Thursday, March 30, 2017

Should Congress debate black holes?

Donald Trump's efforts concerning travel bans and healthcare have been slowed down by judges and the GOP, respectively, but it seems that Trump was able to sign the Peace Treaty With Coal. The war is over, it seems!



Champagne is just an inferior, overpriced counterpart of Bohemia Sekt

His steps to return sanity to the energy industry and the branches of the society hurt by the politicization of the climate science may be the most successful steps of the new administration.

I wanted to write about numerous topics affecting the Trump family. For example, some cloth company in California has sued Ivanka Trump because they think it's unfair for their competitor to be a beautiful lady whose father has won the race for the White House – and he wishes his daughter to be successful and helps her beat those who would like to "punish" her for being Trump's daughter. Is it unfair that she's beautiful and that her dad is fighting back? From the viewpoint of a jealous fag in an unknown Californian company, maybe. But grow up, fags! This is no fraud. Trump has really won, he gives the beef to fame of the White House now, Ivanka is his real daughter, and she could have helped her dad to win, too. Their pride is absolutely justified!

And if it is legal for some malls to discontinue Ivanka's products because she's the daughter of the president, surely it's OK for the president to encourage people to buy her products because she's the daughter of the president, right? America isn't a totalitarian society where only the things that are against the folks unpopular in much of California are allowed.




But let me return to the main topic. Yesterday, Nick Stockton wrote a would-be witty text for Wired,
Some other scientific theories the GOP should debate
He doesn't like the House committee meeting on "Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method" which should "examine scientific method and process as it relates to climate change". So he proposes some cutting-edge and potentially controversial scientific questions as additional topics that the lawmakers should debate.




Clearly, the purpose of this silly exercise is to implicitly claim that the climate alarmism is just another science and politicians shouldn't try to pretend that they're relevant in science. Well, the only problem is that the climate alarmism is not just another science.

As every other commenter points out, there is a clear difference between the climate science and pretty much any other scientific discipline:
For each of those examples, does one conclusion result in significantly greater public funding than the other, creating an economic incentive for scientists to prefer one outcome of the debate over the other? (by Fabius1)
That's the most clearly formulated detail that Mr Stockton managed to overlook. Physicists may decide that the information is lost in the black hole or not – be sure that if you can access the finest microscopic details, it isn't – but neither answer significantly affects the funds flowing to the foundational research of black holes. (It's analogous – but not quite exactly the same, as I will discuss – with all the other examples.)

However, the climate alarmism has increased the funding of the climate science by an order of magnitude or so because these new conclusions were found to be "relevant for policymaking". That's why it's so important to discuss the self-evident politicization of this field, its causes, its consequences, and the cure. Needless to say, Richard Lindzen proposes to cut the funding of that discipline by 80%-90%, so that it returns to a level comparable to that before the climate hysteria. The huge increase of the money not only hasn't helped the scientific discipline to develop. It was a primary reason that caused its deterioration.

Stockton made some of the usual discoveries – even scientists like John Christy think that the greenhouse effect exists, what a shock – and then he claimed:
But if Congress were truly interested in resolving these disputes, you might expect that they would advocate for more funding to climate and Earth science (rather than do the exact opposite).
That's not how a wise sponsor thinks. You just can't pay lots of money to someone just because he invents a story about the Armageddon, wants you to be interested and scared, and wants to be paid for its investigation. No big money is needed to answer these questions accurately enough – to the extent to which politicians should care. Honesty is what is needed and the starvation of the climate alarmists who have been outrageously hired as government scientists is the best path towards the restoration of this honesty.

OK. Let me say a few things about the serious (not climate-related) scientific questions that Stockton has mentioned. The first one is very close to my background:
Do space and time exist inside black holes?
Things get abstract and hard quickly, right. And lawmakers shouldn't discuss it. Well, I actually think that they should – despite the fact that their opinions will unlikely be as justified as those of the experts. But they have some spare time and should be cultural and this is an interesting question. Stockton chooses Yasunori Nomura of UC Berkeley as his chosen expert which is good enough here.

Well, my reaction is different to the second question:
What is time?
The question is interesting and produces some deep sub-questions. But how Stockton elaborates upon this question is atrocious. He tells us that time may run in reverse or not run at all and the U.S. capital is a proof of the warping of time. All these claims are absolute rubbish but it's even worse with the chosen expert here, Mr Richard Muller of Berkeley. He says an incoherent sentence about time and entropy – some kind of an idiotic attempted attack against the second law of thermodynamics, I guess – and we're asked whether this stuff should be reviewed by the U.S. Congress.

It should, especially because Muller claims to teach physics to the future presidents despite the fact that he is a full-blown crackpot misunderstanding the basics of general relativity, the very term quantum gravity, and many other things. It seems likely to me that he was allowed to become a self-described physicist because of some political interference as well and the GOP should look into this crackpot as soon as it sends the climate alarmists to Gitmo. Well, after all, he may be on that airplane as well, anyway, despite his absolutely fraudulent pretending that he was a climate skeptic at one moment.

The next question is from biology:
Why are there different types of cells?
This is really a bogus question used for promotion because the separation of cells to "types" is mostly a matter of conventions, as those who understand stem cells would probably agree, and the reason why the cells need to specialize in an advanced organism is self-evident – a uniform pile of cells isn't too fit to survive. The list you may be offered has hundreds of entries and you're unlikely to believe that it's impossible that two of them should be merged or one of them is missing. Geneticist Fyodor Urnov was chosen as an expert here. Stockton constructs a very lame "analogy" to politics:
Nobody may ever know exactly how Donald Trump won the 2016 election. Was it simply electoral math? How influential was social media? What about those Russian hackers? James Comey? Benghazi? What causes what, indeed.
Oh, sure. You know, the "number of types of cells" is not a well-defined quantity but the procedures leading to the selection of the U.S. president are pretty much exactly stated and followed. And these rules imply, among other things, that even if a Russian hacker, James Comey, or Benghazi mattered a lot, it changes nothing about the result of the election and its importance. So the political problem that Stockton emits fog about is actually much more rigorously well-defined than the question that Stockton presented as hard science.

The next question is:
How many universes are there?
Nomura along with Alan Guth are the quoted experts here. It's being sketched that the multiverse is being justified by the small cosmological constant and it may lead to the loss of predictivity etc. Stockton's analogy with politics is:
This would lead to unthinkable occurrences, like maybe the spontaneous appearance of a national health care plan that everybody can agree on.
It's implicitly said that a health care system that America could agree upon is extremely unlikely to materialize. But the multiverse isn't a tool to make insanely unlikely events somewhere in the bulk of the spacetime more likely than they are. In the bulk of the spacetime, the dynamical laws – I mostly mean some effective field theories – that we know are obeyed. If some probabilities are radically affected by the multiverse paradigm, it's the probabilities of some initial conditions – or parameters – of the visible Universe we inhabit. So Stockton's "application" of the multiverse to politics is just plain wrong. He was writing "multiverse" but he was probably thinking about Boltzmann Brains, instead.
What killed all the megafauna?
Beth Shapiro discusses whether it was the climate or the humans. You know, even though it's not as urgent as the climate hysteria, this stuff should get a congressional review, too. It seems like another discipline affected by all this ideological garbage trying to turn the man into the main villain. Men either did it directly, or "someone else" did it, but the "someone else" (climate change) is currently a "sin" attributed to the contemporary humans, so both answers are ultimately studied in order to blame the humans.

I don't believe that there is actual evidence that the death of the megafauna had to be caused either by the climate change or by the humans. Possible alternatives may include collisions with celestial bodies or just some success or evolutionary improvement of the megafauna's natural foes (different from humans – perhaps germs). Or the megafauna could have believed a suicidal cult – similar to the cults spread by the hardcore Left today – and the big animals could have erased themselves voluntarily. And even though the "megafauna" science isn't as notorious for its sleeping with the hardcore Left, I do think that the same left-wing ideology is having a nonzero effect on this discipline, too.

It seems clear that any science – e.g. related to ecology, health, ... – that can be quoted as a reason for regulation is affected by the partisan politics and ideology, to one extent or another, and I think that we have a plenty of particular anecdotal evidence on top of this general argument, too.

The final section is dedicated to the climate change and I have already discussed it a lot. Stockton's goal is to make it look analogous. Except that it is a shameful propaganda and except for the most hopelessly gullible readers, everyone can see the actual difference. The science of climate change is by far the most politicized scientific discipline of the present – and one where the funding most brutally depends on the character of the answer that the hired "researchers" offer. That's why they are motivated to produce one type of answers and that's what their majority has been doing for almost three decades now.

Because you hide this huge difference, you're either absolutely dishonest (if you understand the truth) or shockingly stupid (if you don't), Mr Stockton. Both adjectives are pretty damning.

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