## Tuesday, November 29, 2016 ... /////

### Would you use a nuclear waste diamond battery in your smartphone?

University of Bristol, U.K., published an inspiring press release a few days ago,

‘Diamond-age’ of power generation as nuclear batteries developed
And they added the following video yesterday:

Graphite blocks are used to moderate reactions in nuclear reactors. If you study what's happening with them, you will find out that some of the ordinary carbon-12 in these blocks is turning into the radioactive carbon-14, especially on the surface of these blocks.

## Monday, November 28, 2016 ... /////

### Three papers on information in quantum gravity

I want to briefly mention three recent papers on the fate of the information in quantum gravity.

First, a week ago, Raphael Bousso argued that there is a simple

Universal Limit on Communication.
When you are sending the information by photons, one photon of frequency $\omega$ must occupy the time at least $\Delta t \sim 1/ \omega$ and transmits $\O(1)$ nats (or bits) of information, e.g. a bit from the polarization of the photon. The energy of the photon is $E=\hbar\omega$.

You might think that the number of bits per photon may be increased arbitrarily because the information may be carried e.g. in the precisely determined angular direction of the photon's motion. But Raphael argues that due to the unavoidable appearance of some quantum effects that are there despite the seemingly classical setup, the recipient of the information (whose name is Bob and who surrounds the source, Alice, by a big sphere) will actually not be able to extract much more information, and the total transmitted information can't be above $E \cdot \Delta t / \hbar$, after all.

There have been various limits involving the information and entropy etc. Some of them seem to be universal in quantum mechanics, not just results in quantum gravity. This bound doesn't explicitly depend on Newton's constant $G_N$ and even though the "cultural context" of the derivation seems like quantum gravity (just like some Bekenstein-related bounds), I think it's right to say that this is a non-gravitational result (if it is true).

### Swiss voters chose to keep nuclear power plants

I generally think that frequent referendums aren't a good way to organize societies – or at least nations such as mine – because I do think that detailed decisions should be made by selected people with special knowledge and skills and the median voter isn't one of them. That's why a competition between "potential experts" – politicians who fight against each other – which is judged by the median voter i.e. the representative democracy sounds like a more sophisticated scheme.

On the other hand, I am repeatedly impressed by the results of the referendums in Switzerland and the political maturity that they display. Almost one thousand years of referendums could have made the Swiss more sensible. One shouldn't denounce the possible explanation that the Swiss are simply better at this business – and what could be harmful to other nations may be beneficial for Switzerland.

The latest referendum was one about the nuclear energy.

## Sunday, November 27, 2016 ... /////

### Was Hillary defeated by Kremlin-paid propaganda agents?

I used to consider The Washington Post as a daily that an average intelligent person could see as one of his information sources. But this picture was diminishing over the years and three days ago, it dropped hugely because of the article

Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say
In this most viewed article on WaPo's site on Friday, Craig Timberg teaches us that Donald Trump didn't win because of his personality, his program, his campaign strategy, preferences and values of a majority of the U.S. public, and their genuine dissatisfaction with the trends that America has been following in recent years. Instead, Hillary was partly if not mainly defeated by
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts...
Wow, just wow. See some reactions at 21stCenturyWire, ZeroHedge, Truth Feed, The Intercept, Fortune, RT video, RT text, and others, more.

## Saturday, November 26, 2016 ... /////

### Fidel and Czechoslovakia

90 years is a blessed age to die and the Cuban Marxist leader was fortunate to live that long. Donald Trump just tweeted that Castro is dead. Almost all Cubans in Florida are celebrating. They're obviously right about the overall sign of the sentiment. He was a dictator that was responsible for many crippled lives and the erasure of some 90% of the Cuban GDP. But in some way, it doesn't sound "cool" to celebrate the death of this no longer dangerous "hip" character from the world history.

My country had a special relationship to Castro. Like other kids in the Soviet bloc, we were trained to recognize him as a hero. But the relationships were more special. For example, a very large percentage of the machinery used in Cuba was produced in Czechoslovakia. Among many other things, that included a car owned by Fidel, Tatra 603, typically a car of the Czechoslovak VIP communists. At some moment, he switched from Tatra and Soviet limousines to Mercedeses, however.

In 1968, Castro needed to improve his bad relationships with Moscow so he – unlike the Romanian, Yugoslav, Albanian, and Chinese comrades – endorsed the occupation of Czechoslovakia even though he didn't send any actual tanks. For this attitude, Cuba was allowed to export sugar or something like that.

## Friday, November 25, 2016 ... /////

### Turkey updated its position to full blackmail

I hope that the U.S. readers have enjoyed their Thanksgiving. Turkey seems like a natural topic these days.

I am not a fan of Daniel Landa and it seems right to classify his singing as out-of-tune (plus plain talk) but this well-known Czech song is titled "Thanksgiving" so it may get the right to look for fans outside Czechia. Music: Petr Hapka. Lyrics: Michal Horáček, Prague Café's presidential candidate.

For some years, I have observed that Turkey was a problematic ally that Europe shouldn't rely upon, and I have criticized Turkey's relationships with ISIS vs the Kurds, among other things.

## Thursday, November 24, 2016 ... /////

### "Popular vote" and "number of electoral votes" don't commute

I have dedicated several blog posts to the attitude of Trump critics to the elections. The biased media coverage and polls (yesterday, during a public debate in the bank, I noticed how much the anti-Trump and similar self-evidently unjustified biases are widespread even among top bank analysts etc.) and the emotionally immature reactions by the leftists were given some room.

But there's another unsurprising dimension of the leftists' denial of their loss: attacks on the mathematics. While Scott Aaronson sent thousands of dollars to sponsor a recount in three states (WI, MI, PA; leftists' dealing with the taxpayer money is even more wasteful when they get in front of the steering wheel), Brian Greene included himself among the embarrassingly sore losers by questioning the U.S. democracy itself:

Well, that's a painful tweet, Brian, one that shows how sick political positions are considered normal in the Western universities.

I have tried to explain to him that "democracy" generally means "the participation of the most general public at power" but the detailed implementation of this general concept requires additional laws and the U.S. implementation involves the electoral votes. There's nothing non-democratic about this recipe: the "demos" still rules by picking a sensible number of electoral votes etc. During the presidential elections, the U.S. democracy is defined by the rules involving the electoral votes. The rules involving the electoral votes aren't a "curious" flavor of democracy but the "U.S." flavor of democracy, perhaps the world's most celebrated flavor of democracy.

Leftists are used to bending and twisting the rules whenever they can (also changing the rules during the game) – e.g. when they are selectively hiring women or people of color or other privileged groups at the U.S. universities or when they harass conservatives in the Academia – and they seem to be shocked that the same dirty tricks can't be easily done after the presidential elections.