The Higgs boson has been discovered last year. There is no news today. It is merely the significance level that is a little higher now, but even a level of so called “five sigma” (don’t worry if you do not understand it, it is arbitrary anyway) does not prove anything. The faster than light neutrinos came with six sigma (!), and nobody in their right mind believed it, precisely as everybody in their right mind knows for more than half a year already that the Higgs boson is for real. So why the hype now?

Big money projects need a lot of hype for justification. Thus, the Higgs boson is persistently called “God Particle”, although it has relatively little relevance to fundamental physics – in fact, theoreticians have long hedged their bets. This means that it is not nearly as fundamental as hyped and possibly there are other universes and even parallel worlds (not the same!) that are perhaps even quite similar to ours except for that they do not have Higgs bosons.

Ethan Siegel from SB calls for shutting down the LHC (of course he cannot openly do so). He writes that the discovery of the Higgs boson is

… a nightmare scenario for everything else, including supersymmetry, extra dimensions, and string theory. Because finding the standard model Higgs at this energy means that there’s no need for any of those things. A Higgs at 125 GeV and nothing else at the LHC, totally consistent with the standard model, mean that if supersymmetry exists, it needs to be at such a high energy that it no longer solves the problem it was designed to solve!

He means the Hierarchy problem, and he is basically saying, though he cannot dare to actually say it (He may officially deny this interpretation), that with the Higgs, everything of interest that may still be out there is beyond the reach of the Large Hype Constructor (LHC), so we may as well scrap it!

I do not agree with that there may not be perhaps be something waiting, though one has to ask whether it is objectively (without hype) worth it, and there are still other reasons that do also seriously suggest that it is time to scrap all these high ticket projects like the ELI super laser, because they are ineffective and always lead to hype and utter nonsense (in case of ELI discussed here) around a few, too few, results that could be achieved in much cheaper ways.

With all the money we put into the LHC, we could have funded so many Laser research labs for example, not only would we have many more interesting and useful research results applicable to for example medical needs today, but by now, we likely would have found out how to detect evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson on a lab-bench top.

The LHC is like people in 1970 spending almost all their research money on making the biggest computer possible at the time. Such is idiotic; this is not how progress works! You spend resources on many projects, and usually after ten or 20 years, you have something that is much more powerful than what you could have possibly made 10 years ago, and in every damn living room, too! You do not make 200 horse power cars by putting 200 horses in front of a wooden cart.

With less hype and glamor science, there would be less public distrust in science; there would be more science and especially science jobs, real science jobs for many people. We would not have this weird situation of thousands of young people being reduced to computer technicians at particle collider data centers, unable to practice all the many aspects that belong to the experience of any good scientist. And we would not have the weird situation of a mere statistician surviving as a scientist by largely doing nothing else but a little statistics plus blogging about little bumbs on half sigma humps. Right here on Science2.0, but elsewhere similarly, we see article upon article coming out now every day about Higgs non-news cluttering up everything else of interest with useless blah blah. Often it is about mere rumors, say about 2.8 versus 3.5 sigma being combined with other rumors perhaps reaching the arbitrary 5 sigma. Notice that, quite opposed to the faster than light neutrino discussion, this time nobody adds the (this time really huge) Bayesian prior into the discussion and simply calls it over and done with. Oh no – that is not how you keep publishing nonsense.

And with the hype there always comes nonsense, nonsense like that the masses of particles are due to the Higgs (No they are not!), nonsense like that the Higgs is some sort of ether while however Einstein disproved all ethers (neither the first nor the second is true), nonsense like that the mass of the Higgs may decide whether our universe is stable.

That the standard model of particle physics has the Higgs does not tell us whether the standard model is fundamental or plainly an emergent symmetry, the (relatively) low energy behavior of a more fundamental physics inside of which the Higgs particle is merely a pseudo particle (which it is anyway, but that is another story).

That the rest mass parameter of fermions inside the standard model is allowed to be nonzero due to the Higgs field breaking the electroweak symmetry (or perhaps even somehow effectively modeled by a Higgs field interaction) tells us nothing about the nature of mass. Mass is inertia against acceleration, the fundamental nature of which is still unknown and the amount of which is overwhelmingly due to Einstein's E = m c2 applied to binding energies that have nothing to do with the Higgs mechanism.

Criticism is taboo in today’s business and publicity driven science rat race. You have to be a science cheerleader, or else … nothing. Critical positions are simply ignored and silenced. You can get fake memristor discoveries and arsenic life forms into Science and Nature, but criticizing such you cannot get into any journal that anybody reads outside of India.

I once thought that all those who want to cancel funding to science are simply anti-science religious morons. But money corrupts, and big money corrupts big time. I still do not agree to stop science funding, but we need to counter the greed of big projects that draw all the money away into mere hype benefiting a very few people only and basically nobody else, especially not the many young people who would like to do real science instead of being reduced to data entry monkeys that may applaud the progress or shut up and go flip burgers.


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