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)


  1. 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?

  2. 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)



  3. 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


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


  5. (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

  6. 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.

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  8. 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?


  9. Better to have something to rule out, than having nothing

    Best, Kay


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