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Wall for Ron Maimon

By the way, when I am cussing people out, I mostly make myself laugh too. It's done without emotion, or at least, without hostile emotion, just as a rhetorical flourish to do the propaganda properly. So if you laugh, that's the intended effect. If you think "whoa, Ron is steaming angry!" That's usually false.
Jul 9, 2014 by Ron Maimon
I read Lubos's earlier article when he claimed he had already read the thesis. The problem with the second article is the same: Lubos is not criticizing the content of the Everett formalism, rather he is criticizing the PHILOSOPHICAL BAGGAGE around it. The philosophical baggage is fine, but it requires a lot of rejiggering of your concepts around, and maybe Motl doesn't want to do that, fair enough. But once you do make this rejiggering, everything Everett says is perfectly coherent and consistent, even the philosophy.

The main content of the thesis is information theoretic. He reviews information theory, and identifies the interpretation problem of quantum mechanics interpretation as the problem of the relationship between a quantum description of matter and a classical information description of the histories. He then asks the question "how can one embed classical information in a wavefunction description consistently?"

The answer he gives, which is correct and insightful, is that you can attach classical information to the various branches of decohered alternatives that come out through the self-interaction of the quantum system, including the environment. He notices the tree-like structure of the wavefunction domain, and the separation into non-interacting branches, and identifies the branch-label as the classical information.

He then shows how to define probabilities on these alternatives using a Born-rule, but this time deriving the measure as the consistent probability measure one can assign to the classical information given that you need a small wavefunction to mean zero probability. The deduction of the measure is not problematic, if you understand that it is not supposed to be a deduction in the sense of a deduction of a law from previous laws, rather a NEW law for the probabilities derived by self consistency with the other laws.

Everett deduces what can be deduced, no more. He is doing everything coldly and precisely, and his only sin is not matching Bohr's philosophy. Everett's philosophy, frankly, is simply better than Bohr's. But even if you like Bohr's philosophy, rejecting Everett's analysis of the mechanism of splitting of the alternatives is ridiculous--- it's the correct analysis of what happens to wavefunctions in QM.

I worked out Everett's interpretation for myself as a teenager, I thought I had done something new for a while, because all the descriptions I read of many-worlds in the literature sounded like nonsense. When I read Everett's thesis, it was clear Everett was doing the correct thing, not the nonsense, and there was a collection of philosophically prejudiced people who didn't want to admit that quantum mechanics had any kind of realistic interpretation. Such an interpretation exists, like it or not, whether you accept it or not, because Everett is self-consistent. There is nothing to say about this.

But Everett did a lot more than I did, he derived a bunch of methods for identifying branches, matching them with classical information, and he derived an information theoretic uncertainty principle which is jaw-dropping, because it's really the first complete statement of Heisenberg's principle in the literature, all the other formulations are suboptimal compared to this.

The paper is a masterpiece of physics, and in the early 90s, myself and a bunch of other people helped (along with Gell-Mann) to rehabilitate it. It's reputation is very high now, and Motl is in the minority. The work is finished.

From doing this internet propaganda in the early years of the internet, I learned how to do propaganda. You don't appeal to emotion, or to reason, or anything. You just SHOUT. And REPEAT, and explain the position, and let the reader defend it for himself.

In the end, most readers agree with you (if you are right), but they will come up to you, much as you did, and say "While you are right, I see that, you are doing yourself a disservice by being so emotional--- you aren't persuasive...."

But I persuaded this reader! The fact is, I am persuasive, and maximally so. When there is a hostile political environment, if a paper is called "bullshit" or "pseudoscience", you need to first MOCK the idiots calling it that, so as to establish a level playing field. That means calling them "douchebag", "fuckwit", "turd-brain", etc, so that both you and the other person sound like children fighting in the playground, no authority.

Then you need to state the objective case (after the name-calling and cussing, or simultaneously), and then wait. If you are objectively right, people will sort it out on their own time, you don't have to do anything. The people who didn't sort it out will say "oh my, there's a controversy" and will keep an open mind.

It's classic propaganda techniques, and it can be used for good as easily as it can be used for evil. Of course, when calling people idiots for not agreeing with material that is called crackpot, you had better be careful, because if you are not right about the material, if it is crackpot, you are gone for good. The main difficulty is evaluating the work well, understanding it fully, and making sure that it is not crackpot, before posting the first cussword.

Lubos as a conservative sometimes uses a form of authority to evaluate claims, unfortunately. He's not the only one, everyone does it to some extent, but in this case, it's a deeply rooted problem, because he simply is incapable of seeing quantum mechanics in any way other than the way Bohr saw it. This is a pity, as it is important to be able to switch philosophical positions in order to understand the contributions of different authors.
Jul 9, 2014 by Ron Maimon
@ron I entirely agree with you on Lubos in that he can sometimes be a complete and utter dick, although a complete amateur compared to you. There is no dick meter out there with enough dynamic range to include your level of dickness and obnoxiousness. Dude, you're a genius in the art but you make me laugh over it mostly :)

Still, I'm disappointed that you missed the opportunity to discuss the physics calmly just as you did in the Cold Fusion article.

This is his other and main article on Everett's Many Worlds theory which Lubos did read, giving a great review:


Lubos has been very patient and fair in these comments, so why didn't you just calmly criticize his view?
Jul 8, 2014 by physicsnewbie
That's right, I was countering his obnoxious propaganda with equally obnoxious propaganda of my own. Lubos is the master of loud-mouth antics, he does this all the time, he calls people names. The only difference is he disguises it by not using ALL CAPS. I make it obvious when I do this stuff.

It's not emotional, it is simply designed to remove blinkers of authority, and it is extremely effective. It allows a single person to debate 5 people ganging up on the person and yet still make the reader ignore the force of numbers, and weight the arguments equally.

I was being somewhat loud and obnoxious, but NOWHERE NEAR as obnoxious as Motl, crapping all over an already-hounded physicist with nonsense remarks that betray only philosophical prejudice. My policy: if you call Everett names, expect to get called names back, by me.

Now, it's his blog, and I don't expect him to be impartial. But the type of commentary there is not healthy, it consists of people following a Motl cult-of-personality, enforced by the deletion of heckling. It's his choice, but I don't like it.

Other than Everett and global warming, his science commentary is honest. Even with global warming, he made an honest demolition of some anti-global-warming pseudoscience recently very honestly and very well. It's just annoying that he won't tolerate the type of internet bashing he dishes out when it is turned back on him.
Jul 8, 2014 by Ron Maimon
@ron err... you were being very loud and obnoxious with your CAPS and "blah blah blah"s there, making you come across as a loud mouthed oaf that had nothing technical to argue with.

And yeah, it is to do with politics, the policy of filtering out people that make the atmosphere emotional and chaotic which isn't helpful to the furthering of science. Science is furthered by facts, not name calling loud mouthed antics :)
Jul 8, 2014 by physicsnewbie
Lubos did not think any such thing, he just blocked me for political reasons. I will not be unblocked, he is no longer functioning as an honest scientist, he is being politically manipulated by others, and  I will have nothing further to do with Motl.
Jul 8, 2014 by Ron Maimon
Lubos thinks you were replying to him, when you were replying to that clueless arse licker Martin. He's been corrected and should have unblocked you by now, but I guess he feels he owes something to Martin for him licking his bum

It's not that people think you're a "lunatic", you're letting yourself down by getting angry, rather than sticking to remaining calm and arguing your case, since you've studied the paper.

It's pretty ironic that Lubos believes that Sidney Coleman's lecture on Quantum Mechanics In Your Face is the correct way to teach QM: http://media.physics.harvard.edu/video/?id=SidneyColeman_QMIYF

Yet at 1:04:17 in the Q&A session he says: "Everett wrote this one... truly wonderful paper... the position at least I'm advocating is largely inspired by Everett's paper... whether it's his position or not I would prefer not to discuss..."

So there you have it, Sidney sees what you see, and Lubos doesn't.
Jul 5, 2014 by physicsnewbie
Lubos has blocked my comments on his blog, that is ridiculous. The guy can dish it out but can't take it? That's not reasonable.
Jul 5, 2014 by Ron Maimon
Lubos is not "beating me", simply because he is not right. I don't care if I come off sounding like a lunatic, the content is accurate, and I guess that Lubos will come around shortly, after he understands the content of the formalism (and the nifty informational variational principle). These are great things, and he can't help seeing the genius there, once it clicks. He knows how to read physics, he just has a block on this topic, and it's not a thing he should be ashamed of, because Bohr had the same block.

I wrote about it extensively in 1992-94, when it was relevant and topical, because at the time, the field was actually debating the merits of Everett's paper. It's over now, Everett won, he's accepted, Lubos is in a tiny powerless minority. For cold fusion, the same change hasn't happened yet, so this is the place one should focus attention.

The only target I have there is Lubos Motl--- I hope that he can be convinced quickly that Everett's paper is not crackpottery or insanity. He is sincere in what he writes, and he is capable of evaluating technical stuff.

Anyway, thanks.
Jul 5, 2014 by Ron Maimon
While the Cold Fusion paper is delayed, how about writing an article for lubos explaining how you think Everett's paper is correct and original?

I've been reading your interesting replies to Lubos and that dipsh** Martin, where you seem to be letting off steam. Lubos is beating you because his replies are calm, measured and devastatingly precise whereas yours are very emotional.
Jul 5, 2014 by physicsnewbie

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