Category Archives: open science / collab / collective intel

latest on killing copenhagen interpretation via fluid dynamics

⭐ ❗ 💡 😎 😮 ❤ hi all. bohr was transfixed by so-called "complementarity"; its said schroedingers cat is both alive and dead, and curiosity killed the cat. wikipedia states[n6]

In the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, the wave function is the most complete description that can be given of a physical system.

but wait, if that is against inquiring deeper, isnt that nearly an anti-curiosity-investigation-research position/ pov? and isnt anti-curiosity-investigation-research nearly anti-science? 😮

copenhagen interpretation is sometimes referred to as the shut up and calculate ideology by questioners/ challengers/ critics in a statement originating with one of them, Mermin, an adept popsci writer and fan of Bells work. here is a famous quote that sounds like a near restatement of the copenhagen interpretation by Feynman:

Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get “down the drain”, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.

I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.

now how about a somewhat radical quote/ response from Daniel Sank, Phd working for Google QM labs?

The other day someone from the WSJ asked me to explain why quantum mechanics is weird.

I went off on a rather well-reasoned and carefully articulated rant about how it’s not weird and that people only say that to sound cool.

I even went so far as to say that Feynman’s famous statement that {anyone who thinks they understand quantum mechanics is wrong} is destructive, stupid, and should not be repeated.

whoa, strong words there! however maybe somewhat unexpectedly, both somewhat agree/ disagree! yet, alas, somehow think DS is not really intending to challenge the copenhagen interpretation with his dramatic excoriation of feynman!* DS is also on the (chat) record as averse to/ strongly rejecting “alternative interpretations”. which to me is not really scientific, where to me conceptual evolution/ scientific progress inherently entails/ involves never stopping/ ceasing questioning how can it be like that?

oh, coincidentally right around writing all this, just ran into another striking quote by John Rennie a very high ranking member of physics stack exchange on the “1st Law,” with high ranking mod ACuriousMind immediately agreeing:

no physicist shall discuss interpretations of quantum mechanics or by inaction allow interpretations of quantum mechanics to be discussed.

lol and now this seems to reach/ degenerate to the absurd levels of Epimenides paradox when one asks the simple question, are Bohr/ Heisenberg, the founders of the Copenhagen interpretation, physicists? …so is this physics or fight club? 😮 o_O 🙄

* further search jujitsu by me, managed to turn up another striking quote by DS expressly rejecting Copenhagen interpretation… more strong words!

Listen to me very closely: I am a quantum computing professional and I think the Copenhagen interpretation is not even self-consistent and therefore entirely inadmissible as a theory of Nature.

and to finish on a different note, think this captures something relevant/ accurate/ typically unspoken “between the lines” by mod ACuriousMind, a sort of “non-interpretation” approach at least )( admitted openly/ candidly/ honestly:

Of those named, Copenhagen is the most popular, but my impression is that a significant number of people actually doing quantum physics every day share my personal disdain for all the squabbles around “interpretations”.

(so then, bottom line/ in conclusion… Copenhagen as that which shall not be named? aka scientific omerta, “code of silence”) 😳 😮 🙄

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

have been collecting physics links on a diverse set of topics that are not unified yet but think will someday be unified. the general area is now sometimes known as Pilot Wave Hydrodynamics (PWH) also aka/ known as “oil drop dynamics experiments”. the Bohmian pilot wave was speculated on for many decades, and soliton theory combined with new experimental findings has given rise to a new reality, science, and growing research area/ program/ paradigm! but it exists alongside in a tension right now with “standard” quantum mechanics.

the stage has been set! its two large plates shearing against each other. when will the inevitable top/ pivotal showdown/ confrontation/ conflict/ earthquake occur? think its just a matter of time! (admittedly 1 is far much smaller than the other right now, but relatively shortly, predict that will flip-flop.) my feeling/ estimate/ prediction is there is at least 1 nobel to be won in the next 5-10 yrs in this area, and several in store over several decades!* signifying/ corresponding with an imminent genuine physics paradigm shift/ revolution in the 21st century at least on the scale of QM in the 20th.

* 😳 o_O (note, however, some fineprint/ hedging/ reality check on this superficially bold-appearing claim! nobels are clearly not comprehensive/ thorough/ totally evenhanded, eg Einstein did not win one for relativity! also, they are often awarded up to decades after the date of the actual accomplishment! therefore to thoroughly invalidate the claim might take decades!)

would like to write a comprehensive survey based on several years of juicy links but thats a herculean task. even just collecting/ writing up the latest batch is a formidable task. these are some of the big highlights for me.

there are a lot of boundary-pushing experiments in qm lately.[a]

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norbert blum P vs NP attack goes CYBER-SCIENCE-VIRAL!

⭐ 💡 ❗ 😀 😎 ❤ hi all! want to write a lot on this, have all kinds of impressions and things to say on one of my favorite topics in the world for 2½ decades now and which this blog is partly dedicated to, but am starting out by just collecting some links vacuumed up mostly today for others to check out, the top locations for commentary. unf there is not really a key/ central place so far where all the action is happening. will be adding to this post as time goes on. its very hard to figure out when to time a post wrt very fast moving developments like this, but my trigger just hit mostly right after RJLipton[a10] blogged about it. oh yeah, that comment by gowers that “I think it may reach the level where the experts feel that it needs to be checked” is highly triggering for me too (referring ofc to himself in 3rd person, maybe being more than a bit )( coy about this— doncha just love hardcore mathematicians! which reminds me of the joke about shoelaces…) … oh and then theres also fortnow who literally wrote the book on it! (oh yeah wrt that theres this by RJL too!) 😛

it looks like the Norbert Blum paper[a14][a15] basically went “pop/ scientific viral” today or so probably after mentions on Reddit[a8][a9] and Hacker News.[a11] of the experts Trevisan[a1] was the first to wager a reaction along with some curious onlookers like Baez[a2] and verging-on-jester-or-gadfly-or-even-troll Motl[a5] who along with some mild conspiracy theory about CS research(ers) (lol!) says, wrt the #1 top problem in TCS…

Except that unlike the case of string theory, there exists absolutely no rational evidence that there exists something stunning waiting to be discovered.

@#$% 😡 👿 ❗ whoa, fighting words and/ or near-sacrilege there! excuse me, what is “stunning” is that the problem with $1M prize over 1½ decade has eluded/ stymied/ thwarted the worlds greatest scientific minds for almost ½ century now! and the proof either way, in whatever shape or form, will be assuredly stunning to anyone who isnt jaded or a nihilist! hey physics bozo! think of a great experiment that guaranteed leads to an extraordinary answer either way! arent there any examples like that in your field anyway? or is maybe someone looking a little envious over there? or out of the loop or maybe dont even know how to flirt at all? :mrgreen:

the TCS stackexchange post by a n00b newbie (who didnt know enough to not ask! hows that for “zen beginners mind”?) is now up to 136-4 votes and 28K hits (thursday eve 8/17).[a3] (joy that the lame heavyhanded/ constricting/ dictatorial policy of the self-appointed cyber spoilsports and partypoopers also long criticized here in this blog, is overruled by striking mass opposition!) that post slipped my radar for a few days! found the paper on the 1st day (monday this wk) but thought it might stay “unviral” (you know, like those killer viruses locked in the… thawing… arctic, right?) based esp on the last Hauptmann attempt.[a12][a13]

discovered the big commotion today via reddit myself and spent excited hours poking through sites! but my hits on the Hauptmann blog post had been creeping/ climbing up massively all week, merely from google searches (many from germany), and figured it was due to questions on the Blum attempt. turns out theyre both profs at the same university! (Bonn/ Germany) pardon me but wtf?!?… some kind of story there eh? are any reporters listening?

cyberspace is such a joy sometimes, in my quasi-bipolar days, mostly-sometimes seemingly very flat for days, weeks, months, even years at a time, this is a massive manic spike for me… the adrenalin is flowing! didnt sleep as well this week! there is so much cybersynchronicity to this, must admit, its a very rare event, am myself (and defensively, some others are too) having a bit of a mini-cyber-orgasm so far… 💡 😮 o_O 🙄 ❗

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love/ hate letter to stackexchange summer 2017 at ½ decade mark

hi all, have now been on stackexchange over 5 yrs, focusing on CS-related groups, mainly theoretical computer science and the computer science sites. its been a wild ride and full of a lot of color and online adventures. the cyber culture is quite rich. full of dynamic psychology and ripe for a sociological/ anthropological study. when finding this site early on and seeing their rapid growth, thought it could be a like a mini-facebook. but alas, there are really no other mini-facebooks! (lol at someone-or-other who told me in chat not long ago that SE is not a “social networking system”!) its a winner-take-all situation in capitalism and mirrored in cyberspace.

for 4 years focused on building up my online rep. shew, it sure/ really isnt easy! esp if one wants to have a personal style to their posts! the site culture is very “left brained”. analytical. exacting. its that old japanese expr applied to cyberspace:

the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.

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Royen proof of gaussian correlation inequality

hi all theres been a recent shock of awareness of the Royen proof of gaussian correlation inequality, pop-sci publicized by Wolchover for Quanta, a big milestone… this is a nearly ½-century-open problem![a] Quanta funded by Simons institute is one of the top outlets for scientific/ mathematical writing around today. a real community resource/ treasure!

the Royen proof is not exactly my area so cant write a lot on it but do note that its a key case study in dynamics of scientific peer review, and seems like it has some parallels to the ongoing mochizuki proof analysis.[b] it took over ~1½ year for “community” to begin to grasp the correctness of this proof and Wolchover has a nice historical timeline for how others began to notice/ accept it, a mapping of the spread of awareness. it did not help that Royen was somewhat isolated and did not seem to personally contact any cohorts for peer review. he published openly but it got lost in the noise. it shows how community acceptance is sometimes far from a black/ white binary decision, esp for “big problems”.

is there any way to improve peer review? its definitely a bit of an achilles heel of the scientific process. my feeling is that there is no way to improve it very much except maybe to try to increase transparency somehow. its very similar to the problem of “fake news”. how do you measure quality in content? we live in the vast Information Age but as has long been noted, theres a big difference between Information and Wisdom, and in a way peer review is the major mechanism that is designed to separate/ discriminate the two.

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AI 2017 — poker milestone passed/ crumbled

hi all. AI technology is really exploding in the last few years. the last big post/ compilation on the subj here was ~½ year ago and the links piled up in a blur since then. the main trigger for this post: the game of poker now seems to have “folded” to computer supremacy. a new paper was published on Deepstack and its highly competitive play, and Libratus is $800K up in a recent match against top experts (top players). my understanding is that there is still some weakness in multiplayer games and that the new breakthru is for 1-1 games, human vs computer, but presumably that razor-thin human edge might also melt away quickly.[a]

poker was a very good game for humans wrt our inherent/ evolved psychology. we (top humans that is) seem to have an intuitive grasp of how to bet based on the strength of cards, including the use of bluffing. it took computers until the 21st century to master this stuff. but it looks like they just passed the threshhold again. in a small surprise, it wasnt done by Deepmind but which is behind many other near-monthly, even verging on weekly breakthroughs.[c]

maybe not by total coincidence, the winning Libratus algorithm involves training a neural network to accurately estimate the search tree, quite similar to the Deepmind Go strategy that made huge headlines just a year ago. the media hasnt picked up on the poker competition as much as it did with Go… is it because cautious/ publicity shy academics have less PR instinct than google? or less budget? but maybe that “relatively low profile” will change in the weeks/ months ahead. hopefully there will be a very high profile contest that again captures widespread public interest/ imagination.

it seems the top poker competitions are typically held in Las Vegas afaik… what would it take to get the computers in that? wouldnt be cool if say Vegas (or some other high profile gambling center) decided to publicize it to attract attn/ tourism? but would the computer algorithms be competitive in the top multiplayer games? there have been increasing/ huge audiences for poker over last few years, not sure what all the factors are in in this surge (internet gambling might play a role…)

its neat to see academia still at the top of competitive research in AI. but that seems to be thinning somewhat over last few years as the massive corporations Google[b], Microsoft, Apple,[g] Facebook, Intel [f] and misc other corps [e] are snapping up AI talent like its a feverish arms race, and to some degree it is. theres also very fast/ dynamic startup/ other merger activity going on, and new research laboratories being founded.[h]

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