Saturday, May 13, 2017

Philosopher disses black hole paradox

I posted that physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, aka B, tried to answer:
Why do physicists worry so much about the black hole information paradox ...?
Now she is at it again:
Is the black hole information loss paradox really a paradox? Tim Maudlin, a philosopher from NYU and occasional reader of this blog, doesn’t think so. Today, he has a paper on the arXiv in which he complains that the so-called paradox isn’t and physicists don’t understand what they are talking about. ...

First, let me point out that this is hardly news. As Maudlin himself notes, this is an old story, though I admit it’s often not spelled out very clearly in the literature. ...

Either way, none of this is really new. Maudlin’s paper is just reiterating all the options that physicists have been chewing on forever: Accept unitarity violation, store information in remnants, or finally get it out. ...

For all I can tell I don't disagree with Maudlin. I merely think the paper lacks some context and makes physicists look rather stupid by leaving out part of the story.
Lubos Motl trashes everyone, as usual.
What Tim Maudlin has done is nothing else than to repeat one side of the paradox – the side that ends up with "and the information is therefore lost". Too bad, he completely misunderstands the other side which happens to be the side producing the right answer – the information is not lost – the opposite answer to his. He's a guy who only understands one-half of some basic material, the easier one-half, and sells his more-than-half-empty skull as a skull of a brilliant guy immersed among idiots because he's a wonderful dimwit.
My opinion, last posted in Dec. 2016, is:
There is no black hole information paradox. And if there were, there would be no scientific way to resolve it.

It is the modern of equivalent of the supposed medieval debate over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. (I think that it is myth about medieval monks.)
When physicists say that no info is lost in a black hole, it is because they believe that no info is lost when you burn a book or do anything else. Of course info is lost, unless you redefine info to include info that is completely unobservable but assumed to exist because of some quasi-religious belief in info conservation.

(This post was slightly updated later in the day.)

1 comment:

  1. Black holes should be renamed 'information holes'. We have no way of knowing if they actually function as theorized because black hole theory depends upon an abstraction called a point or singularity magically given the ability to carry mass without physical extension (volume)...which even the imagined Higgs Boson can't do. There is no physical way for this to be possible, and even if you wish to speculate, you couldn't ever measure it. Physicists loves black holes because they can publish papers about them without fear of being contradicted, not because they can actually locate, examine, and test them.
    Very little credit should be given for publishing papers on untestable entities based on unphysical abstractions which are little more than sloppy thought experiments.