Thursday, April 07, 2016

Today's links

Around the Internet today for your amusement and education.

1. 10 Essentials of Quantum Mechanics

As the title suggests, Backreaction lists ten key points. It's a bit subjective as to which is the greatest misconception corrected here, but I'd vote for number 4.
"4. There is no spooky action at a distance

"Nowhere in quantum mechanics is information ever transmitted non-locally, so that it jumps over a stretch of space without having to go through all places in between. Entanglement is itself non-local, but it doesn’t do any action – it is a correlation that is not connected to non-local transfer of information or any other observable.

"It was a great confusion in the early days of quantum mechanics, but we know today that the theory can be made perfectly compatible with Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity in which information cannot be transferred faster than the speed of light."

2. A spat about increasing human IQ

Why did Scott Alexander (Slate Star Codex), Garrett Jones (Hive Mind), and Razib Khan (GNXP) even bother to alert Steve Hsu to this pernicious post, and who is PZ Myers anyway?

Whatever - Professor Hsu gives a reasoned and educational reply.
"Myers is both confused and insulting in his blog post, but I'll refrain from ad hominem attacks, and just focus on the science.

Myers seems to think that humans with much better cognitive abilities than our own can't exist. Sort of like a farmer in 1957 claiming that chickens that are bigger and faster maturing than his own could not exist [...] . I urge Myers to read some books on population genetics before returning to this discussion.

"The argument for why there are probably genomes not very different from our own, but which lead to much better cognitive ability, is very simple, and I went through it in a post called Explain it to me like I'm five years old [...] ."
Worth following the link even if you're older than five.

3. A spat about the KKK on campus (Indiana University)

Via Breitbart (h/t Steve Sailer).
 'Students be careful, there's someone walking around in kkk gear with a whip.'

"Residential hall advisor Ethan Gill quickly wrote an email to his students, warning them of the “threat” on campus: “There has been a person reported walking around campus in a KKK outfit holding a whip. Because the person is protected under first amendment rights, IUPD cannot remove this person from campus unless an act of violence is committed. Please PLEASE PLEASE be careful out there tonight, always be with someone and if you have no dire reason to be out of the building, I would recommend staying indoors if you’re alone.”

"Later in the evening, Gill was forced to retract his warning on his Facebook page, where he clarified that the purported Klansman was actually just an innocent priest dressed in liturgical garments. The “whip” turned out to be the clergyman’s robe-like belt that was tied around his waist."

Are there no safe spaces anywhere any more? Will no-one think of the children?

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