is plenty of evidence all throughout our language that everyone notices our complete lack of free will. “She made me laugh” or “he made me cry” or “I fell in love” or “it made me sad” or “I was overcome with joy.” Consider the extent to which all of your decisions and choices are based on what makes you laugh, cry, love, or become depressed. If you examine our language it appears that the reality of determinism, at least biological determinism, is more than just an accepted fact. It seems like everyone knows it with virtual certainty.

Consider the moment in the restaurant when you are looking at the menu and you’ve read all of the items but it still takes you a while to male a choice because you “can’t decide’ what you want. You are waiting for your determined unconscious to make that decision for you. If you had free will you’d decide right away. In this moment you should “feel” and notice your lack of free will. You shouldn’t need physics or biology to point it out to you.

When people say “we feel like we have free will” I don’t know what they mean. I don’t feel that way at all. To the extent that I ever felt like I had “free will” I would blame it on my W.E.I.R.D. upbringing and I would be thankful that I eventually noticed it wasn’t true and got over it.

I have also never understood any of the proposed downsides to accepting determinism. Life is like watching a movie or riding a rollercoaster. The fact that you are not driving takes nothing away from the thrill and meaning of the experience. Relax and enjoy the ride. Of course I know that you can’t just decide to relax and enjoy the ride, but I hope that me saying these things will help determined you to do just that.

St. Augustine was a great proponent of free will and while you might class his society as Western, it was not educated, industrialized, rich, or democratic.
It is amazing to me that he has no feeling of free will. Sam Harris says something similar.

On the last point, W.E.I.R.D. is a euphemism for White Christian culture. The claim is that other cultures do not appreciate free will. White Christians are the only ones who are fully conscious.

If he says he does not feel free will, then I believe him, but it is like saying he follows voices in his head. It is a symptom of schizophrenia.

Another comment:

I don’t think it’s quite right to call the Everettian (many-worlds) interpretation of quantum mechanics either pseudoscience or religion, even if it’s untestable in principle. A better term might be something along the lines of “coherent conjecture”, or “theoretical extrapolation”.

One associates pseudoscience with preposterous “theories” like astrology, psychokinesis, or clairvoyance. It’s neither accurate nor fair to put the many-worlds hypothesis in the same group. And it’s less appropriate still to equate it to religious beliefs, which tend to be even more preposterous.

Whether you agree with him or not, Sean Carroll can cogently explain why he thinks the many-worlds interpretation is a coherent and sensible inference, something that neither an astrologer nor the pope could do to defend their beliefs. That difference would be lost if we labeled Carroll’s position “pseudoscientific” or “religious”. One could even be induced to think him, in this respect at least, a charlatan or a religious nut, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

No, Sean M. Carroll cannot cogently explain many-worlds. I have heard him try, and there is nothing scientific at all. The more I listen to him, the more I am convinced that he has a fundamentally anti-scientific worldview.

Here is also a recent Michael Shermer interview of Sabine Hossenfelder, where she denies free will at the end.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Particle Physics Goes Diversity Mad

Particle physics has become a boring field. The only new discovery in decades was the Higgs particle, confirming a 1964 prediction.

So what to do? Get rid of the White males, and bring in the BIPOC trannies!

Nature reports:

What particle physics can do to improve diversity

Kétévi Assamagan describes how US particle physicists are trying to make their field work for people of all genders, ethnicities and backgrounds.

This year, thousands of particle physicists thrashed out the future of their field in the United States, in a roughly once-in-a-decade planning exercise called Snowmass. For the first time, the process — which influences US federal funding — elevated diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues to sit among the ten major topics, or frontiers, that were discussed. ...

George Floyd’s death in 2020, and other times that police have killed Black people, have made people more aware that something needs to be done. Many institutions and organizations have started paying attention to DEI issues and to the climate in the workplace.

But it doesn’t necessarily translate into action. In an anonymous survey we did at Snowmass, we saw that men, in general, believe less that there is an issue with diversity. They are the biggest group in physics and the people who need to be convinced if we are to translate all the things we talk about into change.

The group also wants to build a muon colliders, if it can be done without White men.

George Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose, while the police were getting an ambulance for him and he was resisting. I watched the trial. No evidence of racial animosity was presented. The police had no reason to believe that they were doing anything harmful, and I don't think that they were. He would have died faster if the police were not there.

It is pretty crazy to think that incident has anything to do with Physics research. I think that the govt should do more to stop fentanyl poisonings. But it is also crazy to complain about police killing Black people. Blacks are only killed in proportion to them violently resisting arrest. Blacks are actually killed less than one would expect, based on crime incidence.

But regardless, is the LHC collider going to hire some incompetent Black physicists because of the behavior of some no-good criminal junkie like George Floyd? Maybe the thinking is that the LHC is never going to do any worthwhile Physics again anyway, so we as might as well take some Black junkies off the streets to showcase diversity, and let the White men do something productive elsewhere.

In case you think this is offensive, I am not the one comparing Black physicists to George Floyd. That was Nature magazine and the Snowmass committee. I am not even sure of the point of the analogy. Do they think that Whites should be more accommodating of Black drug addiction and criminal and antisocial behavior? Or that White secretly want to strangle Blacks before they get jobs as particle physicists? Maybe some reader can explain the logic to me.

Update: Here is a Princeton Anthropology professor defending the science journals going woke, complete with derogatory comments about "older white cis-male" scientists.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Einstein did not Understand Relativity Better

Physicist Sean M. Carroll says:
Albert Einstein was not as good at math as Henri Poincare, but he did better at understanding relativity, because his physical insight was completely unmatched.
No, this is backwards. Einstein had no relativity physical insights that were not already articulared by Poincare. Not until after Poincare died, anyway. Those who credit Einstein for relativity often point to the lack of experimental justification in Einstein's 1905 paper. While Poincare and other derived relativity from the Michelson-Morley experiment, Einstein does not mention it. Einstein's approach is to postulate what Lorentz and Poincare proved.

One of Poincare's key 1905 insights was that realtivity was a spacetime theory, ano not just an electromagnetism theory. So Poincare recognized the need for relativistic gravity, while Einstein ignored the issue.

Carroll also says a lot of nonsense about many-worlds, simulation, etc. At 2:01:00, he says Einstein was right to rail against Copenhagen because Copenhagen is terrible. He says Bohm and Everett interpretations are much better, as they are well-posed scientific theories.

It is sometimes said that QM is the most successful theory ever, as there is a trillion dollar industry based on it. And it is 100% Copenhagen. No one has ever used Bohm or Everett for a practical application.

Carroll advocates canceling a physicist because he believed in eugenics a century ago, but then advocates eugenics himself at 2:41:00.