Fwd: Excellent Articles by Alex Hill and NYT: Wall Street and the Copenhagen …

by

 



Subject: Excellent Articles by Alex Hill and NYT: Wall Street and the Copenhagen School
Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 03:14:06 EDT

These are excellent articles, the twentieth century in physics started well and became useless and expensive dogma. In great contrast, there have been great advances in chemistry and electronic engineering of all kinds, so it is obviously time to sharply decrease the funding of physics, especially in this deep recession. Funds are needed for new energy. The amount of money wasted at CERN is beyond belief, and it has still not started. My guess is that anything at all will be used as evidence for the pseudoscientific Higgs boson, “the god particle” which we agnostics deny. In fact big bang cane form pseudotheology, an attempt to justify Genesis 1.1. This has been analysed quite closely by Dunning-Davies. I respect genuine piety of all kinds, but this is money laundering.

The AIAS
readership may be interested in the following article published in the NYT in early March, and its parallels with the present situation in the world of theoretical physics.
In the 70s there were many physicists out of a job in the US. At the same time the first oil crisis and its new soaring prices created a massive transfer of wealth from the developed countries
to the oil producing countries, which in turn had few projects in which to invest all that cash, so a large portion of it was deposited in Wall Street investment firms… but WS did not have so many investment opportunities in which to place all that cash, so they had to invent them. So the investment firms
hired
many of
these jobless physicists, who came to be known as “quants” and gave them
the assignment to develop algorithms which would enable them to predict the movements of the stock market
while they
minimized losses and risk. So this is what they did, through their use of obscure mathematics and forgetting the conceptual (i.e. real) side of the parameters used in their equations. This sounds very similar to the development of the
paradigm of
“unobservable” parameters which these physicists learnt and used at their undergraduate and graduate courses in modern physics, in the undisputed realm of the Copenhaguen school of thought which still reigns in the world of academia. Their motto
could be expressed as
“since mathematics comes from reality, whatever can be expressed through mathematical equations
belongs to
the real world”, so the same paradigm which allowed the development of super strings and
dark matter
was moved from the world of physics into Wall Street and transformed into new concepts called “derivatives” and “stock options”. The results obtained by these quants were then used by their unethical bosses as proof that through a lot of
hand waving and application of these magical algorithms, junk could be transformed into gold with zero risk. Unfortunately, in the same way as string theory cannot predict the outcome of experiments
their algorithms
cannot predict the movements of the market and turn it risk-free. The real new economic clothes of the Emperor were finally shown in their full reality during 2008, across the planet, and the whole world will have to pay for this swindle for many years to come.
Let us hope this will soon
happen in
the world of physics… for the benefit of all except the high priests of the Standard Model. I hope you enjoy the article…
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/science/10quant.html?em
Regards,
Alex

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: