Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Advent calendar #7: Bullshit with equations

“In [high energy] quantum physics, to observe something, you have to create it. Now this sounds scarily close to bullshit. But if it is bullshit, then at least it's bullshit with equations.”

~Frank Wilczek, public lecture at Perimeter Institute

(Recycled from November 2008)


Steven Colyer said...

Ha! Good one! How's S(10) coming along, Frank?

"The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces" by Frank was a pleasant read. He has quite the sense of humor, not over the top but not too subtle, either. Also Frank, when is your murder mystery coming out?

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

I regrettably missed that PI public lecture. I am wondering if he added the proviso that although much bullshit is found acceptable by theorists it’s only the best bullshit that’s applicable to nature, being that which has demonstratably been shown to agree with her and not just what they think she should accept:-)

"You are the only person with whom I am actually willing to come to terms. Almost all the other fellows do not look from the facts to the theory but from the theory to the facts; they cannot extricate themselves from a once accepted conceptual net, but only flop about in it in a grotesque way."

-Albert Einstein (Letter to Erwin Schrödinger)



Plato said...

Better late, then never?

One could check out the bullshit I guess? :) 2008.....gosh how time flies.

Anticipating a new Golden Age

Again to link in posted comment eraBen Schumacher


Plato said...

Hmmmmmmm......I guess only slides work now?


Uncle Al said...

(physical reality) - (empirical reality) = bullshit
bullshit + equations = economics

Given: affluent cohort A and impoverished cohort B. Nonreciprocated interest of B in A demands self-empowerment. B is then the _canada_ of A, B = canada(A).

The _canada_ function can be applied externally and globally and also internally and recursively, hence The Fractal Theory of Canada: For all B there exists B' such that B' = canada(B)

canada(Einstein) = Newton
canada(Newton) = Galileo
canada(Galileo) = Philoponus
canada(Philoponus) = quantum gravitation
canada(quantum gravitation) = string theory
canada(string theory) = quantum gravitation

canada(standard model) = drylabbing

Zephir said...

Physicists tend to extrapolate their equations into fuzzy reality, because they're trained so, it's their gnoseological bias. The examples of such artifacts are Higgs boson or gravitational waves, which are products of approximations of formal models, but in reality they manifest like the noise.

Plato said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Plato said...

Now a person's country and it's economy? Really Uncle Al?:)

Even for a smart Mensa man, your logic is terrible;)drylabbing? LOL

In theory only then, we can jump to conclusions? Qui!\non?


Kay zum Felde said...

Better to have something to rule out, than having nothing

Best, Kay