Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose..............J.B.S. Haldane
Quantum Mechanics is not only stranger than you imagine, but stranger than you can imagine ............(a version attributed to Richard Feynman)
And Joy on whatever other holidays you may choose to celebrate.
Alexander at 30 something grieved that there were no more world's to conquer. Robbert Dijkgraaf writing in Quanta, asks whether physics has reached that sad state. While he concludes in the negative, his denial sounds more like "hey, we can still add a few decimal points here and there." Lubos Motl and Peter Woit both have commentaries up today, and Lubos is predictably outraged at his one time coauthor, and Peter is more measured. The Universe still has some puzzles for us of course, but it is not clear that their understanding will have the same kinds of revolutionary import that the discoveries of Newton, Maxwell, Einstein and the quantum theorists have had. In particular, the Cosmos is starting to feel a bit cramped. Of course it is indeed large beyond our imaginings, but there don't seem to be dragons out there, or at least not dragons that we don't already know about. Black holes, quasars, gamma ray bursters all seem to fit pretty neatly under known la
In an earlier comment, William Connolley wrote that he thought the US was "wealthist but not racist." I want to assure him that he is quite wrong. The history of racism in the US started with slavery but continued with Jim Crow. The cardinal principle of Jim Crow was denying blacks the right to vote. This policy was ensured by law and violence, with widespread lynching being the go to sanction. The passage of the voting rights act during the 1960's was the first solid hole in this policy, and it turned the South from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican. Ever since, the Republican Party has depended on racist support for it core voters. The scumbags of the Republican Supreme court gutted the Voting Rights Act, and ever since the Republican Party has made a career of suppressing the black vote. Techniques today are a bit more subtle than in the hay day of the KKK - burdensome voter registration rules, placing voting sites far from predominantly Black neighborho
I am arguing with Connolley again. The occasion is his review ( http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2021/02/the-tyranny-of-merit.html ) of a book called the Tyranny of Merit. It's not likely to be a book I would read, because I'm a lot more concerned about the tyranny of folly. Dr. Connolley, and perhaps the author, manage to wander into the thorny philosophical territory of the meaning of value, justice, and merit. Can we say anything about these except that opinions differ? Connolley: " The assertion (p 136) that Hayek doesn't understand that things other than market value, have value, is drivel. So what we get is a fatal problem for his theory: market value isn't moral worth. His answer (again, p 136) is to take market value as a proxy for social contribution, which is lying worthy of Plato. In his version, free-market liberalism differs from meritocracy. In mine, it doesn't." Dr. C tends to get a bit vituperative, which tends to have a bad effect on me,