Sunday, January 31, 2010

Entropic Dynamics (1)

"Aseguró que en los últimos meses 47 plantas han movido volumen de producción aprovechando las oportunidades y la competitividad que ha tenido el país, mientras en Europa y Asia se han cerrado fábricas."

Taken from La Jornada.

My translation:

He assured them that in the last months 47 factories have moved a volume of production taking advantage of the opportunities and competitiveness the country has had, while in Europe and Asia factories have been closed.

In context: Mexican officials went to Davos, Switzerland, to convince investors that Mexico is a good bet. In particular they invited oil executives to invest here.

As I was walking to my office a moment ago, I saw a building already several stories high. When I got back from Chicago in the middle of the month, a huge machine to pour cement was adding material to the fifth or sixth floor. Right next door to the Mathematics Department, they used a similar machine to build a new Engineering building.

This is the first installment of a series to present the idea of Entropic Dynamics.

I already mentioned that if the US-Mexico border was taken down - just like the American President Ronald Reagan told Gorbachev, to do with the German one - we will see amazing changes.

That border is there because of greed. That is not a good human trait if you ask me. My father worked several years in the US during World War II. Legalize drugs? No: Open the Border!

Let me explain where I am coming from.

Entropy is a physics idea to describe random motion. Energy also describes motion; actually a short definition of Physics is the study of motion. What I do here is apply these ideas to Economics. This is not original in the least; already Jan Tinbergen got a Nobel Prize for this. He was a student of Paul Ehrenfest in Holland.

Before developing this, I want to present the ideas of Lee et al.

"Our theory implies that the Einstein equation is more about information rather than energy or equation of state. In other words, information is more profound physical entity than gravity. Verlinde’s work, and proposals made by us and others in this new and exciting field could change fundamentally our viewpoint about physics and even the universe we live in."

It is in this context, of a new paradigm for Physics, that I present ideas here for Economics.

Entropy is related to the Mexicans crossing the border idea I presented in a previous note. Forget all your fears about (us) Mexicans before we consider this toy model. Imagine that President Calderón says: President Obama take this wall down. What will happen?

In this toy model, imagine that President Obama complies, just like Mikhail Gorbachev did after Reagan said: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall"

There are 100 million Mexicans here, and 30 million there. After some time, a year?, we will have 65 million there, and 65 million here; just because there are more Mexicans going there, than coming back. Remember this is a toy model, no economic incentives, nor family ties, just equal numbers of Mexicans going South than North. I guess you get the point, unless yo don't like Mexicans and you already stopped reading this.

Let's keep going with the game.

Entropic Dynamics concerns itself only with particles moving randomly. Like gas molecules in a container. They will bounce on the walls causing pressure, and hitting each other and getting a uniform velocity distribution as Boltzmann and Maxwell calculated many years ago. Temperature then, will be a measure of the average velocity of particles. Finally Entropy as Boltzmann discovered will be a measure of the probability of the particular state of the molecules. In a box with a membrane say. Let's put all the molecules on the left hand side of the box. We make a hole in the membrane that allows particles to move either from right to left or from left to right. If you wait long enough, you will have as many particles on the right, as you have on the left. Fifty-Fifty. When you get to that point, Mexicans will keep going South, as well as North; but given that there are equal numbers on both sides, the total numbers won't change.

This is high school physics, no need to invent a fancy name, Entropic Dynamics. I am doing this here because Erik Verlinde just derived last December Newton's Universal Gravitation equation with ideas like these, and all the physicists all over the world are wondering what it means.

My point here is Economics. Notice that my toy model is based on Grammar School Geography. The US and Mexico share one of the longest dividing lines in the world. Just so our Canadian friends don't feel left out, let's consider the North American Entropic Dynamic model. That border goes by the wayside also. What do we have now?

Over four hundred million people all happily working together. Joining forces for the benefit of all of us. As you can read in a paragraph above, Mexico is growing now while Europe, and some Asian countries are not. If we want to face the Communist-Capitalist-Confucionist giant , growing by bounds and leaps on the other side of the Pacific, we should consider all ideas. Like Mao said many years ago. Let a hundred flowers bloom.

It is already happening, but in a very messy way. January 1, 1994 saw the beginning of NAFTA. Today I saw an American built cement machine build a tall structure. We have plenty of people here, plenty of space, and all the machines from the US and Canada, are already getting here.

According to my Entropic Dynamics theory, things that increase entropy will happen. When we allow fluxes from one country to the other, we can have entropy decreasing precesses as well. This will require the so-called Non Equilibrium Thermodynamics.

Considering the Earth as a closed system, entropy will increase and all of us will die. But fortunately the Earth is not closed, there is the Sun, that besides keeping us warm, produces a non-equilibrium state where entropy decreasing processes are allowed, like life. If you consider the Solar System as a closed system. Then all these life giving processes will cease also. But fortunately we are in the Milky Way, and ..., you get the point I guess.

We still have many years to evolve together, and the sooner President Obama hears the just demand of President Calderón, the sooner we'll reach a new stage of human evolution. And the immigration officials will get off my back.

Media Misinformation

Entropic Dynamics

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Nestle , the world's biggest food group, said on Saturday it will invest 5 billion pesos ($390 million) in Mexico over the next three years to increase coffee processing capacity, part of a $1 billion expansion plan. "The majority of these 5 billion pesos will be invested in the Nescafe instant coffee processing plant," Nestle said in a statement, adding that the investment would increase capacity by 40 percent at the factory in Toluca near Mexico City.

Everybody's Fine

I went to see this film today. It reminded me of my father in-law. He lived in Brentwood, California, and Robert De Niro, has his mannerism in the movie. My father in-law talked to people in the street that he didn't know in a way that we don't do in Mexico. I loved him for that.

You can read a better description of the movie than what I can do now, in the link above, .

My point though, is that modern society has a gap, not of money, nor trust, but of family ties. Fortunately here in Mexico we still have strong family ties, at least that is how I feel about my family. The father, played by de Niro, left the family duties to the wife, and she had recently died in the story. At the end he resumes his father duties after having lost one of his kids to drugs.

I have two children, the movie touched me deeply. I was crying, fortunately the theater was empty, I went to the matinee. I guess I have to try to get closer to my kids.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Iranian Nuclear Threat

Obama warned Iran in his State of the Union Address about their nuclear arms work. Clinton told the Chinese they should support sanctions.

Venezuela, and other Latin American countries are getting cozy with the Islamic Republic of Iran. I guess the idea here is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

We already had one of those unfortunate confrontations in the sixties. Fidel Castro even allowed the Russians to locate nuclear weapons in Cuba. It was cooler heads, Krushov and Kennedy, I suppose, that averted nuclear catastrophe.

Nowadays we have a clearer and more present danger in global warming, because even though that threat is not one boom, and we are gone. The likelihood of permanent global collapse is equal, if not even greater, given our inability of detecting slow approaching death.

We shouldn't just wring our hands, and hide under the table like kids in the fifties in the First World. Nor like kids in Mexico right now, who are been taught how to cover their heads in case a big earthquake hits.

First, more people should be aware of the danger, and then, try to act accordingly to face the first global threat of extinction we have had in civilized times.

Straight Talk

"PRESIDENT OBAMA 10 days ago set out one important element in the needed structural reform of the financial system. No one can reasonably contest the need for such reform, in the United States and in other countries as well. We have after all a system that broke down in the most serious crisis in 75 years. The cost has been enormous in terms of unemployment and lost production. The repercussions have been international."
"Combining those essential functions unavoidably entails risk, sometimes substantial risk. That is why Adam Smith more than 200 years ago advocated keeping banks small. Then an individual failure would not be so destructive for the economy. That approach does not really seem feasible in today’s world, not given the size of businesses, the substantial investment required in technology and the national and international reach required."
"The implication is clear. We need to face up to needed structural changes, and place them into law. To do less will simply mean ultimate failure — failure to accept responsibility for learning from the lessons of the past and anticipating the needs of the future."

Paul Volcker
Taken from NYT

Ominousorb Slide Show

Find more artwork like this on Channel Frederator RAW

Energy Technology, China and the World

In his book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded Tom Friedman writes:

"I am convinced that the best way for America to solve its big problem the best way for America to get its “groove” back is for us to take the lead in solving the world’s big problem. In a world that is getting hot, flat, and crowded, the task of creating the tools, systems, energy sources, and ethics that will allow the planet to grow in cleaner, more sustainable ways is going to be the biggest challenge of our lifetime. But this challenge is actually an opportunity for America. If we take it on, it will revive America at home, reconnect America abroad, and retool America for tomorrow. America is always at its most powerful and most influential when it is combining innovation and inspiration, wealth-building and dignity-building, the quest for big profits and the tackling of big problems. When we do just one, we are less than the sum of our parts."

In his NYT columns I've read about the ET race going on in the world. Who will get there first?

 Today we can read in the NYT.

China is Leading the Race to Make Renewable Energy

It seems to me that this one is going to be a global endeavor, like CERN. When I started thinking about elementary particles, I thought that the US was the place to be. After some time at Fermilab, and Lucent, I got convinced that the US is past its prime. The US Congress had killed a few years before the Superconductor Super Collider, and Lucent became a French-American company. Americans didn't have what it takes to lead the free world, I thought.

President Obama got me going again with his State of the Union Address. He finished by saying, I do not quit.

At this point I am wavering on my opinion.

Does the US have what it takes to lead the free world?

I believe so; on the other hand the Chinese look awesome.

So what about this answer?

The world has to link efforts to solve this problem. The Secretary of Energy  Steve Chu , is Chinese-American.

There is a concept there, mh? What about doing it together, just like at CERN?

Finally, this guy is good; just see him here doing his thing with the GOP House members. If he can go to the GOP, I'm sure he can go to China, and firm up a deal with Communist Party of China.

¿Cómo ves?

Nicolás García Tolentino

This is the name of a boy hurt by the authorities some time ago in Chilpancingo. I took it from a Mexican newspaper.

La Jornada Guerrero

Very likely his mother is a single mother. Because September 10 is San Nicolás Tolentino's day. I was born that day, my parents didn't follow the catholic tradition of given names equal to birth names. Here we say, "día de tu Santo", for birthday, because many people do follow the tradition.

You can read the article in Spanish above, about the single mother whose house was destroyed by the authorities the other night, as I reported in a previous post.

Salinger and Zinn

These two great men died this week. One chose to hide in New Hampshire, the other to fight in Boston. Both were equally sensitive and gifted.

All those gifted kids reading this, I invite you to follow Zinn. Definitely do not kill yourselves, either in reality or metaphorically. I know that one cannot help it if some chemical imbalance has a grip on oneself. Get help, and join the fight, we need you.

Strings, Information, and All That

In 1985 I read about this breakthrough. John Schwarz and Michael Green had proved that for relativistic strings, one could have a renormalizable quantum field theory; the only caveat was that one needed a different macroscopic space than the one we knew.

Then came Edward Witten who sent all of us to kindergarten to learn arithmetic and geometry.

But the secret ingredient has been lost for 25 years.

Maybe we found it. It is called Information.

For those who have been following this saga in this blog, it may not come as a surprise that I write this.

I was ready to join the First superstring revolution. Since I am a wimp though, I waited.

I couldn't see a physical reason why I should go to kindergarten as Witten wanted us to enlist in the revolution. I saw him lecturing at Harvard when I was with Hung Cheng at MIT in the early eighties. Witten is impressive, so smooth and gifted. Actually I met Luis Alvarez-Gaumé there at MIT. I believe he was staying with Dan Freedman. I don't remember well, maybe he was renting a room with Dan. Hung helped me get one room in Cambridge, First Street, I believe it was. I got a desk from Hung, his wife knew about this unused furniture somewhere in an office. My wife's uncle Luis Gallop, helped us move there. I met Alan Guth and Jeffrey Goldstone at a cocktail party in Dan's place, one of them had a little child with him, maybe both; I brought my beautiful Leza with me also.

The point here though, is that now I see a physical idea I can hang on to, and understand this revolution in physics that I feel is coming.

What is this Information I'm talking about?

Marks made and erased, are Information. That is how I understand Lorenzo Maccone's ideas. He connects the arrow of time to Information, by pointing out to the fundamental difference of marks, and erased marks.

If somebody or something, erased the marks, then we will perceive the event differently. We will see an arrow of time.

Like Hansel and Gretel. The smart boy leaves marks on the floor, so he can retrace his steps. No marks, no way to go back. Of course the marks can be neural connections also, I don't believe in the mind being out of this world, I am a materialist. Of course I don't mean to say that dead philosophers knew the answers, only that I prefer that bent, a materialistic bent. Show me the marks!

One gentleman, Jonathan, wrote a comment in one of my posts.

"Information is often described as a correlation between a and b, for example the integral of a*b over the whole space. Recognise that a and b may have different embodiments, e.g. one could be a pattern on a magnetic disk and another writing on a piece of paper. The description (above) assumes an identity function only is required to compare one with another. A little bit of thought reveals that information originated at the same point in spacetime, so the integral should be over aMb where M is the function that maps one to the other. How do you map the magnetic "information" on to the writing in the example and end up with the same thing? That is an essential part of the general "object" we call information."

For Jonathan then, the physical description of Information, needs the operator M. In Quantum Mechanics, we do have those operators, for instance Feynman's propagators. For me the problem is deeper.

We have to make sense of situations where there is no observer. This is the old Copenhagen interpretation of Bohr. Wigner's friend comes to mind. Without that friend, how do we make sense of Information?

Now we have Turing's strip. It is the Susskind-'t Hooft-Verlinde (S-'t-V) screen. I have to explain to myself, how matter writes and erases in 't-V screen.

String Theory needs a physical principle to guide us through the 10500 possible solutions.

More to come.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Wretched of the Earth

Robert Fisk writes today:

"It was Netanyahu's victory celebration over the upstart American President who had dared to challenge Israel's power not only in the Middle East but in America itself. And while the world this week listened to Netanyahu in the Holocaust memorial commemoration for the genocide of six million Jews, abusing Iran as the new Nazi Germany – Iran's loony president supposedly as evil as Hitler – the hopes of a future "Palestine" continued to dribble away. President Ahmadinejad of Iran is no more Adolf Hitler than the Israelis are Nazis. But the "threat" of Iran is distracting the world. So is Tony Blair yesterday, trying to wriggle out of his bloody responsibility for the Iraq disaster. The real catastrophe, however, continues just outside Jerusalem, amid the fields, stony hills and ancient caves of most of the West Bank."

I have something sad to report also from Chilpancingo.
This morning I heard at XEUAG 840 kHz from the Autonomous University of Guerrero, that las night a gang of thugs went to the weak wooden house of a single mother, and destroyed it. There were at least two city government officials with the rascals. At that time there were two kids in the wooden house, both underage, while their mother was selling coffee in another part of town. All this happened around 11:00 pm. The neighbors intervened to no avail. You know, these working Mexican mothers in Mexico were in their country, but they are poor. They are illegally living there, because this is no man's land inside the city. They tell the poor residents that it belongs to some Juan person, or maybe they are under the jurisdiction of the city, or maybe the federal government. The truth of the matter is:  they are squatting in their own country. All of these people have the same religion, the same birth certificates; but some are poor.

What Did High-z and SCP Find?

At the end of last year I wrote several notes about minority materials. I based them on the discovery by the SCP and the High-z teams of deviations to Hubble's law of universal expansion.

I based the notes on the then current idea that Dark Energy, and Matter, were the simplests explanations of those accelerated galaxies far away.

All that changed in december as I was writing the notes. Verlinde had pursued an old idea of Andrei Sakharov considering gravity as a non-fundamental force, i.e. derived from more fundamental concepts. Verlinde thought of the entropic motion of the most elementary elements of physics: point particles. Entropic force is a metaphor for probabilistic effects like diffusion. Particles go where there are less of them, if the probability to go either way is the same, just because there are more going one way than the other.

Even if there were no economic incentives, if the US Mexico border were to open, after some time you will have more Mexicans in the US; just because we are one hundred million here, and thirty million there. Simple probability, first used by Fermat and Pascal in the Seventeenth Century, will tell you that much. This is not Rocket Science.

Finally Changjun Gao improved Verlinde's proposal and considered quantum mechanical particles. As first understood by Einstein, the specific heat in a solid goes to zero at zero temperature. In the same way, Gao proposes that at the present time Hawking's temperature for any holographic surface is low, for the Neptune, as he puts it, the temperature is law. In the past though, to be more precise, five billion years after the Big Bang, it was hot enough to have had a higher temperature, and then we should expect that we'll see far away galaxies moving as if pushed out by a mysterious antiforce, a repulsive cosmic force, so called by last year wisdom, Dark Energy.

Gao says now, no such thing; all we need to do is a better thermodynamic model than Verlinde's, who assumed an ideal gas, let's assume Debye's model, which thought of these things around Eintein's time, and apply the corresponding, more accurate temperature variations so obtained. Volià, he gets the same as the so-called ΛCDM model. Which is physicists jargon for Dark Energy.

Gao does not need Dark Materials.

Now we need somebody to explain us: Why do we need Debye if no Quantum Theory was used by him?

What Gao did is called phenomenology. He does not have to explain which fundamental quantum theory produces this success. Somebody else, or himself, I am sure he is working on that, will find the explanation.

There are several flavors of Quantum Gravity, or pregeometry theories. Space is emergent in these views. Maybe Lee Smolin's Loop Quantum Gravity, or Hořava-Lifshitz. We don't know yet. But we know that Gao's guess, seems right.

Are We Near the Quantum Gravity Theory?

A hundred and ten years ago Max Plank hit on an important formula for the Black Body Radiation problem.

u(\nu,T)=\frac{2 h\nu^3}{c^2}\cdot\frac1{e^{h\nu/k_BT}-1}  
This year Changjun Gao discovered a new application of Debye's theory of specific heat's formula; then he applied it to Verlinde's theory of Gravity, and got agreement with cosmological z dependence:
"The dimensionless Hubble parameter h with redshift z. The solid line is for the standard ΛCDM model. The circled line is for our model."

You can see the agreement in his paper linked above.

Below you have the specific heat Debye formula.

To me this looks like a duck, quacks like a duck. It is a duck!

Of course as you may know by now, nobody asks me for my opinion. But you can tell people that you read it here first.

 \frac{C_V}{Nk} = 9 \left({T\over T_D}\right)^3\int_0^{T_D/T} {x^4 e^x\over\left(e^x-1\right)^2}\, dx\,.

Cristobal Tabares Munoz

In November of last year my friend Dr. Cristóbal Tabares Muñoz died.

He leaves two daughters, and Dr. María Eugenia Mendoza Álvarez, his ex-wife. When I saw María Eugenia last year, she told me about his condition then, a little later he died. Their daughters are two beautiful women now, Carolina Tabares Mendoza, and Olivia Tabares.

Carolina went to grammar school with my daughter in Puebla. Their school was Centro Freinet Prometeo. A great place to grow up.

Rest in peace Cristóbal.

This Guy is Amazing

I am watching C-Span. President Obama is talking, actually talking, with Republicans, he talked to Peter Roskam Congressman from Wheaton, Addison, and Elmhurst Illinois, a moment ago.

Hey, these guys looked like they could watch the Super Ball together this weekend!

We need people of these stature.

Hey guys, the world is burning. Start working.


Salinger and Bolaño, two solitary souls that went through this world. Another person that comes to mind is Kurt Vonnegut . Maybe they could not find many friends in this world. I am glad that they were able to leave some written materials. I also think of Juan Rulfo . These were good men.

Rest in peace, all of you.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Changjun Gao

From China we get this important paper.

Modified Entropic Force

If T and S are the primitive concepts and Gravity is derived, as Verlinde claims, then low temperature physics will rule the Universe, i.e. , Hawking's temperature is really low in the Solar System.

Gao then uses Debye's model, instead of ideal gas law. Then voilà, this Chinese magician disappears Dark Energy.

Chinese wisdom, I guess. Remember that China has a long History. I cannot start grasping what it means to be in the same place for 3600 years!


Carl Zimmer just wrote something at environment360 . Based on what I read, I feel I am more of a generalist, than a specialist. Unfortunately I am not linked. So my potential is not realized. Generalists are important for Information networks, unless like Salinger (and me?) they are abnormally disconnected.

From Zimmer:

"Network theory tells scientists that subtle changes to complex networks can trigger sudden changes. Financial markets, for example, can wobble up and down before collapsing. It may be possible to monitor ecosystems for early warning signals of collapse as well. The forest will tell ecologists more about trouble to come than any individual tree. "

Information and Networks

Verlinde has taken a step ahead in understanding the role of Information in Physics. Several years ago Barabasi found out that networks were simpler than people thought. I bought his little book, Linked. I think he is up to something.

I feel like Information is not just positions of points in "emerging" space, whatever that means, but also the connectivity of those points matter. Simply put, most systems are not ideal gases, they have particle-particle interactions, and therefore they make connected networks. In classical physics, euclidean distance is important, but in quantum physics we encounter non-locality.

I believe that Information in physics is more like real gases, than ideal gases. Maybe the holographic principle is more non-local than local, and to be fair, Verlinde does point out in his paper that we should be in the lookout for non-locality.

Where Am I?

Twitter allows to set your geographic location. So I set Chicago, and saw that an important word "over there" is Salinger. That is right, that is what I am thinking about. But then again I am actually in Mexico, when I set that location Salinger doesn't show up. True, the local paper dutifully pointed out that he died, but people here don't really follow Salinger's life.

I guess mentally I am in two places.


Wikipedia on Salinger

I just finished reading the Wikipedia article on this man.

It is interesting how a non-author piece of work has a style. I guess some literary types must be writing Ph.D. theses on this strange animal. The collective encyclopedia.

Now the man. I read The Catcher in the Rye out of curiosity to understand a dear friend that became my wife. I feel that I belong to a club of misunderstood, and eternally adolescent brainy people. An extra similarity is that J.D. Salinger wrote one masterpiece and for all practical purposes, called it quits., and I haven't published anything worth mentioning.

Maybe his death will liberate his soul, and it will come to inhabit my body. Wishful thinking.

Rest in peace Holden Caulfield.

"The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it."

Original book jacket copy, possibly partially written by Salinger.

I met a Salinger Type

When I got to Boston in the early eighties for a one year stay at MIT, my wife's uncle went to pick us up. I liked the guy immediately.

Rest in peace LG.

J.D. In His Own Words

 “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

Obama to the Left?

"That move to the middle — arguably more rhetoric than reality — stoppedNewt Gingrich’s Republican Revolution in its tracks. So why did President Barack Obama go a different route on Wednesday night, giving little ground and declaring that the problem was not his agenda but a deficit of trust in government and of pragmatism? If there was a defining line in Mr. Obama’s speech, it might have been “Let’s try common sense,” to which he ad-libbed, “a novel concept.”"

Taken from:
Where Clinton Turned Right, Obama Plowed Ahead
I believe this black skinny guy has what it takes.

Go Barry! 

Fear of the Other and Fear of Knowledge

Governments defend their countries against other countries. People in power do not give power to the other. Knowledge, as in Scientific Knowledge, belongs to all humanity.

Recently I found out that no longer allows the other in.

Sad day.

Giant Mayan Sculpture Found

J.D. Salinger

He died.

This has been a sad day.

I went to check my profile, it turns out that over a million people like the Catcher in the Rye. I thought I was alone, so let us all mourn together.

Reactionaries Don't Like Obama

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, acted like a high school kid during the State of the Union Address by President Obama.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

Another "representative" called the President a liar a few months ago. Now a member of the Supreme Court acts similarly.

If they act like that, it must be because Obama is going in the other direction, the people's direction.

Now that Howard Zinn has died, Obama should lead A People's History of the US Movement. Rich corporations don't need your help, Justice Alito.

Howard Zinn Died

Democracy Now!

He was 87 years young.

Suicide prone readers, as Bertrand Russell wrote in The Conquest of Happiness , go into the world and get involved with the struggles of humanity.

Prof. Zinn joined Spelman College students, sided with them and got expelled from the College. He was on the side of the downtrodden.

"He was fearless, he was simple."
Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now!

I remember this great man that died yesterday in Santa Monica California.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Don't Quit

I have a good friend, he is the CEO of a small company. I am proud to consider him my friend.

I heard President Obama state at the end of his speech tonight. I Don't Quit. I was inspired and remembered my friend.

Without revealing too much about my friend. I want to describe here, my idea of this American character trait. I really don't know where it comes from, but if President Obama has it, and my friend also. I believe it is very likely a trait that explains why the US is the leader of the free world at this point.

Let me start with a description of where I am coming from.

I am a Mexican intellectual, I can see in my mind, the not very pleased expressions of some people in my family, my workplace, and people I've met during my life here in Mexico, when they read what is in this note. Intellectuals around here are very sophisticated, you know, and we know that US people don't do good from the goodness of their heart, as they themselves believe. What they do is, look for their own self interests, just like Adam Smith said many years ago: Be greedy, and everybody will benefit. Nevertheless, Americans believe they do it out of the goodness of their hearts. We are not fooled, we comfort each other in our superior understanding of human nature, and smile. In other words we are cynical about the intentions of Americans, President Obama, and my friend the CEO.

Here I part ways with the Mexican part of my dual identity. This people don't know my friend, and I feel they don't understand what President Obama just said at the end of his State of the Union Speech.

My friend's father was almost killed in the old country, he escaped, and made it to the US. My friend grew up in the states, went to school, and most of his life he took care of himself and his family. I met him when I was looking for a job in the US. We worked together for a few years, but the business was not doing very well, so I moved on. On the other hand he stuck with it. It seems that the company he founded finally is going to make a profit. You know, I haven't met any businessman like that in Mexico. I have some ideas about why this is so, but that is not the point here.

Today I heard the son of another immigrant that made it to the US shores, after much adaptation and suffering, he made it to the highest leadership position of his country. I just know he is not going to give up.

These are very hard times for the World, and the US. I feel better now; after I heard Barry.

State of the Union

Rescue, Rebuild Restore – a New Foundation for Prosperity

I am waiting for Obama to start taking decisive action.

Do I sound Republican?

Well, we cannot achieve anything if we don't act, can we?

Evolution of Technology

Today Steve Jobs presented the iPad.

Like a laptop but better!

In a nutshell, that is how technology evolves. Prof. Arthur, believes that every single invention ever made was added to an environment, where new inventions were born, sometimes by little changes of the people involved. In this case Mr. Jobs.

Matter did not always evolve like this. Organic matter was the first to get into this purposeful motion, maybe lead by entropic forces as Verlinde said at the end of last year. Then humans appeared and purpose made technological evolution possible. Matter then did not arrange itself randomly, it did to serve human purposes. Purpose is emergent.

The market will tell us if Mr. Jobs is right. If he becomes richer than Bill Gates, then yes: The iPad is like a laptop, but better!

Lame Excuse

From today's NYT:

"The New York Fed crossed out certain passages, including references to the fact that A.I.G.’s trading partners would get 100 cents on the dollar on their soured derivatives trades.

Thomas C. Baxter Jr., the New York Fed’s general counsel, in his prepared testimony offered the panel explanations for several of the deletions. He said that the New York Fed removed verbal descriptions of the payments to the banks because the filings offered much the same information in numbers, which he said were more precise."

Cleveland Representative Kucinich:

".. excoriated the New York Fed’s decision to pay 100 cents on the dollar to A.I.G.’s counterparties, including $2.5 billion to Goldman Sachs."

What were they thinking, that we were not going to find out they completely covered the loses of A.I.G?

It Is Here!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Huygens and Verlinde

These are two great Dutch thinkers.

Christiaan Huygens proposed that any wavefront could be considered as if made by a big number of spherical waves. Richard P. Feynman, and Kenneth Geddes Wilson found a way of summing quantum phases à la Huygens to calculate quantum mechanical amplitudes, and probability distributions.

Now the second Dutch physicist - Verlinde - proposes that we take boundaries, holographic boundaries, where the Information is stored, as the other great Dutch physicist, Gerard 't Hooft taught us. Holographic Information Storage Surface. Just write all the data in that Huygens-like boundary and we will have Verlinde's Entropical Force.

England and Germany will loose. No more Newton, no more Einstein. Who would've bet that the Oranje team was going to win?

Lovely and Mariefleur

Lovely girls in Haiti now(NYT)

Quantum Gravity Uncertainty Relation

"This is because, if the light rays were not fuzzy in the perpendicular direction, one could use light rays to communicate information between the gravitational source and the holographic screens to make correspondence for every bit of information, such that no coarse graining is necessary."

Taken from:

Li et al.

Now we are getting somewhere!

When I was at UCSB, I told a few friends that Information was the thing to study. They wished me good luck. Only now this new generation of physicists is doing what I wanted to do then. Miao Li works in Beijing, and Yi Wang is at McGill.

The above long sentence sounds like music to my ears. These are words I can understand. Let us hope that we can take a rest from holonomies, isotopies, and so on, and start talking about holography. That, I understand. If we are going to talk Quantum, we also need uncertainty.

I hope this time we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. No more 10120  mismatches. We may be able to get our orders of magnitude right, when we know what we are really talking about.

Michael Moore With Amy Goodman

In our worst moments we have to pull together. I understand Moore's disappointment with the work of the Obama Administration, and the recent Supreme Court decision about corporations being just like you and me, good, little, individuals with personhood under the US Constitution.

There is a time for everything, like one reads in Ecclesiastes 3:4

Let us grieve, and then move on.

We have your show Amy: What else do we have?

Beautiful phrase and image in Democracy Now!

People are very upset, and are easily manipulated.

Michael Moore

That statement by Moore, made me imagine all the Haitians getting more, and more upset now. When the US Marines take over the country, they are going to be received like heroes. while the hungry Haitians will be going at each other's throats.

"Let them get upset at each other, and then move in". I can imagine some smart Harvard graduate advising the rulers of the world.

We can't just cry like toddlers. Let us move on.

Complex systems cannot be controlled, when the rulers loose control of the world. We should be ready to come together, like the brothers and sisters we all are. That is the way out I see.

Health Care Bill Is Dead

"The Republican leader said Mr. Obama should “put the 2,700-page Democrat health care plan on the shelf” and “move toward the kind of step-by-step approach Americans really want.” Republicans, however, have not come forward with any new proposals, and Mr. McConnell has said he hopes the health care bill is now dead.""

From the NYT today.

Where are the Unions? Does anybody want to give Americans the health care they deserve?

Obama is not the President of Change. This is disheartening.

Paraguayan Soccer Star, Cuban Woman, and Drug Dealer

All of Mexico is looking at something you can see in the Mexican movie; Rudo y Cursi, right now in real life.

Pretty women, soccer stars and drug dealers. This is a bad combination. The movie has a light touch, but Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, together with Carlos Cuarón (Alfonso Cuarón's brother) take these things very seriously.

Diego Luna is the nephew of a good friend of mine. We met many years ago, and now she is a Sociology Professor at UNAM. I don't know Diego personally, but I've seen his efforts to publicize the Ciudad Juarez's crimes against women. I know he is not an empty headed celebrity.

Well, now all of Mexico knows it. We have a problem.

If you want to know more about this recent tragedy read:

Paraguay Soccer Star shot in Mexico City

If you want to watch the movie, I guess you can get it at Blockbuster.

Open University

English people are innovative and courageous. Several years ago they saw the opportunities the Internet offered for higher education, and started a project that may change the way Humanity deals with knowledge.

The Open University

I bring this to the fore because I am a user of the arXiv, and now a Twitter follower of Erik Verlinde. In the past I've written little emails to several thinkers of our time, that have graciously taken the time to answer me. Some people read this stone-soup-like blog I keep, to enrich my knowledge on the subjects I treat here. I have a modest presence in the Internet.

I am fortunate enough to work for an institution of higher learning in Mexico. Right now two opposing forces are democratically competing to lead the University, Dr. Arrizon, and Dr. Rogelio Ortega.

If you can read Spanish, you can follow their facebook pages linked above.

I am new here so I cannot vote, actually part of the reason that after more than a year here I cannot do so, is because of the political infighting forces inside this democratic institution. I don't agree with that, politics should be separate from academia, but then again, I am in the Third World.

From the little I've seen, I lean towards Rogelio, for whatever is worth, I state this here.

The Open University spares us a little, of all that political infighting, that I am sure also happens in their midst. I am also a strong supporter of the MITOPENCOURSEWARE initiative at MIT, and similar efforts in other high caliber institutions in the First World.

I can sense a new university structure slowly materializing. One where the only currency is scholarship, discipline, and a love for the pursuit of knowledge.

I have an anarchist bent.If I could go to Haiti and help right now, I'll rather be with Doctors Without Borders, than with the US Marine Corps.

Maybe we could start a Professors Without Borders movement. I vividly remember Prof. Jean Pestiau coming to CINVESTAV in the early seventies.  He told us, "I rather teach the children of the working class than rich kids at Cornell". He had had a postdoc stay there in New York State, in the town of Athica; there he met  the now Profesors: Hidezumi Terazawa and Probir Roy.

Jean has taken care of several of my Mexican friends that went to work with him at the Catholic University of Louvain:

I just got this from their Webpage:

Elementary particle physics and fundamental interactions (J.-M. Gérard, F. Maltoni, J. Pestieau, C. Ringeval, J. Weyers)

  • Non-perturbative effects: We study non-perturbative effects induced by strong interactions in electroweak processes to understand CP violation. The tools include 1/N expansion, chiral perturbation, vector dominance, dispersion relations, operator product expansion and sum rules. We consider both light and heavy hadron decays.
  • Physics at LHC: We focus on the Higgs sector, the most controversial part of the standard model, and study various extensions to understand the mass spectrum of quarks and leptons.
  • General relativity and cosmology: We study the possibility of testing Einstein's theory of gravity at cosmological scales. 
If I ever get something done, and Jean still has the energy, I'm sure he'll join me in an effort to invite poor Third World kids to work on an Open Theoretical Physics Group online.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A New Way of Doing Physics

I just started following Erik Verlinde in Twitter. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the guy reads my mind. I was wondering what this ideal chain was. I had a vague idea, but zoom; there it is. Now I know. He just posted it:

This brings to mind the Noosphere idea. We are building a collective mind. A network of concept maps we can all share. I don't have to be in Amsterdam, and he doesn't need to be in Chilpancingo.


Notes for a Theory of Information in Physics (1)

One distinguishes between primary and derived ideas for analytic theories like this one here. In the old paradigm, spacetime, energymomentum, and laws of motion were given; in the new paradigm, Information, temperature, and autopoietic are given.

Remember that the Universe does not seem to have Physics Department, and Engineering Department: these are human partitions for the vast amount of ideas that a complex society needs. Both directions of ideas presented here may be the same as far as the way things really happen; but it helps us to chose one over the other. The entropic theory, for lack of a better name, I am presenting here, seems better dressed in the second form above.

Even though these are principles, or axioms. I give justifications here to choose them.

Information is in the name of a whole industry that appeared sometime during the early seventies of last century. Once the prices of processors were affordable even for Third World Professors like myself, it made sense to put Information on a higher pedestal than it used to be in Einstein's and even in more contrast with what it had in Newton's time.

Boltzmann had crossed the Rubicon with the entropy equation more than a hundred years ago:

S = k \cdot \log W

Temperature entered the realm of founding principles then. It is the statistical value of energy. What may not be in this triad in most people's heads is the autopoietic part.

This requires a justification here.

The insight that drives this entropic theory is that, in the older paradigm Newton's Laws were given, once and for all. Some kind of tables of the truth delivered to Newton in some dream, or alchemical deliberation. One can imagine Galileo's proposal for the first law as correct, and accept that the second and third were commonsensical, to have a realistic model of the world; be it as it may, they represent the algorithm by which one will represent motion in spacetime. In the new paradigm, we also need an algorithm. Not only what objects are primary, but also how; are we going to construct explanations with these objects.

My reason for the autopoietic part, comes from the belief that the laws of behavior for entropy and temperature change as time passes. I cannot say that they are derived concepts from Newton's laws, because that is the other paradigm. I will be presenting a rearranged Newton's structure, not a new paradigm.

I believe that the Universe builds itself, it doesn't have a purpose: purpose is emergent in my view. In the beginning it didn't have a purpose, as complexity appeared, then autopoietic principles started to operate.

More to come.

Entropy for Perelman and Gravity

I tried to understand the contribution of Grigori Perelman to Mathematics some time ago. I read his papers online and felt that he must have studied Physics with some member of the Lev Landau school of Theoretical Physics in Russia. Nevertheless I recently found out the book, Perfect Rigor by Masha Gessen. To my surprise I see now that it is unlikely that Grisha, as people calls him, studied with any physicist.

How did he come up with the idea of Entropy?

I was getting excited about talking to Perelman, the man that proved Poincaré right. I have a friend that knows him; I asked him to invite him to Mexico, but he said that Perelman was not talking with anybody. Then I read Gessen book and understood.  He has cut relationships with people. I wrote a short story with that theme. I've met people a little bit like him, that is the gist of the story.

I bring this up now, because I am trying to understand the entropic character of gravity; and Grisha's insight is then even more intriguing. I guess I'll have to study his work without his help.

Why does one need to define Entropy in Differential Geometry, to prove that the only three dimensional compact object that can be contracted to a point is the three-sphere?

A three sphere is a strange object. If xi, with i = 1, 2, 3, 4, satisfy:

x12+x22+x32+x42= 1

Then the surface one gets by that restriction is the unit three sphere. For some odd reason, one needs a function that only increases, that Perelman calls the entropy function.

Go figure.

Just Follow the Money

Amy Goodman interviews Robert Redford today.

This is a must see!

Sundance Festival

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Universality of Newton and Einstein

Verlinde and a group of modern thinkers have come up with a new interpretation of Gravity. The words entropic force are now going around all over the globe to describe the new paradigm. At this stage there is no experimental way I am aware of to debunk the old ideas. This is a first try at building the paradigm, and I point out to one experimental opportunity.

From what I understand the new paradigm tells us that space and time are emergent properties; this is a far cry from time as a river that flows independently of maybe even the wishes of God.

The only entropic force I was aware of was diffusion. When I was an engineering student I was fascinated by the idea that particles will move from where there are more to where there are less. Such a simple and deep idea. All particles have an equal tendency to go left or right through a hole in a membrane inside a box. If all are to the left say, then there is a tendency for particles to migrate in the long term more likely to the right than to the left of the box, just because there are less particles going from right to left. All of them are in the left in the beginning!

Of course when the number of particles in both sides of the box is the same, the flow stops.

Somehow, Verlinde reminds us, in thermodynamic situations these random statistical motions produce something we can call a force, an entropic force; and even more surprisingly, he says that gravity is just like that, a mere thermodynamic effect. To make his point he puts together in a new way a set of ideas created by several thinkers during the past thirty or so years: ideas by Jacob Bekenstein, Steve Hawking, Bill Unruh, Gerard 't Hooft, and others.

Do I believe him?

Not yet. I have to digest it better; but here I write one possible test.

If Newton and Einstein didn't discover fundamental laws, then there must be alternatives to explain the massive amount of experimental facts being collected by astronomers right now. More than at any time in history, we are finding out about extrasolar planets, missing mass, and accelerating supernovae.

Profs. Jacob Bekenstein and Mordechai Milgrom in Israel are very busy proposing their own Theory of Gravity, which explains the fast velocities of stars at the edge of all galaxies. Instead of proposing new dark matter, or other such dark materials, they say, we got the gravity force law wrong for galactic size distances.

These new, so called MOND equations, may also have a thermodynamic explanation, if anybody finds this explanation, he or she, can claim Newton's and Einstein's chairs, in Cambridge and Mercer.

Mike Green, and Ed Witten: move over, here come new Kings.

Maybe I can start a betting contest. What about Erik Verlinde, and Thanu Padmanabhan, for consideration to those posts?

Proposals are accepted.

The King is dead, long live the King!

For those that don't know me, I have a tendency to exagerate, that way I look at a wide enough field of possibilities.

Paul Krugman: The Public Intellectual

He writes today in the NYT:

"What happened here? My sense is that Mr. Bernanke, like so many people who work closely with the financial sector, has ended up seeing the world through bankers’ eyes. The same can be said about Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary, and Larry Summers, the Obama administration’s top economist. But they’re not up before the Senate, while Mr. Bernanke is."

"If Mr. Bernanke is reappointed, he and his colleagues need to realize that what they consider a policy success is actually a policy failure. We have avoided a second Great Depression, but we are facing mass unemployment — unemployment that will blight the lives of millions of Americans — for years to come. And it’s the Fed’s responsibility to do all it can to end that blight."

Richard Hofstadter comes to mind. Somehow, there are not many public Intellectuals, Dr. Kissinger is a fake, the US anti-intellectual attitude produces this waste of intellectual energy.

If you have been reading this blog, you might know how much I admire Nobel Laureate, Princeton Economics Professor, and the Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman.

Keep up the good work, man!

Mixmaster Solution and Chaos

Many years ago D. M. (Prakash) Chitre wrote a paper on the chaotic character of the Mixmaster Universe solution to Einstein's equations. Now Myung et al. bring up this issue again.

I met Prakash when he was a postdoc in Jim Hartle's General Relativity group at UCSB. Now he works in industry in the US. When I went back to Mexico, at the Autonomous University of Puebla, I kept reading his papers. At the same time I was starting to get interested in chaos theory, so I told my friend Gerardo Torres del Castillo in Puebla, about this. Gerardo never got interested. I guess it is difficult to try to be involved in every single fashion that suits our fancy. Nevertheless I felt this was fundamental work. Imagine a natural source of uncertainty in classical gravitational theory.

Anyway, twenty years later I see that I may be right. Chaos Theory now is part of any field where non-linear equations appear. Chaos came to stay, it is not a passing fad.

I am glad that my friend Germán Aurelio Luna Acosta, also at Puebla, chose to make a career out of this insight. Of course he came to that conclusion all on his own. What saddens me is that Germán and Gerardo don't talk with each other. You know, one works in General Relativity, and the other in Dynamical Systems Theory, besides they are in different departments: and then I left Puebla.

So it goes.

Cuban Doctors in Haiti

"... the image is one of a war."

Taken from:

Granma in English.

From a report sent to Fidel Castro in Cuba from Haiti.

Yes, a war.

The Third World War has started. It is not country against country, it is humans against the environment.

I am not blaming environmental degradation in Haiti, with a tectonic event that happens every two hundred years. That may or may not be related. What I believe, is that unfortunately these war reports are going to happen more often now. 

Climate Change is the Third War War.

Fidel writes in his Newspaper, Granma:

"Haiti could become an example of what humanity can do for itself. The opportunity and means exist, but the will is lacking."

"Climate change is threatening the whole of humanity. The earthquake in Port-au-Prince, barely three weeks after the Copenhagen conference, reminds us all of how selfishly and arrogantly we behaved there.

Countries are taking a close look at everything that is taking place in Haiti. World opinion and that of the peoples will be increasingly harsher and more implacable."

I wish Obama was more like Fidel to face the trying times I see coming.

The Fourth Kind

This movie pretends to represent reality. It was advertised like The Blair Witch Project . In both cases it is a letdown that the authors chose to deceive us. Take our money and go away. We know movies are not for real, but sometimes one doesn't know.

Roberto Bolaño presents in fictional form the real problem of  the women in Ciudad Juárez; both in The Savage Detectives, and 2666. He makes a point, presents his opinion, and we can do something about it. With alien abductions, what am I supposed to do? After the movie I read that Nome in Alaska is full with sad people that commit suicide, but with Santa Teresa (Ciudad Juárez in real life) in 2666, I know that Bolaño is into something when he blames rich spoiled kids in that town for the killing of poor female workers. I do believe the Mexican economic elite has some very rotten apples in its midst. I live here.

Watching The Fourth Kind movie, though. I was reminded of a moment when my little girl and I were inside of a hospital in Mexico, and I woke up from a bad dream, as if somebody warned me not to pursue research in the physical nature of Information. As if I was about to break a secret code, and was warned not to.

 She was very sick, had a kidney infection that produced edema. We let a sick kitten in our home in Puebla and didn't de flea the poor thing. My daughter was about five years old and got sick. Eventually the treatment worked and she seems to be doing ok now.

Should I continue deciphering the meaning of Information?

Saturday, January 23, 2010


                        Why Does the Universe Expand ?
                                        T. Padmanabhan∗
                   IUCAA, Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind, Pune - 411 007, India
  The purpose of the paper is five-fold: (a) Argue that the question in the title can be presented in a meaningful manner and that it requires an answer. (b) Discuss the conventional answers and explain why they are unsatisfactory. (c) Suggest that a key ingredient in the answer could be the instability arising due to the ‘wrong’ sign in the Hilbert action for the kinetic energy term corresponding to expansion factor. (d) Describe how this idea connects up with another peculiar feature of our universe, viz. it spontaneously became more and more classical in the course of evolution. (e) Provide a speculative but plausible scenario, based on the thermodynamic perspective of gravity, in which one has the hope for relating the thermodynamic and cosmological arrows of time.

Taken from:

China, Japan, and India

History of Science used to be History of Greek culture. Not anymore. Since Prof. Joseph wrote The Crest of the Peacock, more and more Indians and Chinese have claimed their rightful place in the history of ideas.

Today I want to add to my recognition for the work of Erik Verlinde from Europe, a well deserved acknowledgement to the work of T. Padmanabhan from India, and Rong-Gen Caia, , Li-Ming Caob , and Nobuyoshi Ohtab; from China and Japan.

Obviously Gravity as an emergent feature of our Universe is a hot topic in theoretical physics right now. But these scientists, are not newcomers. They have helped developed the ideas I have been presenting in this blog, and I will be remiss if I didn't acknowledge their contribution.


Notes for a Theory of Information in Physics

I feel at home with these young people now. When I was in graduate school, my peers hardly talked about Information. Statistical Mechanics was the only place; there was an exception though: Prof. Luis de la Peña. At UNAM he has tried for over thirty years now to understand Quantum Mechanics as some sort of statistical description of motion.

After studying Communications Theory at ESIME, I switched to Physics, and felt that the role of Information in Physics was not clear. I decided a course of action, first learn the craft, then propose a New Kind of Science (NKS).

I am sixty years old now, and nobody has seen my NKS. My situation now is abysmal, Stephen Wolfram stole the name!

I'm kidding, Wolfram did everything on his own. He doesn't even know my idea. I presented the idea once many years ago to a group of Physics students in Puebla, Mexico. Now one of them, Jaime Díaz, is dead.

I told them that all matter evolved, not only organic, and that Information was the script it followed. The script and the matter are intimately linked, it from bit, as Prof. Wheeler, so aptly put it.

Later on in life, I learned that Maturana and Varela, had created the idea of autopoiesis.

OK, things seem to finally have come down in place. This is my first try at a synthesis of half baked ideas, cooked for well over forty years.

I start with Erik Peter Verlinde.

He looks nice, doesn't he?

I already wrote a few notes on the December revolution. There is much more I haven't had time to read, even less comment on. I read his paper, and Lee Smolin's follow up, incorporating the work of my much admired Jerzy Plebanski.

I am not in a hurry, maybe I should be, I am not getting any younger; anyway. I will reminisce about Jerzy.

I got to CINVESTAV in 1971. He wasn't there, after having being the director of the Physics Department, he went back to his country, Poland. I saw all those beautiful green notebooks on spinors and what not. The library was filled with his copious production. We didn't have a good general relativist in house; only his students were there, and they were not very well known. I remember, Prof. Rodrigo Pellicer, that had studied at ESIME like me; but the place was not a hotbed of mathematical physics by any stretch of the imagination. We got Prof. Ralph Morganstern, that worked in Brans-Dicke Theory, but he was all alone, I guess alone in more than one way. He eventually left Mexico, and I have lost his trace.

After several years at UCSB I went back to Mexico, and Jerzy was about to come back. They didn't hire me at the Physics Department, because I was still working on my PhD thesis with Bob Sugar. I got a job at the University of Puebla, and eventually became the Academic Secretary of the undergraduate physics program there. We had now some good general relativists from CINVESTAV, Profs. Gerardo Torres del Castillo, and Humberto Salazar. It was through them that Jerzy received an invitation to give a seminar at Puebla. Jerzy, my wife and I, went to eat out afterwards. I forgot who else went with us; but what I haven't forgotten was a moment in our conversation, when he told us about his Jewish friends in Warsaw that died at the hands of the Nazis; his beautiful light eyes teared up.

In 1977 he had written an important paper:

J. Plebanski, On The Separation Of Einsteinian Substructures, J. Math. Phys.18: 2511- 2520, 1977

In that paper he laid one of the foundations for what may become the Theory of Quantum Gravity.

Einstein worked with Infeld, and Infeld with Plebanski.

Plebanski had several Mexican students, unfortunately I was not one of them. One was Sabás Alarcón Gutiérrez, the Sabas I put in my first Short Story in this blog. I have lost track of Sabas, if we don't organize the search and rescue mission I describe in that story, we may never save Sabas. He is somewhere in Sonora or Sinaloa, just like Cesárea Tinajero, in the Savage Detectives.

Nowadays then, we seem to be close to a Quantum Theory of Gravity based on the insights of people younger than me, like Verlinde and Smolin.

Fortunately for my life project, those insights involve a new role for Information in the fabric of space time.

What follows is my understanding of the Nature of Information.

In the beginning nothing. Or if there was something, I don't know what it was. Then boom; there it is. I don't know where it came from, but there it was. No electron, no quark, no photon, no string, no preon: nothing.

By the way I had the fortune to meet Hidezumi Terazawa, a preon proponent. He was a friend of Jean Pestieu, that taught at CINVESTAV, while I was there. Prof. Terazawa also taught us his ideas on preons on visits to Mexico while I was at Puebla.

Information was not there either.

The problem then is to give a half baked idea of what Information is.

Here it goes:

From Terazawa pregeometry we have:

"Our general expectation is the following: under certain physical conditions, the space-time metric which is a composite of the fundamental matters would dissociate into its constituent matters, just as ordinary objects do."

Unlike Terazawa, I want to assume that before the Big Bang, there was nothing. My problem then is to figure out where the Laws of Physics come from?

This is the ultimate bootstrap. We don't even have Information. Information is an emergent property of the Universe.

In the beginning was the vacuum state. The set with nothing in it.

Information in this model is like the membrane in a living cell, and all the instructions inside that the parts use to build another copy of itself. Autopoeitic Universe. Information tells matter how to move, and matter tells Information how to evolve.

Verlinde, and all the priors that he may not be aware of, because all this was unwelcome physics, like Terazawa's pregeometry, and Erik is too young to know; has opened Pandora's box.

Gravity as emergent spacetime, as some kind of entropic force. Whatever that means.

More to come.


"The observations therefore provide evidence of the large-scale alignment of the galactic magnetic field."

Taken from:

This is the last paper in the Los Alamos electronic repository of the QUaD collaboration with Prof. Lange as contributor.

Our Galaxy then, has a coherent magnetic field. The search for knowledge continues. Now we know our galactic neighborhood better, than before Prof. Lange was born: We owe him.

Dark Materials and Roberto Bolano

"The secret story is the one we'll never know, although we're living it from day to day, thinking we're alive, thinking we've got it all under control and the stuff we overlook doesn't matter. But every damn thing matters! It's just that we don't realize. We tell ourselves that art runs on one track and life, our lives, on another, we don't even realize that's a lie.""

Taken from:


Bolaño had it right!

In  previous posts I describe how we look at the minority materials. The majority of what exists is dark. I even have a poll I haven't closed yet, because this fact has not been digested by my readers, and I believe most people alive today don't understand it yet. I just found out that Andrew Lange killed himself, and he was instrumental in measuring the dark materials.

We are minority materials. We only see the top of the iceberg, there is a whole ball of who knows what, that makes everything happen, and we don't have a clue about its nature. Even my son's Dusty Forensicator puppet show, posted below, has an absurdist plot that I am not sure if he himself understands. He told me that one classmate in his high school, is following my blog. I felt very, very honored. I started writing this blog for my very smart high school students at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, Illinois. I felt I was not getting them interested in Physics. I taught Honors and AP Physics, I had the best students in that school, and I felt that I didn't reach them. This blog, Relevant Science, was started for them; therefore I really feel honored that one of my son's classmates is following me here.

 Lange and Bolaño, rest in peace; I hope we will keep looking for the meaning of the dark materials, both in the Universe, and in our minds. Very likely they are more important than we think, and yes: "We tell ourselves that art runs on one track and life, our lives, on another, we don't even realize that's a lie."

I hope someday we stop believing this lie, and look at reality as it really is; as the Wachowski brothers also showed us in the Matrix trilogy.

Andrew Lange

I read in Sean Carroll's Discover Magazine Blog, about Lange's untimely death.

I did not know Lange, but followed the work of experimental cosmology that he was involved with. It pains me to think, that one less person is trying to find out how did all the Universe happen, really, by measuring it carefully.

In the same blog I found out about Caltech students suicides. I knew and know very smart people that worked and studied there: Arturo Cisneros Stoianowski, Bruce Hoeneisen, Richard P. Feynman, and Alexei V. Filippenko.

It pains me even more that some Caltech students died that way. Actualy I went to high school with Guillermo Cisneros Stoianowski, Arturo's brother, who also died by his own hands.

I am sure each case is different, and all deaths diminish all of us. Right now hundreds of thousands of our fellow human beings are dying in Haiti. There must be very smart people among the dead there, no doubt.

I want this note to be a reminder, to all the readers that may contemplate this course of action, to do as Bertrand Russell, who also thought about this, adviced. Go help poor people, workers, and peasants, so many suffering ones. Finally, I also want to quote Roberto Bolaño, in his Infrarealist Manifesto: O.K.. LEAVE EVERYTHING, AGAIN. TAKE ON THE ROADS.

If life doesn't make any sense, go find it.

I know Prof. Lange, was not the first nor will be the last. I recently wrote about Ehrenfest, and Boltzmann. Each one of us will face that action alone. Maybe a loose wire up there, maybe a chemical conduit is broken, and we are not getting enough happy juice up there; whatever it is, before you unplug the chord that keeps you connected to this world, try to fix whatever it is that is not working.

Albert Camus wrote many years ago, something like this:

The most important philosophical question is whether you should kill yourself or not.

From the link above I took this:

"Many forms of Existentialist thinking essentially begin with the premise that life is objectively meaningless, and proceed to the question of why one should not just kill oneself; they then answer this question by suggesting that the individual has the power to give personal meaning to life."

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