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Devac's profile

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following: 36
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hubskier for: 1913 days

Look for it.

recent comments, posts, and shares:
Devac  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 16, 2021

I'd wager you can average your current workload with one you had this time last year and feel like you're ahead of that 30/week quota. It's well-earned if you ask me.

Devac  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A sober discussion: Aliens on Earth

Wow, I didn't get kb's comment until reading this. It's certainly something to make up plans like that. He's like an exquisitely dim-witted Bond villain.

    It's sad that lawyers constitute such a huge percentage of Congress. Maybe scientists should start flexin'.

You, and many many others, were saying that since that March for Science. There's too much inertia, not unlike with the Moon.

Devac  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 9, 2021

kleinbl00 - I know copy-fu. If you don't want it to stay, I'll delete it.

kleinbl00[67172718]:I've probably mentioned Sayre's Law a dozen times on here: "Academic politics is the most bitter form of politics because the stakes are so low." What you're dealing with is a group of people who are overqualified for their jobs by definition, who feel themselves underappreciated by everyone around them, and whose only ego recourse is to stomp on someone beneath them in the org chart. What you have to recognize is that many people play this game avidly and spend much of their time egging others into playing with them. If you refuse to get your emotions involved you're no fun to play with. Recognize that everyone hassling you right now has Peter Principled themselves to their ultimate station in life, while you still have unbounded potential. Thus, their most satisfying life move is to impede your progress. Being mad at them, ultimately, is as effective as being mad at a pot hole in the road. The best thing you can do is drive around them and keep your eyes on the horizon.

    I'm in my first year as a Ph.D student (CS, cryptography)

Cool! Cryptography always sounded cool, but I don't have a head for number theory beyond Project Euler. ;) I'm finishing second year on theoretical physics. Probably best advice I can give is to pace yourself and disregard any people-related advice or insight I'd ever offer.

Devac  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A sober discussion: Aliens on Earth

So, the good thing is that I'm non-trivially wrong. Essentially, I wanted to see what would happen with the spacetime curvature around tachyon-containing bubble of elecromagnetic field. My messup is very mathy, but traces to a discontinuity at the spacetime point at which tachyon originates.

Oh well. My bad, learned something, it was fun. I still think there's a lot of potential here, though.

Devac  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A sober discussion: Aliens on Earth

It gets better: I emailed some of this to an old lecturer to have someone sanity-check my interpretation.

Devac  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 9, 2021

"Divina" made in Germany. I don't know its history beyond it being on grandfather's photos and getting a thorough service/restoration in, 2002 or maybe 2003.

Not my study, dunno if anything in this place anyone ever consered mine all things considered, but I'll pass the suggestion to my brother. I gotta buy a better camera than this, though.

Devac  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A sober discussion: Aliens on Earth

All of that is true, yes. I'm sorry I don't have an off-hand response, but I'm trying to use Einstein-Maxwell equation to check if we could see something propagating <c in the gravitational curvature from, say, the point of tachyon creation. Unfortunately, with less-than-stellar intuition on my part.

Devac  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 9, 2021

Putting a spin on kb's advice on academic politics and pecking order, I began to largely ignore my research group's yammering and harassment, opting to give them token four hours of my time a week and concentrate efforts on the thesis instead. I spent today's conference call more focused on my CK2 lineage (procuring both Caroling and Attilla bloodlines ain't easy when you're a Slavic Pagan) than whatever overgrown Kohn variational theorem spinoff they put forward this time and feel better for it. Nobody can expect me to constantly bring results anyway, especially since it doesn't seem like anyone bothers to read them. But hey, after all, I'm just a student, and this argument certainly goes both ways.

Much to my surprise and, oddly, joy, I got permission to pick general electives from lists usually reserved for undergrads and took two classes on rhetorics and essay writing. God knows I'll get more out of improving those skills than attending diplomatic protocol or other polsci-derived courses. Gonna stick with classical languages, too, though I don't think I want to continue them in a formal setting. Especially since there are at least two good, populous and friendly discord groups dedicated to studying them.

I'm really proud of all the work I did on the house. From the roof to the basement, through the garden and unkempt trees. It's finally finished.

My research interest keeps drifting. I feel like I got into the condensed matter physics because of all the exposure, not entirely because it's the most interesting, best-fitting topic. On the one hand, I'd love to give general relativity a real shot. On the other hand, escaping academia through graduation is a priority right now, and switching disciplines would impede that.

Also, there's a really fun thread brewing, come on in!

Devac  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A sober discussion: Aliens on Earth

    (2) Humor an old man - last I heard, tachyons were on about the same theoretical footing as phlogiston and even if they were verifiable, the zeroth law of thermo prevented us from ever observing or interacting with them. Has the consensus view moved on that one?

Regarding detection, I'll need to do some further reading, but I think it's entirely dependent on the formulation. In principle, they should be able to interact gravitationally like anything else with mass and energy. Then again, I could probably design you an interaction scheme by the afternoon, and some poor experimentalist would need fifty years to test it.

Regarding consensus, as kind of an outsider to the field myself, I'd say it's getting to the level of "it can't hurt to fund a theorist or two working on it" when it comes to recognition. And, really, the off-chance of tachyons yielding reward IMO trumps 98% of string theory research, and we keep funding that 11-dimensional monstrosity.

Devac  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A sober discussion: Aliens on Earth

    We are viewing the question from inside our own heads and experience.

Yes, but it's not that hard to theorize outside that bony box. Bacteria can survive on ionizing radiation alone, I'd have no problem with a species that goes "3.6 Roentgen? Yum!" that traverses space in a fissionable self-sustaining arc.

Gonna sleep on those questions, though.

Devac  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A sober discussion: Aliens on Earth

I'm not convinced aliens visited or sent probes to Earth, but I accept the high likelihood of extraterrestrial life. 'Oumuamua and Loeb's arguments are strong, definitely more than many "exotic rock formation illuminated from just the right angle with two dozen parameters frozen at pre-set values" explanations I've seen in some papers. When you reach that point, the alien probe hypothesis deserves to be considered on equal grounds.

    the pure magical thinking and incomprehensible leaps of faith it takes to believe in faster-than-light travel.

It really doesn't. You can get spinless localizable tahyons from assuming the existence of particles whose relativistic mass doesn't depend on relative velocity. Magical? Hardly. There's no reason, be it physical or purely mathematical, why it's prohibited. Hell, even for something as simple as rest mass = dynamic mass, you get all the special relativity working as intended and it's a valid solution to the Klein-Gordon equation. it's called Cox-Hill tachyon formulation if memory serves.

This doesn't even get into the general relativity with all its gravitational weirdness.

Just kinda spitballing physics here, though. Last time I did well while pissed-out drunk, but we can try it your way and stay sober.

Devac  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A sober discussion: Aliens on Earth

This assumes modern human as a basis with on-schedule fertility, births and mortality, consistently, over hundreds of thousands of years without lag or stop. Using those same modern humans for my example, the estimate delivery date for the book I ordered from Spain is between 1 week and 4.5 months.

I'm still waiting, it says nothing about existence of books or Spain, though.

Devac  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: NIH Director: We Need an Investigation Into the Wuhan Lab-Leak Theory

    Make Uncertainty Sexy Again, when appropriate.

    Too bad that position almost always pits us against pretty much the entire establishment and the idiots shouting the loudest.

It helps to not see it as "us vs the idiots." Part of the problem is scientists using hermetic lingo like "reasonably supported" or "within measurement error" to describe results with certainties over 4 sigmas. There's an instinctual need to precisely qualify this shit and won't even say our shoes are tied without checking each foot twice, but expecting anyone to be on the same wavelength here is a game lost at a start. That's like a lawyer being exasperated with 'the stupids' who need word salads like "appeal to reject motion was positively passed with a negative result" explained. Any random event defying a four sigma-strong hypothesis is about as likely as getting a straight flush, but nobody says it like that.

For what it's worth, I'm mostly lost enough to just belive what b_b or c_hawk say on the topic, but I'd be way more sceptical if I didn't know (trust?) they know their shit.

Devac  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Virtual Meetup No. 10

6th is Sunday, Thursday is 3rd. One or the other is a typo, but which one? Regardless, I'll try to stop by.