Plutocracy’s Tentacles All Over Physics

There is a lot of politics in theoretical physics. Why? Because physics makes people dream, and tells them how to think. Thus, if one wants to make people in advanced countries dream and think wrong, one has to start with physics. Also there is an increasing gap between what technology allows and what legislation forbids, as tech goes ever faster. The crooks work the gap hard. See the Bitcoin story (and the hate mail that goes with it).

That’s how the drug trade was made possible: ultimately all the money has to be laundered. And only the banks can do this. But there were no laws sending bankers to slammers for that, plus lax enforcement. So, in the end a criminal activity, drugs, was rendered possible by another branch of government, banking (dim wits say banks are not part of government).

What lessons can be learned from the presentation of the gravitational-waves story? Ponders Nature (October 14, 2014).

Well, much: the much publicized discovery of Cosmic Inflation was scientific fraud, and it has bit the dust. Yet, it keeps on going. It’s even more than scientific fraud, it’s tax payer fraud: most advanced science, including the prizes (such as Milner prize, see below) is financed by the public (directly or not; so are the plutocratic universities).

Says Nature: “The (welcome) rise of the science blogger has fuelled this navel-gazing. Some bloggers seem to spend most of their time criticizing other science writers, or at least debunking examples of what they regard as inferior science writing. But they do lots of good stuff too. Although traditionalists lament the decline of science coverage in the mainstream press, a terrific amount of analysis and comment, much of it very technical, is happening online under their noses.”

Make no mistakes: it’s not because there are no equations, that it is not technical. An equation, after all, is just a sentence saying that two things that look different are actually the same.

I am notoriously against the Cosmic Inflation Theory (that the universe blew up at 10^10 the speed of light, or so; that is ten billion times faster than c, or more). My reasons are solidly scientifico-philosophical, and have been detailed in many essays previously.

As the evidence for Cosmic Inflation bit the dust, as I had expected, my comments were censored on Quanta Magazine. Silly comments were allowed, so it’s not like the standards are too high.

So I enquired about this bias. I found a possible source quickly. Quanta is financed by the Simons Foundation. (Of course Quanta says they are independent; just like the hand which feeds the pigeon is independent of the pigeon, I guess.)

Jim Simons is a multibillionaire mathematician who built a more than 100 BILLION (yes, with a B, as in billion) dollars business in high frequency trading. Basically Simons has the fastest computers, and employs the brightest mathematicians and physicists. When one has faster computers, and programs, one can make sure money.

This what the best and brightest do these days. Stealing from others, and the faster, the better. A case of degenerating civilization.

It is difficult to explain what the high frequency trading crooks do: their job is exploiting all the loopholes between technique and ethics. They can leverage tremendously some derivative trades (say in the futures market). They can also simultaneously take direct positions extremely fast. The combination is sure profits, by leading the markets where they want them to go, beyond the sight of legislators (who are very happy to be fed caviar by high frequency traders).

In other words, high frequency trading and related derivative activities make the world’s most lucrative organized crime. Except it’s not officially a crime.

The whole thing ought to be unlawful. Just as slavery is unlawful, and for the same reason (because it puts too much power in the hands of too few, making them increasingly vicious, until people really own people as if they were bananas).

Only now, in 2014, American legislators are starting to smell the roses (Simons is a major donor to the Democratic Party). (See note.)

Similarly, the “Double Irish” so many enormous plutocratic corporations use to avoid taxation all together is not an official crime, just a real one.

Simons also worked with his adviser Chern who also created ST Yau. (Together they worked on the Chern-Simons Class; BTW, I also knew Chern.)

It will be interesting to see if I keep on being systematically censored there. The age of computers is also that of unethical behavior rendered particularly easy to implement (see how Mr. Simons made his fortune, although he probably envision himself as a saint, because he gave money to some scientists, tax deductible, of course).

So who is this Natalie W who censored me?

Could she be a chick paid by plutocrats in more ways than one? (As one way is clearly established, through Jim Simons, much respected in scientific circles, because he has trop beaucoup bucks; if you want to be hated and despised in scientific circle, criticize Jim Simons).

Could there be a conspiracy? I quickly found this:

People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say

By Natalie Wolchover, Life’s Little Mysteries Staff Writer, February 28, 2012.

Natalie says: “The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people’s ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.

As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters to accurately evaluate them. On top of that, “very smart ideas are going to be hard for people to adopt, because most people don’t have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is,” Dunning told Life’s Little Mysteries.”

The most incompetent among us serve as canaries in the coal mine signifying a larger quandary in the concept of democracy; truly ignorant people may be the worst judges of candidates and ideas, Dunning said, but we all suffer from a degree of blindness from our own personal lack of expertise.”

Otherwise said, only plutocrats know who the experts are.

This argument was already used by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Aristotle thought his friends, lovers and executors, Antipater and Craterus were the best and brightest, they established literal plutocracy in Athens.

Natalie writes nice articles. She knows who is smart. Certainly not those who esteem democracy. Conspirare is breathing together, no need for a plot: conspiracy is better, because impossible to prove (she sat with some of my comments for weeks before rejecting them, no doubt consulting with higher-ups).

A few years back, a Silicon Valley multibillionaire of Russian oligarchic origin, Yuri Milner, funded a three million dollar prize for crazy pseudo-physics, the “Fundamental Physics Prize”. Pseudo-physics has become most of what the public knows as physics. (The Nobel committee revolted against this by giving the prize to a very practical and real invention, blue LEDs.)

“Physics” means “Nature”, and Milner has his own notion of nature. The more un-natural, the better (as one would expect from someone who made his fortune under Yeltsin, after a stint at the World Bank; Milner, like Simons, but not as much, is also a scientist, physics).

Most of the recipients of the Milner prize did not discover anything, they are just experts at self-advertising, and the “discoveries” they made (Cosmic Inflation, The Multiverse, String Theory, all sorts of weird and obscure mathematical, or pseudo-mathematical techniques) actually, well, did not happen indeed. At least not in natural nature.

When Einstein (helped to) elaborate a slightly more sophisticated theory of gravitation than the one co-discovered by Newton, at least he started from a fact of nature: the advance of the perihelion of Mercury, which the “Newtonian” theory could not explain at all (the advance comes from the fact time runs slow next to the Sun).

Most of Milner’s prize “discoveries” are not yet discoveries, and probably never will be.

I am certain though that fabulous prizes were attributed in the Roman Empire for the epicycles theory.

Why am I so sure? The richest intellectuals ever, lived in the Second Century of the fascist plutocracy known as the Roman empire. They were, at best, all mediocre thinkers. Plutocracy can survive only if mediocre thinking triumphs, because plutocracy is mediocre thinking personified.

During plutocracy, a degree of magical and superstitious thinking is entertained. Much modern physics, such as String Theory, Cosmic Inflation, is complete superstition: it stands totally above the world, there is no proof for it whatsoever, it stretches reason beyond words, and it’s not even the first thing to think of in fundamental physics.

Thus it is perfect, because pseudo-physics is a killing field for reason. And that’s why plutocrats love it.

Patrice Ayme’


Note on American legislators discovering fraud from Simons and the like: Both Milner (Russia) and Simons are politically connected (& Simons worked for NSA). On July 22, 2014, Simons was condemned by the U.S. Senate for the use of complex barrier options to disguise short term trading (subject to higher ordinary income tax rates) as long-term capital gains. “Renaissance Technologies was able to avoid paying more than $6 billion in taxes by disguising its day-to-day stock trades as long term investments,” said Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), the committee’s ranking Republican, in his opening statement. “Two banks and a handful of hedge funds developed a complex financial structure to engage in highly profitable trades while claiming an unjustified lower tax rate and avoiding limits on trading with borrowed money,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) in his prepared remarks. Nice wake-up, guys! Were you playing sleeping beauty before?

Is Simons going to jail for stealing 6 billion dollars? Don’t hold your breath. Just expect my scientific comments to Quanta to keep on being censored.

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19 Responses to “Plutocracy’s Tentacles All Over Physics”

  1. johsh Says:

    as plutocrats is to US, US is to the world. They define the narrative, which the future becomes.

    like morals in the society, physics lost its way a while back.

    who do we blame ? plutocrats or the leading culture of today, who the plutocrats are products of ?

    I would blame the clueless culture of today’s superpowers.

    Its not entirely bad, certainly lot of progress has been made in human-productivity/tech/science/physics. Its just the way has been lost.

    No worries, the nature has a way to teach. Change is good.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Josh: agreed. How the systems of moods and thoughts evolved is similar to evolution in biology, just much more convoluted. Even more convoluted than what produced them, human brains.

      Yeltsin got advice from proto-plutocrats and plutophiles at Harvard and the like. Then those guys became full Plutos, while giving the opportunity to the likes of Milner to become stakeholders (they needed allies!, they found them among the worst…). Then those guys want to impose in turn the mentality who made them champs…

      Max change means war, though. And, as I often say, indeed, it can be good. Just those who advocate not enough change now, will see controlled flight into terrain…

      A Japanese friend just told me those in command in Japan don’t care, because they will be dead before it gets real bad.


      • johsh Says:

        biological evolution, or for that matter any other kind of evolution in nature, ruthlessly follow the program. No screwing around, apparently. Or is there ?

        All kinds of “systems” go extinct routinely.

        May be the human cultures evolve, and then it gets too late to undo the momentum of extinction.

        makes me wonder, if some intelligent forms, came into existence few billion years ago (or even right now in other galaxies), and went into extinction with no traces.

        This is all seemingly out of individual control. The wisdom is, what do you do with the “cards handed to you” (aka “current “mood” of society”) when you become aware of your existence ?.

        Its not that bleak actually, YOU make YOUR world. Its easier if you swing with the nature/dharma. This is the argument for higher morals. Its self-beneficial.


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Biological evolution is immensely complex. It’s not just a tree, but a network. We are now stuck with inefficient photosynthesis, because that evolved when O2 levels were low. But not really stuck: cyanobacteria invented a better way. Then things are getting interesting, because here we are and becoming masters of life: we are now trying to improve photosynthesis. We are indeed masters of the world we invent. Gods. Hence evil has never been potentially stronger.

          I have written a long essay on life in the universe. In our giant galaxy, I would not be surprised we are the only civilization which ever was.


  2. Nathan Says:

    How do you see the vatican in all this Patrice?


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Vatican is the extension of the worst side of Rome, or more exactly the doubly Late Roman Empire of the fanatical Christian type. It has been around for more than 1,800 years (the Catholics had a military organization of sorts by 200 CE). It never did anything good.
      So why did the Pagan Charlemagne reinforce it? By creating “Papa States”?

      Because the Franks, starting with Clovis, used (their own version of) Christianity as a hammer. By the time of Gregory so called “The Great”, as Gregory threatened to burn alive the bishops who organized the instruction of “We The People”, the Frankish state provided military backing to the bishops. Later that was made into Frankish law.

      So the Vatican was created as a superstitious extension of Frankish policy (and the rest of the Renovated Roman Empire more or less followed, although one emperor begged in the snow…) Otherwise, it’s nothing.

      Pius XII supported his “friend” Hitler (putting him in Gandhi’s category). Then the Vatican actively supported the Nazis, and Opus Dei was accomplice in the killing of millions of republican Spaniards. Basically the Vatican gives its benediction to today’s plutocracy (they know very well what’s going on), and so they are despicable.

      The Pope, once full of understanding for the Argentinian Junta is now full of understanding for homosexuality (of course, although they always look sad, they are all gay), and divorcees. I was listening to what he was saying, and it could be interpreted as “let’s go secular, gay guys!”.

      All in all, the Pope could become an ally in the anti-plutocratic fight… Just as the Franks used to employ them for more than a millennium…


  3. gmax Says:

    Yes, everything important is rigged: the bond market, physics… Laws need to be jacked up to higher ethics


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      My point entirely. When McCain and Levine discovers Simons, I’m laughing: I wrote on that stuff ten years ago. And Obama, well, too busy doing what he does best, sucking to the mighty… Yes, I know: he is supposed to be the mighty, but turned out into just one of these boys white masters used in Kenya…


  4. gmax Says:

    There was a huge meeting of all the “QUANTS” in New York today, including the reverred Simons… For a math museum… These people have no shame. They may as well have an organized crime get together…


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Of course, I knew. That essay of yesterday was my way to spit on their parade of intellectuels maudits. I repeat slowly: these people are not obvious criminals in the eye of the law, maybe, but they certainly ought to be.
      And I am sure the connection with the NSA (Simons was/is (?) in it) is certainly fascinating…


  5. Paul Handover Says:

    Have you read the latest Tom Dispatch? The one where he interviews Laura Poitras after the first screening of her new film about Snowden.

    While on the face of it there is no connection with the topic of this fascinating PA post, to my mind I do see how they are linked. We are coming to the end of a period, if not already at that end, and the future is very unclear. If that future is not one based, fundamentally, on integrity then we are doomed.

    Just my two-cents worth of opinion!


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Your two-cents are always very appreciated, Paul! No, I did not read the latest Tom Dispatch. Actually the only way I read a Tom Dispatch is when you call my attention to one (I used to be on the RSS, but too much of it was trivial stuff… Mathematicians tend to not do trivial… At least, so they claim. ;-))

      I actually made the post coincide with the QUANTS meeting in New York. These are basically mathematicians, physicists and computer jocks who turn around the spirit of the laws to make fortunes by LEADING THE MARKETS.

      I have expertise in all these fields, but for computer science… Although my spouse is a professor and expert in that field. All this to say that I view them as organized crime, for detailed reasons and their love-of-man (“philanthropy”) reminds me of that of the hunter for the deer…

      I have, long ago, proposed technical remedies to this state of affairs in the financial markets. Unfortunately, the actual trends are just the opposite. Obama having done nothing, except for his fake Obamacare, which, the New York Time recognized on its front page, does not work as intended (it was clear to me, and all those of good faith, that it would not).

      Are you making a post on TD?


      • Paul Handover Says:

        I would love to republish that over on LfD but because the copyright is jointly shared between Laura Poitras and Tom have just sent an email to Tom checking if I have permission to so do.

        Fingers crossed I will get approval.


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I got started reading it… It may need some pruning. This from one who writes long essays… Yet, I try to make my essays content full… As GMax said, it’s always about the symptoms, not the causes… In this essay, I gave some of the causes: the real leaders are all about organized crime (that what not paying taxes to that extent simply is,,, and then there are the monopolies and monopsies…)


        • Paul Handover Says:

          Permission to republish has been granted.


          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Good. I did not have the patience to read the whole thing (although I loved the “Put the pen down screaming”… I had similar incidents myself, say about taking pictures, or calling a lawyer, although I never wrote about it on my site, it’s like water under the bridge… These things are not new)


  6. gmax Says:

    Hi Paul: What people like Tom Dispatch do not ever say is who the security state, Big Bro, is running for.

    Patrice talks about who pull the strings, the PLUTOCRATIC STATE


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