Thursday, September 8, 2011

Call a Spade a Spade

I often find myself coming across people who deny some very very obvious and basic truths, stuff which cannot be outrightly denied but often is, because of it's obviousness is taken for granted.

The other day, just before leaving for home-sweet-home I was sitting in Zaitoon and arguing with one of my colleagues Ravi Kunjwal. Now, since this is a private blog and nobody ever reads it (haha, that's the entire point of this blog I don't want nobody reading it, contains kinda personal stuff, you see...) I wouldn't mind revealing here that Ravi is a smart bloke. Comparing to some others in Matscience - who hold extremely naive opinions about issues or even others who don't really think for themselves and keep borrowing opinions from others and engage in the discussion because they've got nothing better to do, he seemed much better and more sensible.

Yet again, he comes from the same old pseudo-secular-guilt-brigade. We were discussing Subramanuim Swamy and his article. I slipped in somewhere that I may agree with Swamy's opinion that Muslims are a lot more conservative than people from any other religion and also that they tend to harass people from their own religion and other religions because of this fact. Ravi instantly disagreed and tried to harp about the Hindu fundamentalists being worse citing a bad example: how they launch into a dancing parade on the streets everytime they find an occasion to.

Now I'm no fan of people who like to take to the streets for their celebrations (I'm kinda happy that the Chennai gay parade takes place on the beach road on which no vehicles are allowed, slightly disappointed that the other gay prides happen in the middle of the road often disrupting traffic) but still when I'm talking about being a community that harrasses people due to conservativism then I'm not merely talking about something as trivial as blocking the road and preventing traffic to get through every second Sunday. Nope. I'm talking about acid attacks on women so as to blackmail them into the burqa, the Shah Bano Case, the AIMPLB's demand to keep the Right To Education out of the Madrassas and opposing a common law on adoption, the hand-chopping incident of 2010 of a Kerela teacher on alleged insult to the prophet Muhammad, Hindu-Muslim riots on the installation of a Ganesh Idol 'IN' a shop 'coz it was beside a Mosque and so many more similar incidents and decisions by the Muslims law board. Of course, I've not gone into the entire details of Islamic terrorism. That of course, I'll leave out over here because I don't personally agree that a great number of Muslims agree with Islamic terorrism. I believe that a very small number of Indian Muslims would agree with bombing public spaces for killing people and institutionalizing a sense of fear or terrorism (er... how exactly does that bring fear in the midst of these people? Very few people ever really get scared, frankly speaking... but okay nevermind that for now). Yet again, theres'a strong support for sharia law with all the associated barbarism which includes stripping women of any rights which they have been otherwise ordained under the present constitution, the agreement that all Indians are actually naturally born Muslims, the belief that Muslims haven't ever engaged in any violent acts of force-conversion and on the contrary have only and ONLY suffered at the hands of people from other religions etc,etc.

I'm not kidding. Take a Muslims person aside and ask them what they think about these issues: Sharia, conservativism that Muslims apparently hold up to (more than people of other religions), or that a greater amount of terrorism is associated with Islam than to any other religion in the entire world or their belief that all people are naturally born Muslims, you'll generally find them beating about the bush so as to not show their true feelings on the various issues or you'll find them answering it striaghtforwardly with a defiant 'Yes'. This has generally been my experience - either with Muslims I've talked with directly or with Muslims I've come across with on the net. Of course the Muslims I've come across on the net are a bit more open given the fact that neither me or the guys in front of me can be as direct for not wanting to get so hostile.

Of course Ravi Kunjwal is not the only one who belongs to the Pseudo-Secular-Guilt-Brigade, but then there are others - extremely smart people who engaged in the same reasonging - who are only defensive when it comes to allegations of Muslims being of a more harassing nature than any other religious group. I remember arguing with another colleague of mine who got slightly angry with me when I mentioned it. He told me that my accusations were the exact things which instigated hostility on part of the Muslims - as if that's a valid reason for getting instigated in the first palce.

The problem is that the fact that Muslims are more volatile is a bit too clear. This is clear not by their behaviour back home in our midst (be it the Muslims I knew in my college) but also stuff that I come across on the media (not just one single newspaper or channel) but various sources of national and even international news. It's not only me which seems to be coming to this conclusion. Theres' a growing ratio of Western European population which wants to shut its gates to immigrants and in particular Muslims immigrants much more than any other immigrants given the kind of problems they've been facing.

There have been cases of Muslims having banned a certain ice-cream in UK just because the ice-cream logo 'vaguely' resembles the Arabic rendition of the world "Allah". This somehow became intolerable for the Muslims for them to lobby to have the ice-cream banned. All the McDonalds in UK now offer Halal-only meat. Sweden's been turned into a rape capital of Europe in just a few decades. A majority of rape-convicts turn out to be -surprise, surprise - Muslim immigrants from Algeria, Morocco, Libya and countries from the Middle East. There was a call from a Muslim cleric in UK to the Muslims in UK to increase the number of babies born into Muslims families so as to change the demographic in UK and turn UK into a Muslims majority. There have been calls for Eurabia as well.

I'm sure that the latter two are just exaggerated claims - it's quite likely news that's been exaggerated out of proportion because of the fact that the panic-mongering media sells itself on the basis of that news. Yet again, I don't think I can ever find any Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, Buddhist, Taoist, Zoroastrian or other religious group claiming to want to overtake an entire continent and teach the locals what kind of religious belief they ought ot be following. There are no other religious groups which harbour so crazy and so hostile members amongst themselves in so large numbers so as to pose a security threat for a country.

I dunno why people are so soft-spoken on the issue. I don't get why Ravi or Rohan or Aditi or Megha or ... (there are others - people I've not spoken directly to, but people who I've seen arguing with other people on the issue) fail to see the very obvious. Or maybe it's just that they don't want to 'offend' the already over-sensitive Muslims. I find that a friggin' stupid reason really. (it's a reason one of my colleauges gave me) Or that I was targetting a group generally whereas only a minority of people were responsible for the actions. Well - I wasn't saying that ALL muslims are more conservative. No, I said that Muslims in 'genera' are more conservative and this results in the fact that Muslism end up harassing people of their community and other communities more than other communities do. (this was also an argument I had to endure). I call these set of people the pseudo-secular guilt brigade - because firstly - in their attempt to not hurt the sentiments of Muslims - they're unnecessary and overtly wannabe-secular feelings take charge and dispose of well established fact (by statistics) in favour of emotion (we don't wanna hurt their sentiments). I find it rather stupid that people engage in such kind if conclusions dismissal tactics - especially when two of the people I've mentioned are... going to be physicists just like I myself.

It's a bit like people trying to dismiss off the fact that blacks have greater tendecies to be violent (either in the UK or the US) than whites, or that women tend to be worse when it comes to directions than men, or the gay men tend to be a lot more promiscuous than their heterosexual counterparts (of course, it's due to avaialability of sex rather than libido). There are all uncomfortable truths and they are all denied and thrown out of the seat of that of possible considerations.

Jeezzz people call a spade a spade.

Monday, August 22, 2011

On Free Speech: In the context of Subramanian Swamy

I understand perfectly well that Subramanium Swamy is eligible to be prosecuted under Section 153 A of the IPC for his article in DNA.

What I disagree with, is that such a section should exist in the constitution in the first place.

Just to make matters clear, I don't agree on inch with what Swamy intends to have the country do to itself and it's citizens, especially in regards to the Muslims in this country. Nor do I agree with his opinions that 'Hindustan' is a country of Hindus. All the romanticism with Hinduism is not something that I particularly am fond of.

Yet again the demand to have him prosecuted for saying such a thing is just plain stupid. He didn't personally go out there to hunt a bunch of Muslims or Christians or Hindus (he's the one he comes on pretty hard too, in spite of claiming to working primarily for them). He personally hasn't incapaciated anybody from doing whatever they were doing by having that article appear in DNA. That a trickle-down-effect of the article's influence will, on the other hand, will result in disappointing forms of discriminations against Muslims is the entire point of writing the article. That's the entire point of free speech in the first place.

Free Speech means you give place for all those views and opinions which you are against, partially or totally. Labeling something as 'hatespeech' and wanting to censor it and by doing so wanting to prevent a trickle-down-effect would destroy the entire purpose of free speech.

Of course, anybody who knows me personally would lash out against me on the gay-agenda - on how gays have constantly been demanding for hate-speech laws (just like there are for caste, religion, region etc,etc). Well, I'd just say the same - why not have people have their say? I may have been for hate-speech laws before, but I've had a change of opinion. Now as long as the Westboro-Baptist Church will keep to the other side of the road, I don't get why they should be prosecuted from their agitations against the funerals of dead American soldiers.

If you are going to hold people responsible for what they themselves do, then the speaker is only responsible for what he or she has said. If there's some asshole waiting to axe somebody else due to an 'influence', an asshole with a brain and the ability to sum one-plus-one, then it's completely the asshole's responsibility to have committed the axe-act. Not the speakers' I'd say. The asshole is supposed to be treated with a person with brains too. Not a robot who's being controlled by the speaker. For every single person who's influenced to violence by merely the words of another person, there are a million others who never are instigated to such an extent. Given THIS fact, it's rather clear that the speaker should not be held accountable for anybody the speaker influences.

Also censoring somebody's words to prevent a havoc from breaking out just amounts to giving to license for peopel to 'feel offended and creating a havoc'. Someone I know termed this as being party to consensual rape.

Apart from this, one could also go into the argument of inequality before the law in terms of 'the right to offence'. Giving such a 'right to feel offended' is basically to prevent the outbreak of violence/chaos/ discriminatory sentiments against a bunch of people/ or some such similar thing. So that if a bunch of overtly-sentimentalist religious crackpots cry foul when someone depicts their God on a swimsuit or as a cartoon the first thing the government is responsible to do in the favour of these people is to issue statements of condemnation of such expressions although no opinion is sought from the Gods themselves on how cool they are with the being depicted this way. Yet again that feminists, gays and people from non-Abrahamic faiths or those with no faiths at all or those from the lower castes/untouchables would find the holy books of these people offensive due to various different parts in their books would amount to nothing, because the latter set of people aren't violent enough, which is ultimately what counts.

To seek to prevent people from saying things that has a trickle-down effect to go against what you want is just a cheap trick to prevent your fight from getting more difficult. The contrary requires you to use more 'reason' for gaining more support rather than appeal to your audience's emotion. Of course, masses get their appeal more from 'feeling' their way towards things than 'thinking' their way towards things.

This does of course doesn't mean that anybody gets to say whatever they wanna say to keep constantly harassing someone. You get to speak your mind - sure. But you should give people the option of not listening either (took this one from Jim Goad).

Till later...

On the anti-corruption campaign

I suppose most of the people who are agitating for India-Against-Corruption campaign are just jealous that other people are managing to get away with a good buck.

The truth merely is that we... Indians... demand that OTHERS not be corrupt. That's ALL that's going over here if we are to consider the majority sentiment.

I know that I've engaged in very 'safe' modes of what I'd call corruption. All our contingency grants and all that stuff IS ... ... what I'd call corruption in some form. Of course, entitlement is greed sanctified and hence it doesn't fall under 'legal corruption'. But it's greed nonetheless. And it's greed that doesn't need to be sanctioned by the government. (Oh come on... the last time I checked very few students ever use their laptops or whatever for actual educational purposes. It's just stuff they wanna masturbate to - be it porn or intellect or F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or others stuff).

I know my family has engaged in corruption to some extent. Well... my dad is a government employee, so that naturally allows for corruption in some form or the other - be it the use of office laptops for personal home use or the print-outs we needed for our schools or similar stuff.

These are petty forms of corruption and I know that we are not as corrupt as many others I've seen (ISRO or PRL) engaging in this act, with their greed for money/ equipment and similar shit. We all are.

These are pretty safe though. They're all legal. Apart from this fact, I've probably been forced to bribe a TC only once in a train, because of the non-availability of seats.

Nothing else has come my way, 'coz we aren't into any other kind of business - me and my family.

But I'm sure other people have engaged in it in many many other forms and stuff that I'd called worse forms of corruption.

Well, what can I say? Just that this entire thing is not gonna help us one inch. What do I mean by help? I mean by 'help', that the AMOUNT of corruption will reduce. That is, the money that should have been in the exchequer GOES there, rather than falling into the hands of some individual who'll use it for private benefit when nobody can agree that he/she should be alloted it. Yes, you'll get some of your criminals caught, but given that it's a very powerful office, you'll make a good bunch of others immune to being caught on the basis of corruption too. So in effect, you're transferring power from one bunch of individuals to others - so that you're just revoking the right to loot the public exchequer from one set of individuals and giving another set of people greater opportunity to loot from the public exchequer. ...

Let's look at it this way: given that high power is associated with a great amount of corruption (India or US) what are the chances that a person who's given that power WON'T indulge in a great amount of corruption himself/ herself? Besides, given the fact that that office is the one gonna be scrutinizing and investigating other government offices, for how long will they resist the lures that would be offered to them by these other offices they are going to investigate against? Gandhi wouldn't have been able to survive if he were a Jewish-non-violent-civil-disobedience-activist in Nazi Germany. Similarly, no office related to the government can effectively survive without giving into corruption. The more clean you are, the more of a problem you'll be to other people in some way or the other. The more problems your cleanliness starts becoming for the entire administrative body, the more they'll unite against your cleanliness. Given the immense pressure you're put to, how the hell do you think your Lokpal is not gonna cross-the-black-threshold and go against what it's supposed to stand for? And then there are problems with the reports too: given the fact that every investigation is supposed to be finished off within a year, what makes you think that these people won't scape-goat innocent individuals (as in innocent in THIS context) so that that goal is met with? Who's gonna be investigating into such problems?

The good thing about the Lokpal will be that it's small. Much smaller than a parliament with a set of raving monkeys, each singing his or her own song for his or her own private benefit (while claiming to represent 'The People'... 'The People' aren't great people themselves, but oh, nevermind that for now) so that having any other MP found in a money scandal won't seem like one problem in a jungle of others. Having a smaller Lokpal would mean that the media/the common people/ you and me can focus on the Lokpal a lot more, can scrutinise the investigations and the decisions of the Lokpal a lot more than we can do for an entire Legislative Assembly/ Parliament.

And yet again, it's not as if there isn't something like 'public greed' to loot from individuals either. This is primarly what Socialists are blamed for to a great extent. For example, Ramdev's view of bringing the ENTIRE black-money back and dumping it in the exchequer was welcomed by many. I agree that it wasn't a good thing to stash most of your cash away so as to avoid being taxed for it while others in the country still are... yet again the penalty for that shouldn't amount the the ENTIRE money (in my not so very humble opinion) to be locked in for the public exchequer. Well, this is greed again. You know the guy has done something wrong, so you right yourself to do whatever you want with him now that he's become a wrong-doer, which can of course come to your benefit (apart from the benefit of having had your vengeance against his wrong-doing).

This is just one aspect of public greed. It's bound to start coming in other forms too. This would be a perfect example where democracies can be pathetic totalitarian regimes. The will of the people and the power of the people are dangerous especially when something like public greed is so well hidden under the guise of 'development and upliftment of the poor'.

For all those idiots out there who respond to all these queries/arguments of mine against the Lokpal bill with 'Let's make SOME initiative'... well - that's the stupidest answer one could ever expect. The 'Something Better than Nothing' argument holds true when you know that that certain 'something' will work for the better. We are arguing about THAT precisely. You've just pushed that entire discussion away, assumed that it will work and answer that 'let's just try it and see how it ends up working.'

Till Later.
Tan

Friday, August 19, 2011

What's there to NOT undestand in QM?

Richard Feynman famously stated that "Anybody who claims to understand QM doesn't understand QM."

This comes from a guy who's given us the famous Path Integrals for QM and who's used them to develop the oh-so-awesome Quantum Electrodynamics (which I'm yet to do properly) which AGAIN has verified to give us the most accurate and precise measurement values in the laboratory (regarding all the renormalization stuff (charge, mass and similar shit)).

I don't get what he means by the statement that 'Nobody Understands Quantum Mechanics.'

What I don't get is that there's nothing 'left' to understand really if you follow the basic axiomatic postulates given by QM.

There are 4 postulates as far as I know (these are mutually exclusive postulates and everything ever built in non-relativistic QM is built out of these - I'm yet to integrate this into relativistic QM, but I have issues with the Dirac Equation and the Klein Gordon equation - both of which are the relativistic version of Schrodinger's Equation in QM - so I'll come to that later).

Yeah, these postulates are given as follows:
1. The various states that are adoptable by a physical system can be mathematically represented as vectors from a Hilbert Space. ... Rather - there's a one-to-one mapping of physical states adoptable by a system to an equivalence class of unit vectors from a Hilbert Space.

2. Time Evolution, displacement evolution etc are unitary. Basically means that all your time evolution, displacement evolution, lorentz transformations or in general Poincare transformations are all supposed to be given by unitary operators acting on the Hilbert Space. This is essentially the statment of Schrodingers equation.

3. There's a one-to-one correspondence between Self-Adjoin operators to Observables which give us the various eigenvalues i.e. values that would be measurable in the laboratory.

4. The measurement postulate: (the most interesting according to me) If you make a measurement of an observable OF a state, then the state will immediately jump into the a state of the eigensubspace giving you the measurement value corresponding to that eigenvalue. This gives QM its probabilistic nature i.e. this gives NATURE it's intrinsically probabilistic nature.

So here we are. These are the four postulates. And EVERYTHING that's anything in QM springs right out from these postulates - be it Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, addition of angular momentum, all your approximate methods regarding perturbation or whatever it be.

Well... it's better to say that all non-relativistic QM springs up from here only, since Schrodingers equation is a the first order approximation of your Klein Gordon equation (which is second order in time, while Schrodinger's equation is first order in time).

What's there to NOT understand about all of this?

For that matter classical mechanics is also equally not understandable. It also has a list of axioms (which I'm not sure are what exactly, but I do recognize them as such) on the basis of which your theories are built.

So here you have it: two theories and two set of axioms for each of these theories. One set of theories predicts much better than the other, in terms of what you'll get in your lab upon experimentation. This one is QM. So you adopt that as being closer to reality and work with it.

What's there not to understand here? What's there to understand even MORE here? All you can say is that you're displeased with the nature of the axioms (that work so well) and you have this inherent feeling these are not fundamental axioms... that there are MORE fundamental axioms. Yes, work is going on to see if there are more fundamental axioms.

But to say that nobody understands QM is to deception. You DO understand how things work. And you HAVE given great theories which has predicted a certain set of results which have been the most accurately verified predictions every given. So what did you not understand here?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Green

The Greens function...

Jeeezzzzz.... what a METHOD... I truely appreciate that Green guy who did this work man...fuckin' AWESOME!!!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Maybe I should just stop taking so much interests in politics and the economy... or any issue at all and limit myself to quantum information theory. Besides thinking about anything too much just induces a sense of hopelessness 'coz of nihilism. It's good to start out with a broader perspective on things... broad enough to internalize the idea that it's all just fuckin' hopeless...


Monday, July 4, 2011

yaaawwwning over work...

I suppose I need to learn to be a bit more professional.... jeeezzzzz.... research and study - while both being incompatible to a fair degree - are ENTIRELY incompatible with being professional...

this shucks man.... it feels like school a bit again (or for that matter college... although the standards in school were better than in college) - the focus on potentially useless things like thesis and presentations - where nobody is really fucking interested but it's a formality that has to be completed.... aaaawww shit.