Black holes as the definition of the absurd

Priyamvada Natarajan, wrote about black holes:

How do you think about black holes?

They’re crazy objects, no question; they’re bizarre. There are three ways to think about them, and you can choose. One way is that stars, when they exhaust their fuel, have a violent end, and they leave behind — like a dead nuclear reactor — these black holes.

So black holes are compact inner parts of the stars that have gravitationally collapsed and have become unbelievably dense.

There’s no analogue. It’s not lead; it’s nothing we can think of. Then these stellar remnants build up. Gas falls in. They become bigger.

I want a certain depth of understanding that comes with people who think mathematically.

Another way is to think about the fact that not even light can escape from a black hole.

If you want to launch a rocket that has to escape the gravitational grip of the Earth, we have to shoot it out at 11.6 kilometers per second. That’s 33 times the speed of sound, so it’s pretty fast.

Now imagine a rocket going out at the speed of light, 300,000 kilometers per second, and it still can’t escape, because the gravitational grip is so strong.

That’s a black hole.

The third way is if you picture space-time as a sheet, then a black hole is a pinch in that sheet. An anomaly in the shape of space.

***

I have many problems with the above.

***

My first objection was that defining the same concept in three different ways and then choosing one depending on the context amounted to casuistry. But Ms. Natarajan replied that this was hot the case:

Nope — it’s not — I don’t use these definitions as needed.

These are three different ways to think about black holes – that are – enigmatic, complex and have defied a single definition — this is just how it is — like it or not!

***

I’m sorry but I take this seriously. First of all words like “bizarre”, “crazy”, “enigmatic” and “complex” as qualities of black holes says nothing to me. Second, you say there are three definitions of black holes and “you can choose.” But when I say “you choose one as needed” you deny that you choose one depending on the problem. This is not clear to me. Are there three types of black holes with different characteristics? Are these independent definitions? One definition you offer is that a black hole is an object from which even light cannot escape. Is this valid for all three definitions of black holes?

***

Physicists define a black hole as an infinitely dense mathematical point, then objectify it as a sinkhole from which even light cannot escape but then they invent countless loopholes in order to do physics with these supernatural objects. After all, if it were true that no light could escape from a black hole, no physics could be done with such an object.

By definition, a black hole excludes electromagnetism and therefore it is a non-physical object. It cannot even be an “object” because an object is something that obeys physics. So in order to make black holes to play physics, physicists let black holes grow hair, they let them collide and merge. All these thermodynamical interactions happen but light cannot escape! How so? I think the best definition of a black hole would be this: A black hole is a suspension of disbelief.

***

I also take issue with your third definition. You tell us to think about a black hole as a “pinch” on the space-time defined as a sheet. Then you forget that you said “space-time” and say that a black hole is an anomaly of “space”. Where do black holes live? In spacetime or in space?

To ask us to imagine spacetime as a sheet is an insult to our intelligence. You know and we know that spacetime is not a sheet. So why are you telling us to assume that spacetime is a sheet and black hole is a pinch in that sheet? The sheet metaphor is just a metaphor and explains nothing. It hides the true explanation, if there is any.

You say “I want a certain depth of understanding that comes with people who think mathematically.” But mathematics can be used to quantify even absurd and bizarre objects. The fact that you can study an object mathematically does not prove that that object exists. We know that Mickey Mouse does not exist. But you can define his weight, height and age and study his properties mathematically. But Mickey Mouse will still be a fictional object. Same with black holes. Unless you have a single physical definition of a black hole that applies to all black holes, what you have will be sophistry. Sophistry or doubletalk happens when a concept is defined many times.

Three definitions of black holes:

1. Stars exhaust their fuel and have a violent end and turn into black holes. I think this type of black hole is assumed to be an infinitely dense mathematical point. Which is absurd.

2. We call a black hole an object from which light cannot escape. It’s strange because this black hole is so dense and small but it harbors light in it and this light cannot escape from it. But you are not talking about light per se but a rocket going with the speed of light. So a black hole is an infinitely dense and infinitely small mathematical point which said to be an “object” and we are talking about a rocket escaping from this objectified mathematical point. We don’t even know if a black hole has a surface from which a rocket can be fired. So we are really in the realm of speculative thought experiments presented as physical truths. We are building absurdity upon absurdity and no one is worried about all these absurd reasoning.

3. Think about a black hole as a metaphor. This is the classic “spacetime as a sheet” metaphor. A black hole is a “pinch” on that sheet. What a meaningless metaphor! It explains nothing. Effectively it means “take my word for it. Believe what I say. I’m an expert on black holes and you are not.” So you are asking us to believe your authority without question.

So what do we learn from these three definitions of black holes?

A black hole is an infinitely dense mathematical pinch in the fabric of spacetime (or space) from which light cannot escape. Where does this light reside in an infinitely dense mathematical point? That is absurd. We defined it as infinitely dense. It may even be pure gravity. It can contain no light. But it is defined in terms of light.

From this I conclude that absurd is legal in physics. We are living in an absurd world. The more absurd the better.

Notes:

 Quanta Magazine article about Ms. Natarajan. Twit in question.

— Casuistry or case-based reasoning, is a method in applied ethics and jurisprudence, often characterised as a critique of principle- or rule-based reasoning. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Casuistry

— Black holes is said to form with gravitational collapse. But what physicists call gravitational collapse is nothing more than lifting oneself up by shoestrings, that will not happen. Gravitational collapse fairy tale violates all of the laws of thermodynamics:

Is circular reasoning legal in physics?

Referring to Lisa Randall, Sabine Hossenfelder writes:

And that is how the top of tops of theoretical particle physicists react if someone points out they are unable to acknowledge failure: They demonstrate they are unable to acknowledge failure.

If Lisa Randall is “the top of tops of theoretical particle physics” I feel sorry for humanity and the old science of physics.

When I started writing my book, I thought the problem is they are missing information. But I no longer think so. Particle physicists have all the information they need. They just refuse to use it. They prefer to believe.

So, physicists prefer to believe in their pet scenarios blindly instead of considering data that contradicts their pet scenarios. This is not the scientific attitude but the old scholastic attitude. Physicists are not trying to understand nature but trying to fit nature into their silly speculations.

Ms. Hossenfelder also calls physicists intelligent: “Some thousand of the most intelligent people the human race has ever produced.“ Is this really true? Can we call these scholastic doctors of philosophy the most intelligent specimens of humanity? They are just careerist academics trying to move up the ladder of academia.

If I were to write a few years ago similar stuff about corruption in physics Ms. Hossenfelder would have called me a crackpot. Now she is stirring the pot and rocking the boat of physics and I support her full heartedly. Other physicists are calling her a dinghy challenging a super tanker for right of way. Very apt. I like the image of academic physics as a super tanker filled to the brim with junk theories that serve no purpose except career advancements. She calls herself crazy, tongue in cheek, of course. I’ve been writing about how corrupt physics is at least for 20 years and of course no one takes them seriously because I’m an outsider. But I want to build on some of the bad things she identifies in physics. One is the widespread use of circular reasoning in physics. Ms. Hossenfelder repeatedly shows that physicists use circular reasoning in their theories.

So, Is circular reasoning legal in physics?

Talking about “naturalness” Ms. Hossenfelder writes:

The biggest problem, however, is the same for both types of naturalness: You don’t have the probability distribution and no way of obtaining it because it’s a distribution over an experimentally inaccessible space. To quantify naturalness, you therefore have to postulate a distribution, but that has the consequence that you merely get out what you put in. Naturalness arguments can therefore always be amended to give whatever result you want.

This is blatant circular reasoning. Is it possible that “the most intelligent people the human race has ever produced” can miss that their reasoning is circular? I don’t think this is possible. Ms. Hossenfelder, as a physicist, clearly sees that making predictions with naturalness arguments is nothing more than circular reasoning and you “get out what you put in” and “naturalness arguments can therefore always be amended to give whatever result you want.“

So, Ms. Hossenfelder is warning her colleagues that what they are doing is charlatanism because they invented an argument and called it “naturalness” but this argument is nothing more than circular reasoning that lets them obtain whatever results they want. This is really a damning accusation.

So far, I did not hear a physicist replying to Ms. Hossenfelder and denying that naturalness argument is circular. That’s why these physicists are charlatans.

I’m not using the word charlatan lightly. In any other professional field where practitioners must obey professional and ethical rules such charlatanism will not be allowed. But physics is an unregulated professional field and physicists know this, they know it’s anything goes, no regulations, no responsibilities, so they break all the rules of logic and all the rules of reasoning and no one questions their silly philosophizing and childish arguments. That’s why I say that academic physics is not science, it is legal. In legal, whatever is legal is true. If circular reasoning is legal, then no physicist will question a circular reasoning. On the contrary, he will also use circular reasoning to further his own pet speculations.

Physics is an unregulated and corrupt professional field. It is unregulated because physicists have no customers. The government has no incentive to regulate physics. On the contrary, the government likes and uses absurd scenarios invented by physicists because these scenarios justify the building of outrageously expensive Big Physics projects in the name of making discoveries in “fundamental” physics. It’s a charade played by the governments and physicists. Physicists work for the government anyway. Either directly, in Big Physics projects or indirectly through grants obtained by way of universities.

Ms. Hossenfelder is just scratching the surface, the corruption in physics is endemic, it’s in the culture, it’s chronic, acute and traditional. This becomes obvious when we realize who these people who call themselves physicists are. They are the current practitioners of the oldest profession in the world, scholasticism. A physicist is a scholastic Doctor of Philosophy. That’s a physicist’s true professional title. These are the same people who used to write De Motu’s in Latin in the same European universities in the middle ages and produced countless commentaries on commentaries on Aristotle. Now only the names changed. Now the commentaries are on Einstein and De Motu’s turned into papers on all kinds of forces and particles. The new Latin is mathematics or as used in physics, mathematicism, a pidgin mathematics with zero rigor, that acts only as false witness to physicist’s doctrines. It’s all academic. Even experiments are academic. They all give null results. Academic means null. It would be so funny if this weren’t so tragic.

Notlar:

— I know scholasticism is not the oldest profession in the world. It is the penultimate oldest profession but I didn’t want to get that pretentious.

— These are the the referenced articles, by Sabine Hossenfelder, A philosopher’s take on “naturalness” in particle physicsThe Multiworse Is Coming

— Lisa Randall is a radical Big Bangist who pretends to know the entire lifetime of everything that exists because Hubble observed that 24 galaxies appeared to going away from the Earth. 24 galaxies!! Lisa Randall is a charlatan who wants us to believe that 24 galaxies constitute a representative sample of the whole. This is a joke. I would have said arrogance but this is not arrogance, this is charlatanism.

— What is circular reasoning? “The fallacy of circular argument, known as petitio principii (“begging the question”), occurs when the premises presume, openly or covertly, the very conclusion that is to be demonstrated.”

— Ms. Hossenfelder being a metaphorical dinghy against the physics behemoth is mentioned here.

Naturalness in particle physics

This is a philosophical topic. The professional title of the person who writes about “naturalness” does not change the fact that the topic is a philosophical topic. The topic is philosophical and it is independent of the professional title of the person who writes about this topic. If the person who writes about naturalness in particle physics is a physicist this does not make the topic physics but makes the physicist a philosopher.

Sabine Hossenfelder writes that “naturalness, [is] an idea that has become a prominent doctrine in particle physics. In brief, naturalness requires that a theory’s dimensionless parameters should be close to 1, unless there is an explanation why they are not. […] Assuming a probability distribution for the parameters at high energies, you can then quantify the likelihood of finding a theory with the parameters we do observe. If the likelihood is small, the theory is said to be “unnatural” or “finetuned”. The mass of the Higgs-boson is unnatural in this sense, so is the cosmological constant, and the theta-parameter.”

So physicists need to invent philosophical mumbo jumbo in order to call that old ad hoc term, the cosmological constant, “unnatural.” What can be more pathetic than physicists discussing this ad hoc term they dubbed “cosmological” and “constant” for over a century. Cosmological constant is neither cosmological nor a constant but an ad hoc parameter. These physicists, don’t they have anything more substantial to discuss?

The second, and newer, type of naturalness, is based on the idea that our universe is one of infinitely many that together make up a “multiverse.” In this case, if you assume a probability distribution over the universes, you can calculate the likelihood of finding the parameters we observe. Again, if that comes out to be unlikely, the theory is called “unnatural.” This approach has so far not been pursued much. Particle physicists therefore hope that the standard model may turn out to be natural in this new way.

Physicists discuss naturalness of theories they invent by assuming that “our universe is one of infinitely many that together make up a “multiverse.” Why? “In this case, if you assume a probability distribution over the universes, you can calculate the likelihood of finding the parameters we observe. Again, if that comes out to be unlikely, the theory is called ‘unnatural.'”

Not sure if this is a parody of philosophy or if it is a parody of physics. I guess this is what happens if people who spend their education –a very long education, about 25 years– to study how to solve differential equations and make calculations by using 18th century methods and spending years and years learning data analysis techniques and bad programming but study zero –yes, zero– hours of philosophy but when they grow up and start writing papers they write bad philosophy or physicophilosophical mumbo jumbo and call it physics! These physicists are real jokes. Their professional title is Doctor of Philosophy but their knowledge of philosophy is nada, zilch. For a physicist philosophy is any topic that falls outside of legal physics tropes he is familiar with. Their professional titles should really be “Doctors of Data Reduction and Calculation”. Because this is what they learn to do. Even their philosophy is about calculation. To find out if a theory they invented is natural they compute some probability in potential hypothetical universes that may exist only to make the theories they invented natural.

Well, I have to give credit to Sabine Hossenfelder. I was writing the above as I was reading her article paragraph by paragraph but then I saw that she ridicules and destroys these naturalness arguments so eloquently that I cannot hope to match even if clones of myself wrote about the topic in infinity of multiverses for infinity of time dimensions invented by Lisa Randalls of physics.

Ms. Hossenfelder writes: “The biggest problem, however, is the same for both types of naturalness: You don’t have the probability distribution and no way of obtaining it because it’s a distribution over an experimentally inaccessible space. To quantify naturalness, you therefore have to postulate a distribution, but that has the consequence that you merely get out what you put in. Naturalness arguments can therefore always be amended to give whatever result you want.

Damn these phyisicists! They are not only sharlatans but they are crooks too:

“And that really is the gist of the current trend. The LHC data has shown that the naturalness arguments that particle physicists relied on did not work. But instead of changing their methods of theory-development, they adjust their criteria of naturalness to accommodate the data. This will not lead to better predictions.”

***

How did this happen? How did we allow these crooks corrupt the old science of physics into this state of corruption? Who is responsible? What can we do to cleanse academic physics from these useless and unnaturally bad philosophers who posture as physicists?

***

But this is not over. The charlatanism in physics hit the fan long time ago:

“You see what is happening here. Conjecturing a multiverse of any type (string landscape or eternal inflation or what have you) is useless. It doesn’t explain anything and you can’t calculate anything with it. But once you add a probability distribution on that multiverse, you can make calculations. Those calculations are math you can publish. And those publications you can later refer to in proposals read by people who can’t decipher the math. Mission accomplished.

“The reason this cycle of empty predictions continues is that everyone involved only stands to benefit. From the particle physicist who write the papers to those who review the papers to those who cite the papers, everyone wants more funding for particle physics, so everyone plays along.”

Academic physicists especially theoretical so called physicists are a bunch of corrupt academic opportunists, it looks like.

Notlar:

— These are the the referenced articles, by Sabine Hossenfelder, A philosopher’s take on “naturalness” in particle physicsThe Multiworse Is Coming

Sabine Hossenfelder on Multiple Wholes

Sabine Hossenfelder writes:

Our universe is one of infinitely many [universes].

Let me try to decipher the meaning of this sentence. The problem is that you are using the word “universe” with two different meanings in the same sentence.

[Of course, when I say “you” I don’t mean you. Don’t take it personally. Just like the word “universe” the word “you” have two meanings. It may refer to you, or to a generic particle physicist representing your colleagues who are the lovers of null results and corrupters of physics.]

The word universe can have two meanings. First let me explain the difference between the words “universe” and “cosmos”. Today these two words are used interchangeably but historically they were used to refer to two different entities.

The word “universe” meant “the universe as a whole.” This means that, by definition, the word “universe” cannot have a plural because it is the name of the absolute whole. It’s like the word “God” in a monotheistic religion. By definition there is only one God. It makes no sense to say “our God is one of many Gods” because you defined a monotheistic religion with one God.

Similarly, the plural of the word universe, “universes”, does not make sense because by definition we decided that the word “universe” referred to everything that exists, the absolute whole. (Physicists are the major corrupters of the English language.) There can only be one whole. Do you dispute this? How can you dispute it? There can only be one Whole. I even wrote it with a capital letter to emphasize that it is a unique entity and it does not have a plural. The Whole is whole. The Whole is One. These are definitions that cannot be changed.

Cosmos, on the other hand, is a truncation of the Whole. Since the ancient times, the professional class who owned the subject of astronomy defined a cosmos. The owners of astronomy and cosmology always have been a priestly class working for the rulers. This priestly class obtained their power from their supposed knowledge of the entire universe. Did they know the entire universe? Of course not. So what did they do? They defined a cosmos and defined the cosmos they defined to be the entire universe. So rest assured that what you are doing is nothing new, on the contrary it is the oldest trick in the profession.

What is this trick? Let’s repeat. The professional priests of astronomy know that they cannot know the Whole. But their power comes from their claim to know the Whole. So they define a cosmos. This cosmos is the part of the universe visible to them by using their current technology. For instance, naked eye cosmos is limited with the spheres of fixed stars. The priests claim that this cosmos they defined is also the universe as a whole, or what we’ve been calling “the Whole.”

But with the discovery of the telescope, the lies of this priestly professionals are revealed and the new generations of astronomers observing with telescopes discover that the universe is much bigger than their predecessors believed. You would think that this new generation would say “we don’t know the Whole, we will never know the Whole, all we can know is the observable universe and what we can infer from it scientifically.” No. These are professionals and their job is to lie and define a cosmos and sell it as the Universe as a Whole. And that’s what they do. They claim that the Whole is made of galaxies. Again, the priestly class who work for the ruling powers defined a cosmos and then sold their cosmos as the Universe as a Whole.

In short, every generation of cosmologists markets its cosmos as the Whole. Then the next generation comes with more powerful observational tools and markets its cosmos as the Whole. This charlatanism has been going on for millennia and furthermore it is been sold as the progress of science. This is not progress. This is lying.

I’m sure that now you understand clearly the difference between a cosmos and the universe as a whole. Let’s look at your sentence again. When you say “our universe” you actually mean “our cosmos” because if you use the word “universe” here to mean “universe as a whole”, “-our- universe as a whole” does not make sense. By using the word “our” you delimit or truncate the Whole and you implicitly and tacitly assume a cosmos. The way you start your sentence with “our” makes it clear that you are talking about a cosmos, “our cosmos” or the visible universe plus the inferable universe.

You admit that there is a part of the Whole from where no light reaches you and no light will ever reach you. The unknown part is not a different Whole. The fact that you do not know that unknowable part does not make that part another Whole. Don’t forget the Whole is whole. By definition.

So when we clearly define the word universe in your sentence, it turns out you are saying something trivial because your sentence simply means “our cosmos is one of infinitely many cosmoses that we can define.” Please note, a cosmos is a defined entity. You can define as many cosmoses as you wish.

But I’m sure that you will deny that when you say “universe” you mean “cosmos”. You claim that your “universe” refers to the universe as a whole. Because just like all priestly professional astronomers and cosmologists before you, you defined a cosmos and assert that your cosmos is the Whole. But you also have become a masterful sophist and surpassed your professional ancestors in the art of doubletalk because now it is impossible for us to tell when you mean “universe as a whole” and when you mean “cosmos”. I bow respectfully under this level of sophistry.

***

But since the word universe has only two meanings we can read your sentence by writing explicitly the meanings of the word “universe”. So the universe can mean

  1. The Whole; or
  2. The part, or the cosmos.

Simple as that.

So all the permutations of meanings of your sentence are these:

1. Our Whole is one of many Wholes.
2. Our Whole is one of many parts.
3. Our part is one of many parts.
4. Our part is one of many Wholes.

(I eliminated the word “infinity”, since it is not essential to the meaning.)

Probably you assert the first meaning: “Our Whole is one of many Wholes.” This is a masterful example of scholastic doubletalk. You define the Whole to be a part and a part to be the Whole.

Above I gave the example of the concept of God in a monotheistic religion. God is unique, the way the Whole is unique. It makes no sense to say “Our unique God is one of infinitely many Gods.” This makes your God one God among many. But this contradicts your axiom that your God was unique. Same with the Whole. Don’t you see this? I’m sure you do. It makes no sense to say “Our unique Whole is one of many Wholes.”

This is absurd: “Our universe as a whole is not unique, there are infinitely many universes as a whole.” Written like this, the absurdity of your sentence becomes clear. But this sentence is not only absurd but it is a linguistic slight of hand. It is sophistry. If “our universe” is the universe as a whole then there cannot be another universe as a whole inside it because that second “universe” will be a part of “our universe as a whole”.

So which meaning do you really believe! You believe in all of them as the case may be! Yes you can, and will, defend each of the four meaning permutations as the case may be. This is called casuistry, as I explain below. So if I accuse you of claiming something as absurd as the first permutation, you will simply say “No” and claim to defend the third meaning. Or another one. You will always be right. This cannot change. Because you are the present representative of the priestly class who owned cosmology for millennia.

Your “multiverse” should really be “multimos” from “multicosmos”. But no one will take you seriously if you speculate about a small part of the universe. You are the priests of cosmology and you know the secrets of the universe as a whole so you make grandiose claims about the universe as a whole even though you admit that you know nothing about the unkowable parts of the Whole. This is where your mastery scholastic sophistry comes handy. You sell yourself as an expert on what you admit you know nothing about. This is the bonus of being the hereditary Doctors of Philosophy.

***

The above analysis showing the absurdity of the concept of multiverse (a concept defining multiple Wholes or exploiting the word “Whole” by corrupting it) is so simple that it is not possible for a physicist not to understand it. But they don’t. Why? How come a physicist can utter a sentence meaning “our universe as a whole is one of many universes as a whole” with a straight face and build philosophical sand castles on this sophistry and doubletalk?

How can a physicist claim that the Whole is a part of many Wholes?

Well, this type of doubletalk by corrupting the meanings of words is the oldest trick in the book of scholasticism. This is called casuistry. It is a well-known, standard method of argument used by all Doctors of Philosophy including academic doctors and lawyers and politicians. They secretly define a word multiple times and then choose a meaning case by case. If you argue the letter of the law, the lawyer will argue the spirit of the law. If you argue the spirit he will argue the letter. Same with the cosmologist and physicist. They are in the same profession.

People who call themselves “physicists” today are the professional descendants of the ancient scribes who go as far back as ancient Egypt. They continue the tradition of defining a cosmos for their employers, the rulers, and market this cosmos as the universe as a whole.

***

We may also ask why these priestly professionals needed to invent the multiverse, the infinitely many Wholes? One answer may be that they love the absurd. The more absurd a concept is, the more papers you can write about it. (See my next article on this topic.)

Notes:

— Sabine Hossenfelder’s article where she talks about “naturalness” and “our universe” being one of infinitely many [universes] is A philosopher’s take on “naturalness” in particle physics. Her article about Multiverse nonsense is The Multiworse Is Coming

— Of course, when I say “you” I don’t mean you. Don’t take it personally. Just like the word “universe” the word “you” have two meanings. It may refer to you, or to a generic physicist representing your colleagues who are the lovers of null results.