Terminal Greenhouse Crisis.

April 15, 2014

A CRASH TECH PROGRAM IS NEEDED, & HAS TO INVOLVE HYDROGEN.

At the present rate of greenhouse gases emissions, within nine years, massively lethal climate and oceanic changes are guaranteed.

Such is the conclusion one can draw from the Inter Governmental Panel On Climate Change of the UN (the IPCC, with its top 300 climate scientists from all over the world). About 78% of the emissions have to do with heating, cooking, and basic, necessary industrial activities, such as making cement. They are not elective.

As Bad As An Asteroid?

As Bad As An Asteroid?

Notes: CO2 FOLU = CO2 emissions from Forestry and Other Land Use. F-gases = Fluorinated gases covered under the Kyoto Protocol.

At the right side of the figure: Emissions of each greenhouse gas with associated error bars (90% confidence interval).

Only a crash program of construction of several hundreds of new technology nuclear fission plants, an all-out renewable energy program, with massive solar plants all over the American South and the (similar latitude) Sahara desert, plus a massive hydrogen economy to store the wind and solar energy could allow us to mitigate the massive lethal change incoming.

In other words, it is already too late to avoid the massive lethal change.

What’s the problem? Simple mathematics. It’s evaluated that human activities in the last century or so released 515 billion tons of greenhouse gases. The IPCC and the best experts believe that 800 to 1,000 billion tons of such gases would bring a rise of global temperatures of two degrees Celsius.

At the present rate, that’s nine years to reach the upper reaches: one trillion tons of GHG. 

Most of the temperature rise will be in the polar regions, melting those, and inducing worldwide climate catastrophe, especially if emissions of polar methane turn apocalyptic. The polar regions are the Achilles heel of the Earth’s present biosphere. By striking there mostly, enormous changes can be brought to bear, as they would destroy the Earth’s air conditioning and oceanic circulation.

In 2014, trade winds in the Pacific had four times the energy they usually have, creating abnormally intense ocean upwelling off the west coast of North America, thus a high pressure ridge (thus a drought there), causing a world wide oscillation of the jet stream that dragged cold polar air down the east coast of the USA, before rebounding as continual storms and rain on the west coast of Europe, and so forth.

Nobody can say the weather was normal: precipitation in England beat all records, dating 250 years, whereas most of California experienced extreme drought.

At this point, warm water is piling down to 500 meters depth in the western Pacific in what looks like a preparation for a massive El Nino, similar to the one in 1997-98. If this happens, global temperature records will be smashed next year.

Massively lethal means death to the world as we know it, by a thousand cuts. It means cuts to democracy, privacy, life span, food intake. Some of these are already in plain sight: the Ukraine war is already a war about gas, no less an authority as dictator Putin says so.

Tom Friedman in “Go Ahead, Vladimir, Make My Day.” takes the situation lightly. “SO the latest news is that President Vladimir Putin of Russia has threatened to turn off gas supplies to Ukraine if Kiev doesn’t pay its overdue bill, and, by the way, Ukraine’s pipelines are the transit route for 15 percent of gas consumption for Europe. If I’m actually rooting for Putin to go ahead and shut off the gas, does that make me a bad guy?

Because that is what I’m rooting for, and I’d be happy to subsidize Ukraine through the pain. Because such an oil shock, though disruptive in the short run, could have the same long-term impact as the 1973 Arab oil embargo — only more so. That 1973 embargo led to the first auto mileage standards in America and propelled the solar, wind and energy efficiency industries. A Putin embargo today would be even more valuable because it would happen at a time when the solar, wind, natural gas and energy efficiency industries are all poised to take off and scale. So Vladimir, do us all a favor, get crazy, shut off the oil and gas to Ukraine and, even better, to all of Europe. Embargo! You’ll have a great day, and the rest of the planet will have a great century.”

It’s not so simple. The investments needed are massive, and all the massive investments so far have to do with fracking… Which is, ecologically speaking, a disaster. 3% methane leakage makes fracking worse than burning coal. And this leakage is apparently happening.

Unbelievably, some of the countries with coal beds got the bright idea to burn the coal underground. Australia, about the worst emitter of CO2 per capita, experimented with that. It had to be stopped, because some particularly toxic gases (such as toluene) were coming out, not just the CH4 and CO the apprentice sorcerers were looking for.

Carbon Capture and Storage does not exist (but for very special cases in half a dozen special locations, worldwide, not the thousands of locales needed). And CSS will not exist (profitably).

What technology exist that could be developed (but is not yet)? Not just Thorium reactors. The hydrogen economy is a low key, and indispensable economy. Water can be broken by electricity from wind and sun, and then energy can be stored, under the form of hydrogen. Nothing else can do it: batteries are unable to store energy efficiently (and there is not enough Lithium to make trillions of Lithium batteries).

The hydrogen technology pretty much exist, including for efficient storage under safe form (one thick plate of a material that cannot be set aflame can store 600 liters of hydrogen).

Another advantage of storing hydrogen is that oxygen would be released. Although it may seem absurd to worry about this, too much acidity in the ocean (from absorption of CO2) could lead to phytoplankton die-off, and the removal of half of oxygen production.

In this increasingly weird world, that’s where we are at.

Oh, by the way, how to stop Putin? Europe should tell the dictator he can keep his gaz. Now. As good an occasion to start defending the planet, and not just against fascism.

Patrice Aymé

 

 

 

Plutocracy, USA, Switzerland, EU.

April 13, 2014

Plutocracy is to politics what cancer is to life. It’s malignant, invasive, pervasive, and a killer.

Such is the obvious banner one should use at the top of one’s thoughts, when reading:

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/04/12/3426152/wealthy-lobbyists-policy/

As said there: “When organized interest groups or economic elites want a particular policy passed, there’s a strongly likelihood their wishes will come true. But when average citizens support something, they have next to no influence.”

Representative politics is already, to start with, if not dictatorship, at least intrinsically oligarchic.

See:

http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/representative-politics-is-dictatorship/

What to do about it? Well, do what works. Other countries, from Japan to the EU, have tried to reduce the influence of money in politics, just as it was augmented in the USA. But one has to go much further.

A way out is to do what Switzerland has been increasingly doing in the last three decades; have We The People vote the laws (through “votations”, every three months), and let the parliament (= Congress; or the “Federal” as the Swiss put it) figure out the details of the laws We The People passed (Courts and the like also chip in to check the proposed laws are constitutional).

As a result, Switzerland has an increasingly mighty anti-plutocratic arsenal, including all sorts of caps and regulations on the wealthy and banks. And more are coming… Every three months. Income caps have even been proposed (Republican Rome had those, 23 centuries ago!). They were rejected, but more subtle caps are coming.

Being a professional politician in Switzerland is increasingly difficult, and of little interest. The People (demos) is increasingly ruling: People-power: Demos-kratos.

Another positive effect has been on wealth of the Demos and the economy. Switzerland’s unemployment rate has collapsed (in spite of colossal immigration, higher in percentage than the peaks ever experienced by the USA). The wealth per capita is now much higher than in the rest of Europe, or the USA (main source of wealth: pharmaceuticals, and high tech).

Nowadays, everybody who can, and know, wants to live in Switzerland: the population has augmented by 15% in ten years.

So We The People (of Switzerland) voted an obscure law that demands, within three years, to somehow constrict the migratory flux from the EU to Schweiz. The EU screamed a lot, in righteous indignation.

(The German president even allowed himself to suggest, several times, that total democracy went a bridge too far in Switzerland, in obvious allusion to Nazism… Thus demonstrating that he was not aware that Nazism was a plutocratic phenomenon masquerading as populism. Nazism had nothing to do with the democracy in Switzerland, and more to do with what Putin is doing: sending armed assassins.)

An obvious solution to Europe’s Swiss problem is to realize that it’s Europe that is the problem.

The solution? Make the rest of Europe more democratic, and thus wealthier, by imitating what is done in Suisse.

Lack of democracy is leading to the greatest evil of them all, the destruction of the biosphere. See how dramatic it is getting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/science/earth/un-climate-panel-warns-speedier-action-is-needed-to-avert-disaster.html?hp

What’s the relationship between deterioration of the climate, and deterioration of the democracy? It’s not just that fossil fuels favor top heavy organizations. It’s also that evil is what evil does: Pluto, by definition, loves what’s bad, and even satanic…

The deterioration of the democratic climate implies that of the planet.

Patrice Aymé

http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/stagnation-plutocratic-index/

Stagnation & PLUTOCRATIC INDEX

April 11, 2014

What drives economic and social stagnation? What drives the sort of stagnation ever more economists agree we are experiencing now? Well, the Greco-Roman example is clear enough. In Rome, three things got abated, causing stagnation: the law and justice, democracy, and, finally, after a few generations, technological progress became unable to sustain society.

Thus Greco-Roman society imploded spectacularly in nearly all ways, from intellect, to military, to demographics, economics, politics, justice, etc.

The beauty of my analysis is that, in spite of its variegated effects, the degenerative stagnation into oblivion of Rome had just one common cause: the blossoming of the plutocratic effect. In my book, plutocratization is not just an hereditary phenomenon, but also, more deeply, an effect on the mood, the mentality of the empire.

The Bluer, The More Owned By The Hyper Rich A Country Was in 2009

The Bluer, The More Owned By The Hyper Rich A Country Was in 2009

[The Gini index, above, is the one century old notion used to evaluate wealth; I boldly propose a more advanced and cynical notion, the plutocratic index; see below. In the picture above, one can see that the Gini coefficient correlates positively with violence in a society; also notice that Ukraine is much more equalitarian than Putin's Russia.]

The reason I know that plutocracy in Rome was more than an hereditary class, and more of an inheritated mood, is unveiled by the unhappy fate of the Curiales, in the Late empire. (Except for the very richest Curiales, whose plutocratic influence allowed them to go tax free, a status those aristocrats kept until the Revolution of 1789, but for a nationalization under Charles Martel in 730 CE.)

Rich local authorities, members of the gentes  were ruined by their onerous charges. Even at the highest level, the Senatorial class, leading plutocrats were expected to spend so much of their personal fortunes in “philanthropy”, such as circus games, that it was difficult to maintain superlative standing for more than two or three generations… Except, of course, if one belonged to the imperial family (which maintained status, in the Orient, for centuries)

The stagnation of technological progress had two marked effects that made impossible the continuation of the fascist plutocratic empire:

1)      The technological advances needed to resist, or make irrelevant, the erosion of the resources enabling the old Greco-Roman economy were not made in a timely manner.

So, for example, Rome ran out of metals, precious or not (the mines were exhausted when using existing tech). This, in turn, caused a cascade of problems. For example, currency came to be viewed as worthless (because it did not have enough silver therein). Just as Europe around 1300 CE, the Roman empire also ran out of forests. Later it ran out of wheat, after the Vandals had taken over Africa and the Western Mediterranean.

2)      Enemies caught up with Roman military technology. Plutocratic Rome was unwilling, or incapable of adapting.

Military adaptation and adoption of enemy weapons and tactics had been the greatest strength of Republican Rome.

For example arrows from new composite double curvature bows would pierce Roman armor; heavy armored Parthian cavalry, the cataphract, was hard to stop. Roman armies took centuries to adapt, under the plutocracy, whereas such adoption of technologies took just a year under the Republic. One summer, the Romans, having captured a Carthaginian ship, decided to build a Navy, and it was done. For months, would-be sailors learned to row, in the dirt (while just created shipyards were building the ships).

Tech progress still happened, under the plutocracy, and saved Oriental Rome (that was its official title), and the Franks. The former developed Grecian fire (that destroyed thousands of Muslim ships in two memorable battles at the gates of Constantinople), and the latter had better steel.

However tech progress happened at an insufficient rate to allow the continuation of Greco-Roman civilization at anything approaching its old material, intellectual and demographic wealth.

Another factor that is the essence of remarkable nations anywhere was smashed in post-democratic, plutocratic Rome: animals spirits and freedom. Both degenerated extensively.

In Republican Rome, kings were abhorred. After four centuries of plutocratic Rome, emperors became officially gods, or then, the “13th Apostle”.

The Roman plutocrats came to absolute power by killing the revolutionary fellow aristocrats, the Gracchi brothers, and more than 5,000 of their followers (in just one of the many bloody repressions). What the Gracchi wanted to do was simply to re-establish the absolute cap on individual wealth that had been Roman law for centuries.

Tremendously popular, extreme generals and Consuls such as Marius and Caesar, heads of the “Populares”, were unable to stem the irresistible rise of the plutocratic phenomenon.

The Roman People lost control of its destiny and in the following seven centuries. A succession of plutocrats came to rule (not necessarily from hereditary means only; those who were evil enough could accede to the pinnacle of power, too).

Ideas were often the ticket to expeditious death. Imagination collapsed, and so did birthrates. The passion for spectator sports became all consuming (the famous Nikka riots of the Sixth Century were all about chariot races, but emperor Justinian clearly saw that the Demos had gone mad, from lack of democracy; not knowing what to do, he nearly abdicated, and stayed on only at the insistence of his harlot like, gold digger wife ).

Plutocracy wants stagnation, especially mental stagnation. Because mental progress under plutocracy means revolution. In the literal sense of the term.

We have increasingly the same problem that the Roman society had, as the plutocratization index augments. How would I define the plutocratic index? How would it go further than the Gini coefficient?

The Plutocratic Index is, by definition how much the .1% not just owns, but CONTROLS.

For example, Putin, a plutocrat personally owns billions, but as president of Russia and plutocrat-in-chief, he actually controls most of Russian plutocracy (although his control is not absolute: Russian plutocrats store money outside of Putin’s control, as Putin himself said.) In any case, one can quickly deduce that a small oligarchy around Putin controls and owns 50% of so of Russia. Plus roughly 100% of the Main Stream Media.

Another example: private insurance companies drafted Obamacare, and one will want to estimate how much Obamacare can be viewed as their leased instrument.

Similarly, Bill and Melinda Gates have their fingers in the American public education pie, and one will want how of that they control. Similarly, Elon Musk, broke in January 2009, is now worth personally seven billions, after getting billions from the USA government: how much of those (public) funds can be viewed as under Mr. Musk’s control?

When Warren Buffet invested 5 billion in Goldman Sachs before the USA government invested 60 billion in that bank, how much worth did that control represent?

The plutocratic index would estimate how much, more generally, American plutocrats own and control the political and judicial systems of the USA (USA corporations are estimated, by themselves to hold 2 trillion dollars overseas, escaping the IRS).

As the Washington Post put it today in “Rich People Rule“: Drawing on the same extensive evidence employed by Gilens in his landmark book “Affluence and Influence,” Gilens and Page analyze 1,779 policy outcomes over a period of more than 20 years. They conclude that “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

If that is true, the Plutocratic Index is close to 100 in the USA. That is, the maximum.

The Plutocratic Index would be a much better measure than the Gini coefficient, and of great import, should we want to avoid the stagnation that affected Rome, and ended as an implosion.

Patrice Aymé

Note: The plutocratic index is harder to compute than the Gini Index, some will object. But the Gini itself is a cheat, because a huge amount of wealth and control is hidden by anonymous companies.

 

Letter From Moscow

April 10, 2014

I got a letter from Moscow accusing me of “deep seated hatred for the Russian soul” (it’s found in the comments of “1938?”).

Let me first make the following clear: I am not anti-Russian, quite the opposite. The same holds for Germany: I am pro-German, and that is why I have attacked German racist fascism, murderously anti-Semitic for at least 5 centuries (and maybe before Alexander Nevski).

Ideally, I would have Europe extending from the Azores to Alaska. I would be happy with Russia as a member of the European Union.

Uniquely Beautiful Russian Soul Much Loved

Uniquely Beautiful Russian Soul Much Loved

Nearly all Russians that I have met struck me as advanced cultural types (partly a selection effect from immigration, as the best and brightest tend to flee). I used even to read Soviet books (in translation), from Lenin to astrophysics (where Russians invented many things Americans claimed later, such as cosmic inflation; the successful thermonuclear device, the tokomak, is named from a Russian abbreviation and was invented by Sakharov (Stalin’s own H bomb genius; later a famous dissident).

But my extreme, and growing, dislike for Putin has appeared several years ago. He is making things worse with his new doctrine of the Eurasian Union, founded on values not embraced by Europe. See my:

http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/from-russia-with-hate/

which made already pretty explicit that Putin was on a collision course with civilization. I was not, BTW, always anti-Putin. I thought he would crack down on the plutocrats initially. Instead, he herded them. And bred his own.

In “1938?”, or “Hitler’s Book”, I related the analogy of facts between Hitler’s and Putin’s action. Not my fault that both invaded, and then held referenda with 97% approval. And other identities of facts. I don’t see why the fraud of 97% of Hitler (demonstrated 16 years later, no less!) is not a model for the fraud of 97% of Putin.

Everybody could see transparent urns were used in Crimea, at least in some cases, and the yes or no were plainly visible. Is that civilization, or is that making fun of civilization?

OK, let’s talk about what we know. What happened with Herr Hitler? A process was engaged. Both an inner psychological process, and an outer psychological process. Inwardly, Hitler got away with great horrors and obvious outrages… that brought him great success. He came to believe that, the more horrors and outrages, the more success would come.

And so they did.

In 1939, though, a weak Britain, having belatedly abjured Hitler, accepted to join France in providing Poland with support against Hitler and Stalin. The rest is history. The USSR harvested what it had sown: a quarter of a century of complicity with German fascism (started by Lenin himself before 1917).

Similarly, now, Putin could tip into the Darkest Side.

For example, if Putin uses transparent voting boxes and then all the Russians salute that democratic gesture, while the West scoff in impotent rage, Putin will be enticed to do more of the same, all over, from Georgia to Moldova.

Some will say: Russia is only 17 million square kilometers, 70% larger than Canada, the USA and China (the three largest countries after Russia). Why can’t Russia become the “big country” as Putin himself called it, again? Why can’t Russia become again Czarist Russia, with its 22 million square kilometers? What’s wrong with that?

What’s wrong is that it crushed many civilizations. Armenian civilization, in Christian form, is the oldest Christian civilization, older than Christian Rome, more than 17 centuries old, for example.

That brings us to the question of the “Russian soul”. What is the “Russian Soul”? How old is it? Where does it come from? Well, history is very clear. The youngest son of Alexander Nevski founded Moscow, but then came the Mongols. Out of centuries of war, oppression and occupation, came the Moscow soul, in the style of Ivan III, and Ivan IV, The Terrible.

Now that Moscow soul is called the Russian soul. Its pluses? First of all, the capacity to install the largest land empire the world has known (except for the Mongols, for a generation or so). True, that empire spread among semi-Neolithic people, and was rendered possible by the potato (a South American invention, not Russian!). Potatoes grow in very poor soils, with very cold winter, and give nearly all that a human being needs, including proteins.

You say, dear Moscow reader: …” you don’t grasp some very important aspects of the proverbial Russian “soul” — why they fight so hard when humiliated and so on. Or perhaps you think they are so stupid to be totally indoctrinated without “free press”? In our Internet age… How arrogant and stupid of you! I think it is deeply seated hatred that devaluates all the good reasoning you have.”

Well, Putin has apparently blocked some Internet site (not mine, it seems). Also clearly he has control of the Russian Main Stream Media. I don’t know if Russian fight so hard. They lost the Crimean war of 1853. They lost World War One. In WWII, Stalin’s terror proved to be much superior to the terror Nazi inspired. One could say that the Nazis got out-Nazified.

Also the Allies provided Stalin with many things, from trucks to first class intelligence (intelligence from the British, itself building on French and especially Polish work). The battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle of WWII, by far, in summer 1943, was won because the Soviets knew everything about the Nazi formations, thanks to the Brits. That’s when the Wehrmacht got broken (it was defeated, but not broken, at Moscow in 1941, and lost stupidly the Sixth Army’s 300,000 men at Stalingrad around Christmas 1942. But at Kursk, it lost its last chance to defeat the USSR).

I don’t see why I should have “deep seated hatred against the Russian soul”. And the fact is, I do not. Although I do deeply despise Orthodox Christian fanatics…

The danger now is that Russians are embarked on a phenomenon of satanization (we need a word beyond diabolization!) similar to that experienced by the Germans in the 1930s and 1940s. That’s all. That’s plenty enough to raise some alarms.

By grossly violating International Law in exactly the same way as Hitler did with Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938. (Hitler did a better job, getting everything without firing a shot.) Putin has opened the gates of violence. Not only has Putin’s psychology tipped irreversibly in the Dark Side, but he has set in motion forces that push him ever further that way.

The weakness of the West only encourages him. Hitler was stunned when France and Britain sent him an ultimatum, on September 1, 1939. In retrospect, it should have been done earlier. Fortunately this time, the West is not divided. And an economic ultimatum can be sent to Putin.

At this point, all signs are that Putin prepares an invasion. If Mr. Putin does not get the Ukrainian constitution changed within a few weeks, according to its diktat, he will probably attack before the Ukrainian presidential elections of May 25. And then what’s next?

The problem with the wished-for 22 million square kilometers empire of the Czar Putin is that it imposed the paranoid, metastatic, militaristic, satanic Kremlin soul on many civilizations, most of them wiser and older, with less space for the Dark Side.

Nowadays, the Dark Side has to be fought, lest nuclear weapons, and many other terrible ways and means, be used. Interestingly, Putin and his henchmen have declared they will use nuclear weapons on the battlefield, a clear escalation, of the nuclear type (whereas the Obama administration has wowed never to use tactical nukes).

Weirdly, yet in the traditional Hitlerian way, Putin is proving more deliberately dangerous to the West than any Soviet leader ever was (except for when Stalin allied with Hitler against France).

Patrice Aymé

Hitler’s Book

April 7, 2014

Masked henchmen took over government buildings in Eastern Ukraine, and beg Putin to invade. European and American governments claim the protesters are paid. Earlier the Ukrainian government had accused Russia special forces to have killed 96 protesters in the Maidan (“Freedom”) protests.

Last week, Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, doubled the natural gas prices in Ukraine, making them the priciest in the world. Ukraine engaged legal action.

Meanwhile, April7, a Russian marine shot to death an unarmed Ukrainian officer who was trying to leave Crimea. (It’s not the first Ukrainian officer assassinated.)

Darius: What Putin Dreams To Be

Darius: What Putin Dreams To Be

Putin follows Hitler’s book: he does not want to allow the free elections on May 25th in Ukraine: he has the choice for president between the ex-PM, a woman he had jailed so that she would die (but she survived, just, and is back after weeks in a hospital in England), and the chocolate maker whom he barred to sell chocolate in Russia.

Preventing free elections is exactly what Hitler did with Austria in 1938: through a skillful usage of his henchmen, Hitler evacuated the legal government of Austria to cancell the free referendum in Spring 1938.

Then, using various terror techniques, Hitler organized his own annexation referendum, which he won at 97% (the exact same percentage as in Crimea, not doubt a blink of Putin to Nazi history; say whatever you want, Vladimir can have a sense of humor).

In 1954, the Allied powers determined that Chancellor-President Hitler and his henchmen had contrived the entire coup-occupation-annexation-referendum, and decided that Austria, far from collaborating, had been a victim of Nazism.

Putin hopes that he can follow the same strategy, and somehow, win where Hitler lost. However, Hitler conducted his three annexations of 1938, without a single person killed. Whereas the people killed by Putin’s henchmen are now well above 100.

Putin has posed in front of a giant banner proclaiming that “Crimea is in my heart.”

You have to ask yourself, what else is in his heart,” Carl Bildt, Swedish foreign minister, tweeted after a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Notice that Sweden is officially “neutral”. (Actually until 1943, it supported Hitler, thank to its high grade iron ore, that it sold to the Nazi dictator for a handsome price.)

We should be very firm on international law and the rules that apply,” Bildt, who has previously served as a mediator in the mid-1990s Balkan conflict, explained. Putin annexed the Crimea about one hundred times faster than Hitler annexed Austria.

Meanwhile a purported leaked conversation posted on YouTube between two Russian ambassadors discusses which parts of the world they would like to annex after Crimea.

It claims to be a telephone call between Igor Chubarov, Russia‘s ambassador to Eritrea, and Sergei Bakharev, the ambassador to Zimbabwe and Malawi.

We’ve got Crimea, but that’s not fucking all folks. In the future we’ll damn well take your Catalonia and Venice, and also Scotland and Alaska,” making the word for Scotland sounds in Russian like “Cattleland” (the Scotland independence party wants to disarm its nuclear weapons, unilaterally).

Chubarov says Russia will annex for “all those fucking border countries“, such as Estonia, as well as Romania and Bulgaria.

It’s a mood, a very nasty mood, not just a bad joke, and it will keep on growing, until those who do not want to be submitted to an Oriental potentate have to resist with the stringent means.

There is a race between fear and greed in Putin’s heart. Right now, greed is dominant.

To make the situation worse, Putin is an idiot: whatever he does, the worse it’s going to be for Russia, on the general course he has embarked himself on, the exact same one as Hitler in 1938.

Putin is no Vladimir I, the Prince of Kiev who converted to Christianity in Crimea in 998 CE, after conquering said peninsula (which centuries before, and for a millennium, had been Greek). Nor is he Darius The Great. Darius, although a very great leader, a real genius, to whom we owe a lot of positive ideas, to this day, was also a tyrant. He tried to submit Greece, and the Athenians crushed him at Marathon.

Athens had 80,000 citizens. Persia, 25% of the world population, was 80 million. This, on the face of it, shows that one determined free man is worth more than one thousand slaves.

Patrice Aymé

Notes: A professional Russian historian compared Putin to Hitler along the lines found in:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/1938/. He was fired.

http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/kyiv-university-invites-russian-professor-who-compared-putin-to-hitler-338449.html.

Kyiv Taras Shevchenko University wants to employ Russian historian Andrey Zubov, who has been threatened with dismissal for his heavy criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policy towards Ukraine.

The very serious German finance minister, the longest serving MP, is confined to a wheel chair, after having being shot by a crazed maniac, long ago. “We’ve seen this before in history,” Mr. Schäuble told a group of students in Berlin. “Hitler took over the Sudetenland with these types of tactics.”.

P/S: The West did not start the war in Ukraine. Only fear of disaster will stop Putin, so the West has to look scary enough, right away. To look scary enough, the West has to show that it is ready to suffer extensively to prevent Putin behaving as if Ukraine were his child, and that he can impose on that child abuse, corporal punishment, or even the death penalty.

QUANTUM WAVE

April 5, 2014

REAL WAVE, NOT BORN KNOWLEDGE WAVE.

Abstract: Quantum Waves are real. Because the alternatives are unreal. On the way I make a drastic epistemological critique of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (“CI”), and its modern aspect, QBism. (For a general introduction, one can consult Nature’s March 26 2014 lead editorial: ”Be here now.” http://www.nature.com/news/be-here-now-1.14922.)

***

Quantum Physics, as usually formulated, uses “observers” and “measurements”. That approach was the invention of Bohr and his flock. It was celebrated by giving the Nobel to Born (a friend of Einstein) for making Quantum Waves into “Probabilistic Waves”.

Quantum Interference Gives Birth To The Universe

Quantum Interference Gives Birth To The Universe

As Nature’s “Be here now” puts it: “Bohr and Einstein argued about whether quantum mechanics allowed any room for the idea of realism — of an objective world that exists independently from our efforts to observe and measure it. Bohr insisted that physics was concerned with what we can know, and was silent on the matter of ‘how things really are’. He, Born and Heisenberg made claims about quantum theory’s challenge to causality and determinism that today look like a bit of an intellectual stretch.”

QBism (for Quantum Bayesian), Nature magazine sings the praises of, brings nothing new to CI. Bayesian probabilities (developed mostly by Laplace!) modify the ingredients of a probability computation to get a better fit to what’s observed.

Far from being sophisticated, I would argue that the probabilistic approach to Quantum Physics, although effective, is primitive. It is what I will call, a typical first order theory of reality.

Indeed thinking from “measurements” and “observers” is exactly the way a scary smart prehistoric man who knew nothing about a subject would proceed. As he would try to be as objective as possible. And make no mistake: today’s civilization rests on countless scary smart prehistoric men, some living hundreds of thousands years ago, and maybe more.

Confronted to the unknown phenomenon, the first thing prehistoric man will notice is that situation depends upon observer and measurement, causality and determinism are not in evidence. In other words, scary smart prehistoric man would be baffled, just the way Niels Bohr and his followers (Heisenberg, Born, etc.) were baffled.

However scary smart prehistoric man did not just stay baffled, as most physicists have resigned themselves to be. Instead scary smart prehistoric men built up meta-theories, that is all encompassing brain networks that made a given phenomenon into one. (It could be a theory of Tarpan Horse hunting, or of spring floods, bad weather incoming, or the local volcano.)

The probabilistic approach, “just shut up and calculate”, CI, is only a first approach. Real science substitute concepts with a life of their own to raw data. (That life is the appropriate brain machinery set-up to organize the data; that’s what causality is.)

Even human beings (“savants”) who are natural born computers, those who can tell you instantaneously what day of the week was February 17, 1924, adorn numbers with smells, texture, colors and personalities. Numbers become personalities in a landscape.

General philosophical metaprinciple out of that? Acquiring dimensionality is acquiring reality.

(This advanced remark is an allusion to the fact full Quantum wavefunctions can be arbitrarily high dimensional, and that has nothing to do with String Theory’s pitiful 11 dimensions. Ironically, that has been the main objection against the Pilot Wave Theories.)

For example, take the Moon. Try to be objective, while playing prehistoric man. What do you observe about the Moon as Homo Erectus? (Or equivalently, Arab in the desert, 20 centuries ago.)

The Moon? A white disk, sometimes a crescent, when most of the disk is obscured. If one wants to be objective, as a Prehistoric Man, nothing more. No proof, whatsoever, for a Prehistoric Man, that the Moon is a physical object. You can’t go there, you don’t have a rocket, and you cannot see mountains on the Moon, and their shadows, you don’t have the eyes of an eagle.

So, all right, for prehistoric man, the Moon is this whitish crescent-disk, and all you can do is measurements with what you have, the appearance of the thing.

One can measure the monthly appearances of the Moon by comparing it to the Solar Year, seasons, what not. Notice things come back in cycles, but not quite.

Maybe the Moon is the language of the gods, trying to talk to us? That was the interpretation made in Antique Mecca (with its 360 gods, but with the Moon dominating). So then, obviously the Moon was a message from God, observed the Muslims, and they believe in that to this day.

This is what Bohr’s CI and his modern imitators, the QBists, achieved. They have numbers, don’t understand where they come from, and made a cult around them.

When they claimed that one could not go any further (as Von Neumann stupidly claimed to have proven), deeper thinkers smirk.

The correct scientific approach is to go beyond numbers (this, by the way, is what inflationistas have done, with their Cosmic Inflation theory; and now everybody is excited about them). Sit down, and ponder: what could the Moon be? Could it be a real object?

What’s a real object? Answer: something endowed with more than the first set of numbers we got to know about it.

Of course, the first time scary smart prehistoric man comes across a situation he did not understand, but a situation that seems to reproduce itself, again and again, he set-up an experiment, hopefully a simplified version of what he observed. OK, so a horse fell from the cliff. Excellent meat for all for a full moon. Horse flees from man, so maybe man can make many horses fall off cliff, as needed.

Arrogant twerps who believe that modern man, preferably talking the Anglo-Normand dialect, invented the experimental method, know nothing of man.

Ever since man is man, man has found out about reality with experiments to observe how nature works. Quantum Physics is not any different.

Yes, the experiments depend upon the observer. So what? It dos not mean that all that could be observed has to be experienced. Quantum Interference is everywhere, it’s the essence of creation, and men observe it on a countable set, of measure zero.

Primitive Men Believe The Universe IS All About Themselves

Primitive Men Believe The Universe IS All About Themselves

Quantum Interference Does Not Depend Upon Man

Quantum Interference Does Not Depend Upon Man

The reality the experiments are after do not depend upon the observer. That Bohr and company could not figure it out, and, instead, started to dissect and not dissect the same cat, is a monument to the frailty of human intelligence.

John Bell (inventor of the Bell Inequalities to help check that Quantum Physics is non local) was ironical about this subject. He said:“What exactly qualifies some observer to play the role of ‘measurer’? Was the wavefunction of the world waiting to jump for thousands of millions of years until a single-celled living creature appeared? Or did it have to wait a little longer for some better qualified system… with a PhD?”

Or, even better, a Nobel prize?

Of course not. (Unfortunately, Bell, the head theorist at CERN, was felled by a heart attack at the age of 62, before he could debunk more of the orthodoxy.) As I said above, believing that what we observe depends upon the observer is the most primitive objective approach. In first approach to knowledge, it’s objective to admit one’s subjectivity.

Can the “wave function” in Quantum Physics be a real object? Of course yes. Go back to the Two Slit Experiment. (Feynman correctly pointed out that the entire mystery of Quantum Physics was within the 2-slit.)

All the appearance of what we observe, when conducting a 2-slit experiment, for example between our eyelashes, observing the pretty color patterns, is that wave interference is causing the apparition of photon(s) of light in some places (where the waves interfere positively) and not in others (where waves interfere destructively).

Those waves, between our eyelashes are as real as waves in a port, no matter what a thousand Nobel laureates in physics may want to bleat about. (Lay on your back in the sun, and look through your eyelashes as you close them: this is my portable version of the 2-slit experiment.)

So what are these waves?

Above I shot down the subjective-knowledge theory of Bohr-Born-QBism. They reason from the first appearance, and forgot that experiments require, they always did, a carefully contrived measurement process, and an observer. They went prehistoric, and don’t know about it.

What’s left to understand Quantum Physics? Only two classes of theories are left.

One of them is the maniacal “Multiverse” “theory”. That insanity claims that any fundamental process generates as many universes as there are possibilities for it to evolve into. It’s an attempt to “save determinism”.

Unfortunately, the madness is infecting physics; just when we thought physics was ruled with not too smart a theory, an insane one comes to dominate. (The Multiverse was invented partly because of confusion about Schrodinger cats, as I hinted above: lack of philosophical sophistication killed the cats.)

What are we left with? De Broglie’s Pilot Wave theories. (In Anglo-Saxonia, this is known as “De Broglie-Bohm” theory, because that makes the Anglo-Saxon equal to the French, but, truly, De Broglie invented it all by himself.)

My own theory is a sci-fi version of the Pilot-Double Solution theory. It predicts Dark Matter readily (as very low mass, very weakly interacting particles, so it definitively makes falsifiable predictions).

Some will say that I am absurd, and, instead, should learn the “Standard Model” (SM) of particle physics. SM and Quantum Theory are the most successful physical theories ever, with incomparable precision.

Yet, that precision is an illusion. Theories explaining everything with 100% precision have existed in the last 25 centuries, at least (say the geocentric theory, viewed as correct, and unique, from Archimedes to Buridan, that is for 16 centuries). OK, some of those champions of the past turned out to be wrong (outside of the realm in which they had been initially checked). What’s the difference this time?

The difference, this time, is that we know that the Standard Model is wrong (Whereas the Greeks, 18 centuries ago thought the geocentric system was 100% right). Why? It explains at most 4% of the matter-energy out there (and even then with three dozens fundamental parameters!). At least my inchoate theory explains readily 30% of what’s out there in the Cosmos.

Anyway, there is no much choice for the foundations of Quantum Physics. It’s either the Schrodinger cats, simultaneously skinned and not skinned, or its deranged contradictor, the Multiverse shall rule over the mental asylum… Or the Pilot Wave theories will finally emerge.

This ship needs a pilot, to steer among the waves. As we will see in the future, this has tremendous consequences, be it only for the theory of “The Now”, as Einstein called it (and for which he had nothing to propose, although he was very worried by it, as Nature points out in “Be here now“).

Let’s conclude with a piece of ancient hanse wisdom, as it used to be written:

FLVCTVAT NEC MERGITVR (It Fluctuates, Never Sinks; Paris’ 2,000 years old motto.)

Patrice Aymé

Plutocracy Supreme

April 3, 2014

Or Is It Supremely Plutocratic?

Abstract: The USA Supreme Court decided plutocrats could buy politicians with as much money as they want, calling this “no right more basic in our democracy”. With democracy like that, who needs plutocracy?

***

Plutocracy is an exponential phenomenon born from the growth of capital and the power it buys, breeding with the excuses the Dark Side makes for it, the increasing means the Dark Side provides with, finalized by tipping into abject cruelty and madness.

In the USA a lot of the Justice system has to do with politics. Judges and prosecutors are either elected as politicians, or selected by politicians.

Supreme Ginsburg, "Liberal" Champion, Worth: Only $20 Million. Nothing Else!

Supreme Ginsburg, “Liberal” Champion, Worth: Only $20 Million. Nothing Else!

So no wonder that the Supreme Court lifted all restrictions, de facto, on campaign financing by the hyper rich. The servants serve their masters well. And cynicism helps. “Justice” Bryer, the second wealthiest Supreme, pointed out liberally that the restrictions to the wealthy buying politicians previously in place did not work, so one may as well remove them.

“Liberally” Up Yours. It’s rather curious that someone such as Ginsburg, and Bryer, who were only teachers and a judges, their entire lives, could amass such a fortune. (Even plutocratic universities such as Harvard, Columbia and Stanford, where they were, don’t pay their professors that much.) It would certainly raise eyebrows in, say, Europe. How come so rich? No wonder they treasure their fellow have-it-alls.

The more modest the intellectual capability, the more economic it is to believe, rather than trying to think.

There are those who believe the USA is the greatest democracy, blah blah blah. How can they make their belief compatible with the eternal reign of the unelected Lords of the Supreme Court? Let alone the “Supremes” playing plutocratic politics?

We are on the correct trajectory to end up just as the Roman Republic did. The Roman Republic had a law enforcing an absolute limit of wealth on each family. After 150 BCE, Rome became a global power, and the wealthy owned properties overseas, allowing them to turn around these limits.

Republican minded Romans tried to limit the power of the hyper rich. They were destroyed by a succession of assassinations and civil war. Rome became a fascist plutocratic empire, that quickly degenerated from its contradictions (and then spent centuries in a morbid state).

***

The USA is obviously following a similar trajectory to folly. The practical cancellation of inheritance taxes, the lowest taxes for the rich, and their buying of their servants the politicians, and the massive propaganda to go with them, insure that the implosion down the abyss will go faster than in Rome.

The Justice of the strongest and wealthiest is no doubt the best.

The very definition of democracy “Chief Justice” Roberts uses is silly: “There is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.”… in light of the fact he agrees to let each plutocrat give 3.6 million, to just one candidate, that is, about 72 times the average family income. About 4,000 times what one average family could possibly give. Some can exert 4,000 times the power on the elective process, and a primate is called “Chief Justice”. What democracy is that?

Even among baboons, no baboon exert 4,000 times the elective power. Baboons find the USA much removed from democracy.

Say a skeptical New York Times in “The Court Follows The Money”: “This money can then be funneled to specific campaigns through the use of joint fund-raising committees, effectively nullifying the per-candidate limit. Chief Justice Roberts blithely rejected such a scenario as “speculation,” and he ignored political reality by confining the meaning of corruption to instances of “quid pro quo,” or the direct exchange of money for political favors.

In other words, Chief Justice Roberts is either not very smart, corrupt, or both. It is weird that, in a country often defined by its fans as the “country of freedom” citizens accept to be submitted to the decisions of nine individuals nominated for life, while having obviously so little brain power.

That politicians dominate Justice in the USA has consequences on normal people, such as making them live in implicit terror. That implicit terror, among others things, enabled slavery. So slavery was misunderstood, all along: it has to do with plutocracy, not racism. Racism was a consequence.

The case of the West Memphis Three. Three poor white young boys were accused of Satanism (and this human sacrifice). Damien Echols was condemned to death, and spent 18 years on death row, as an anti-Christian. As he says: “In the USA, the Justice system is founded essentially on politics and money. I would have been dead if other rich and influential people had not been interested by the case.”

Echols and his co-accused spent more than 18 years in jail. When their DNA was finally tested, not only it did not fit, but the DNA of unknown perpetrators was found (Arkansas still consider them culprit, and condemned them to “time served”!). Echols feels that, as he puts it: “instead of talking about “Prosecutors”, “Judges”, “Justices”, as if they were moral persons. But in truth, they are just politicians, who do not hesitate to execute people they know are innocent, just to look like heroes”.

When justice is the abyss, plutocracy is its name.

Patrice Aymé

Stealth Climate Deniers

April 1, 2014

The United Nations 300 top climate scientists from all over the world, came up with an alarming climate warming report: the warming is fully on, and its weird effects are showing all over, with changes in winds, the strongest hurricane ever, by a long shot, and even paradoxical situations, such as local cooling offshore, from twice stronger trade winds, causing a high pressure ridge, and a massive drought in the American West. (OK, it’s me observing the latter, not the UN, but it’s true nevertheless!)

There are two types of deniers: the grotesque ones, paid to say CO2 is good, climate has always changed, it’s not warming up, and getting more acid, and anyway, both are good. And then there are the stealth deniers.

50 Billion Tons Of CO2 Equivalent Gases Dumped In Earth’s Atmosphere, Per Year

50 Billion Tons Of CO2 Equivalent Gases Dumped In Earth’s Atmosphere, Per Year

[Observe the important role played by Methane. Although CH4 does not acidify the oceans as CO2 does.]

Stealth deniers are within, say, the media of the USA itself, under an unassuming form. The New York Times wrote several anti-deniers editorials. And yet, the Times itself is ambiguous, at best, about whether there is a CO2 problem.

Take the otherwise honorable Paul Krugman at the New York Times, the self glorified “Conscience of a Liberal”: Krugman talks to no end about providing “liquidity” to his friends the bankers and about the abysmal, pathetic pseudo-reform called Obamacare. That’s socio-economy for Krugman. (Obamacare is a dismally unimpressive tweak in the American greedy health care system that Obama himself, nowadays, tries his best to sabotage!)

However, Paul Krugman, blessed be his name, and all too many economic pundits in the USA, never, ever, talks about the most major economic issue of our times, the necessity to effect a massive transition towards sustainable energy.

By talking obsessively about minor economic issues (success! Obamacare now covers 2% of the population of the USA, 4 years after being passed into law! Sadness! Banks starving for free money so they can’t leverage, and play futures and dark pools as much as they want!), Krugman avoids the most serious of our times, and any times before those. Namely, the poisoning of the Earth, while most of the planet’s effective activities are starving for energy.

Yet, such a transition would provide with millions of jobs in the USA alone (a small and partial energy “change” in Germany provided officially with 400,000 jobs; it is a lame change, as it shot down futuristic nuclear energy solutions, though).

So what’s going on? Comments of mine making this observation were censored at the New York Times. Actually, the New York Times (supposedly left, liberal, with a conscience, blah blah blah, etc.) is shilling for fracking. “U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin… by sending our surplus natural gas to Europe and Ukraine in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the United States …stiffen resistance to Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behavior.

Forget that the United States currently lacks a capacity to export LNG to Europe… until the 2020s… Just focus on the article’s central reportorial flaw: it fails to identify a single reason why future American LNG exports (which could wind up anywhere) would have any influence whatsoever on the Russian president’s behavior.”

Instead, the economic main stream of the USA is going full steam ahead, fracking away. The fracking is causing huge leaks of methane. It’s also impossible to speak of the USA and omit its main factory, China. The tandem of the USA and the PRC are into ever more desperate fossil fuel production. USA coal production is now sent to Germany and China… Giving a biting irony to Obama’s notion of fracking gas playing the role of a “bridge fuel“. A bridge, across the oceans, to disaster, indeed.

Ever More Fossils Burned, Most Of Them, Now.

Ever More Fossils Burned, Most Of Them, Now.

(Meanwhile the short sighted Obama proposes to reduce thermonuclear fusion research by 17%, in 2015, while giving the rich a gift of $7,500, each time they buy a car from the 7 billion dollar boy, Elon Musk; thermonuclear fusion is the one and only long term hope for sustainable energy; all other energy sources, except geothermal, which does not work, are derived from thermonuclear fusion!)

Another point I have made for years: at some point, exactly, the methane tipping point, massive amounts of methane will be catastrophically released from the oceans. Methane is already massively released from USA fracking, and from the oceans. Catastrophic release will involve tsunamis, and greatly accelerated warming. (That has happened in the North Atlantic, 7,000 years ago.) It will start suddenly. It could start tomorrow.

The media of the USA is culprit of not emphasizing that the climate problem is, first of all, an economic catastrophe, and opportunity to smash out of an unsustainable past dominated by fossil fuel plutocrats. But then most of the Main Stream Media in the USA is owned by plutocrats, partial to the present order of things, including the energetic order.

Anyway, as usual, it was an irritating pleasure to be censored by the Times: this way I know what New York plutocrats really care about, where they fear truth the most. It’s a sort of radar to detect malfeasance.

Patrice Aymé

Dark Plutocracy: Kanun of Man

March 31, 2014

What do plutocrats want? They want a lot of the problems the socio-economy is experiencing today. In other words, we are getting what plutocracy wants. In the conventional view of hell, beings down there inflict suffering. Forever.

Plutocracy wants the starvation of the People’s economic activity, prospects and condition. That allows to increase the gap between the haves and have-nots, which is the plutocracy’s raison d’être, and ultimate value.

Hence the obsession fabricated by the Main Stream Media against deficits. In truth, the deficits are directly related to the plutocracy being not taxed enough.

Hence also the insistence by the MSM that the People has no skills (thus, presumably the unworthy People ought to be starved in all ways, including access to public education, so that, somehow, it would be enticed out of laziness to develop skills…).

Even The Ottomans Could Not Rule Those Mountains

Even The Ottomans Could Not Rule Those Mountains

Workers ought to be punished. Otherwise they would demonstrate that merit can be rewarded. But in a plutocracy, money, power and success come to those who don’t deserve it. It’s the basic moral principle of this inversion of all values.

Paul Krugman deplores that “the belief that America suffers from a severe “skills gap” is one of those things that everyone important knows must be true, because everyone they know says it’s true. It’s a prime example of a zombie idea — an idea that should have been killed by evidence, but refuses to die… by blaming workers for their own plight, the skills myth shifts attention away from the spectacle of soaring profits and bonuses even as employment and wages stagnate. Of course, that may be another reason corporate executives like the myth so much.

So we need to kill this zombie, if we can, and stop making excuses for an economy that punishes workers. …”

Krugman is generous: he believes the zombie idea lives on, just from mental inertia and from peer pressure. My explanation above is much more sinister: many nefarious ideas live on, but not by accident. Instead they live on, mainly because they inflict pain and subjugation.

Where does this cruelty come from? Well, for millions of years, the greatest enemy of man was man, and this environmental fact had plenty of time to become psychobiological.

This can be observed in the mountains of Northern Albania, where the Kanun of Leke rules. The Kanun killed more than 10,000 people since the end of the Albanian dictatorship. The highlanders of the northern Albanian mountains recognize no other law. It was transcribed in the fourteenth century by a Roman Catholic priest (in spite of the Ottoman trying to turn everybody Muslim). The code regulates a variety of subjects, including blood vengeance (a young eye for a young eye, etc.).

Even today, many Albanian regard the Kanun of Leke as the supreme law of the land. The Kanun primes honor over life. The strength of the Kanun, found all over in First Nations, reveals the nature of human psychobiology. Civilization learned to turn around all this psychobiology, with sophisticated laws, engineered to manipulate knowledge efficiently.

Our present plutocratic organization may look far from what has been going for so long in Northern Albania, but it’s not.

A way around? Let citizens suggest their own laws, by forcing to national referendum any proposed initiative that muster four million signatures (say in the USA; this is the proportion used in Switzerland: 100,000 signatures for 8 million).

That would prevent the plutocrats and their oligarchic servants to make laws that, primarily, serve themselves. An example? Chinese President Xi’s family has maybe a billion dollars in overseas property (and hundreds of millions in luxurious residences in Hong Kong alone).

Patrice Aymé

Axiom of Choice: Crazy Math

March 30, 2014

A way to improve thinking is to imagine more, and be more rigorous. What a better place to exert these skills than in mathematics and logic? Things are clearer there.

The crucial Axiom Of Choice (AC) in mathematics has crazy consequences. After describing what it is, and evoking some of its insufferable consequences, I will expose why it ought to be rejected, and why the lack of a similar rejection, at the time, in a somewhat similar situation, may have help in the decay of Greco-Roman antiquity.

This is part of my general, Non-Aristotelian campaign against infinity in mathematics and beyond. The nature of mathematics, long pondered, is touched upon. A 25 centuries old “proof” is mauled, and not just because it’s fun. There is deep philosophy behind. Call it the philosophy of sustainability, or of finite energy.

Intolerably Crazy Math From Axiom of Choice

Intolerably Crazy Math From Axiom of Choice

The Axiom of Choice makes you believe you can multiply not just wine, fish and bread, but space itself: AC corresponds, one can say, to a wasteful mentality.

The Axiom of Choice says that, given a collection C of subsets inside a set S, one can consider that a set exists, made of elements, each one of them is an element in exactly one of the subsets. That sounds innocuous enough, and obvious. And obvious it is, if one thinks of finite sets. However, if C is infinite, it gets boringly complicated.

Moreover, AC has a consequence: given a unit sphere, one can cut it in disjoint pieces, and reassemble those pieces to build two unit spheres. Banach and Tarski, both Polish mathematicians working in what’s now Western Ukraine, the object of Putin’s envy and greed, demonstrated this Banach-Tarski paradox. It’s viewed as an object of wonder in General Topology.

I prefer to view it as an object of horror. (The pieces are not Lebesgue measurable, that means not physical objects. Such non measurable objects had been found earlier by Vitali and Hausdorff)

Punch line? The Axiom Of Choice (AC) is central to all of modern mathematics. Position of conventional mathematicians? The fact that AC is so useful, all over mathematics, proves that AC can be fruitfully considered to be true.

My retort? Maybe what you view as fruitful mathematics is just resting on a false axiom, or, at least one against nature, and thus, is just plain false, or against nature. One may be better off, studying mathematics that is not against nature..

As I showed earlier, calculus survives the outlawing of infinity in mathematics. That pretty much means that useful mathematics survives.

You see a problem with mathematics, even the simplest arithmetic, is that, once one has admitted the infinity postulate, thanks to the Cantor Diagonal process, one can always find undecidable propositions (this is part of the Incompleteness Theorems of mathematical logic: Gödel, etc.).

That means a field such as Euclidean geometry is infinite, in the sense that it has an infinite number of non-provable theorems. Each can be decided both ways: false, or true. Each gives rise to two mathematics.

Yet, even modern mathematicians will admit that studying Euclidean geometry for an infinite amount of time is of little interest. Proof? They don’t do it.

Yet, what’s the difference with what they are doing?

Mathematics is neurology, and neurology can be anything, but infinite. Think about what it means. Yes, mathematics is even cephalopod neurology, with the octopus’ nine brains. Fractals, for example, are part of math, but far from the tradition of equating angles or algebraic expressions.

It’s a big universe out there. The number one consequence to draw from the history of science, is that scientists make tribes. Quite often those tribes go astray… for more than 1,000 years (see notes). Worse: my making science, and, or mathematics, uninteresting, they may lead to a weakening of public intelligence.

I would suggest that effect, making science, and mathematics priestly and narrow minded, contributed to the powerful anti-intellectual tsunami that struck the Roman empire.

Greek mathematicians had excluded all mathematics as unworthy of consideration, but for a strict subset of “Euclid’s Elements” (some of the present Euclid Elements were added later). The implementation of those discoveries were made by others (Indians, and to some extent, Iranians and Arabs).

It turned out that these more practical mathematics, excluded by Euclid, because they were viewed as non rigorous and primitive, led to deeper and more powerful insights.

The irony was that Euclid’s Elements, in the guise of rigor, were using an axiom that was not needed, in general, the parallel axiom. That axiom, by supposing too much, killed the imagination.

I suggest nothing less happening nowadays, with the Axiom of Choice: it’s one axiom too far.

Patrice Aymé

Technical notes:

Up to a recent time, if one was not a Supersymmetric (SUSY) physicist, it was impossible to find a job, except as a taxi cab driver. There was a practical axiom ruling physics: the world had got to be supersymmetric.

Now the whole SUSY business seems to be imploding as the CERN’s LHC came up empty, and it dawned on participants that there was no reason for an experimental confrontation in the imaginable future… I have studied SUSY, and I have a competitive theory, where there are two hints of experimental proofs imaginable (namely Dark Energy and Dark Matter).

I said the AC was one axiom too far, but actually I think infinity itself is an axiom too far. I exposed earlier what’s wrong with the 25 centuries old proof of infinity (it assumes one can use a symbol one cannot actually evoke, because there is no energy to do so!).

The geocentric astronomy ruled from Aristarchus of Samos (who proposed the heliocentric system, 3C BCE) until Buridan (who used inertia, that he had discovered to make the heliocentric system more reasonable; ~1320 CE; Copernic learned Buridan in Cracow, Poland). It could be viewed as an axiom.

Hidden axioms are found even in arithmetic, for example the Archimedean Axiom was used by all mathematicians implicitly, before Model Theory logicians detected it around 1950 (it says, given two integers, A and B, a third one can be found, D, such that: AD > B; if not fulfilled one gets non-standard integers).


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