Thursday, December 27, 2012


I am reading Holger Bech Nielsen's piece in the arXiv. Also I just read professor Krugman's column in the NYT. Both have to do with stability.

On the other hand, I have been thinking about stability recently. I am also interested in the new book: "Antifragile", by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Now that I know that somebody reads my stuff, my daughter told me that relatives found humor in my adventure described here. I feel like writing this.

Time is code for stability. Some thinkers have said that time codifies change. Obviously it does both. But according to Nielsen, stability is the guide to guess the Higgs mass at 127 GeV.

My friend, and neighbor, Mark Fischler calculated the ratio between the bottom and the top quark mass, many years ago, using similar ideas: The so called infrared fixed point. Nielsen claims that a coincidence between the Higgs mass, and vacuum stability may have to be taken seriously. My take is different, and you can read it here:

When we quantify reality, numbers seem to be magical. Actually, Johannes Kepler's mother was a witch, or at least she was accused of being one.

I do not put too much stock in numerical coincidences, because I believe we are playing a game of fit the data. The more data we accommodate in our equations, the more they look just like perfectly matching. Whether or not there is something behind this fabulous coincidence, I do not know. I am agnostic. All I can do is, be conscious of what we really do every day, and as much as possible, why we do this.

We fit data, and if they don't fit, we try again, until they do.

So far this has served us well, as smart primates moving around the face of the Earth. One day it will fail us, and that will be the end of us.

By the way, the end of the world, is not December 21, 2012. Today is the 27th.

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