Monday, February 4, 2019

There is no epochal revolution coming

Scott Aaronson acknowledges that the CERN LHC failed to the find the SUSY particles it was supposed to find, and then makes a comment that appears targeted at me:
The situation reminds me a little of the quantum computing skeptics who say: scalable QC can never work, in practice and probably even in principle; the mainstream physics community only thinks it can work because of groupthink and hype; therefore, we shouldn’t waste more funds trying to make it work. With the sole, very interesting exception of Gil Kalai, none of the skeptics ever seem to draw what strikes me as an equally logical conclusion: whoa, let’s go full speed ahead with trying to build a scalable QC, because there’s an epochal revolution in physics to be had here — once the experimenters finally see that I was right and the mainstream was wrong, and they start to unravel the reasons why!
I don't draw that conclusion because I don't believe in that "epochal revolution" either.

When the LHC failed to find supersymmetry particles, did we have an epochal revolution telling us why naturalness and SUSY and unified field theories failed?

No. For the most part, physicists went on believing in string theories and all their other nutty ideas, and just claimed that maybe bigger and better accelerators would vindicate them somehow. That will go on until the money for big projects runs out.

The cost of accelerators is exponentially increasing, and the money will run out. They need an accelerator the size of the solar system to get what they really want.

Quantum computers have already had 20 years of hype, billions of research dollars, and some of the world's smartest people working on them. So far, no quantum supremacy. IBM and Google have been promising that for over a year, but they are not even explaining how their plans went wrong. This could go on indefinitely, without any additional proof of the folly of their thinking.


  1. What is the difference between a true believer who thinks the world was created in seven days and a true believer who thinks super strings actually explain something?

    The one who thinks the world was created in seven days does not expect the government to fund his beliefs so he can continue to pursue them.

    I'm all for personal beliefs, and the freedom to pursue them even if they are not popular or accepted, that said, it is incredibly foolish to believe it is the business of the government to fund such pursuits. There is a far greater diversity of thought and creativity when the patronage for such endeavors is diverse as well.

    Competition, free enterprise, and war are the greatest drivers and filters of technological innovation. Science for science's sake merely promotes vanity heirarchies, elitist groupthink and publishing gamemanship.

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    1. They're just reversing the burden of evidence. The U.S. is going to be completely behind in automation and technology because it's too theoretical and just buying back stock. China is kicking our asses. They have all of our technology and more. Their smartphones are cheaper and faster. They can automate just about everything over there: cars, buses, restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, janitors, factories, hotels, bartenders, etc. We can't even learn to pick oranges. The U.S. is full of complacent idiots and bullshit jobs. They give the third world all of the real work. Wait until that catches up with them! Western labor and education is really nothing special and it's tremendously overpriced. These people have been given too much self-esteem totally disconnected from accomplishments. This is true in both the public and private sectors, which tend to increasingly resemble each other. They have lived their entire lives in a protective bubble.