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Sascha VongehrRSS Feed of this column.

Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙], physicist and philosopher, studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory) at Sussex University... Read More »


The cat is possibly the cruelest hunter, and like with so many bad things, humans are to blame for turning something naturally not so good (like Natural Born Killers) into something outright terrible. Some deluded apologists, most of them female and overweight, hold that even with ever more house cats joining the hunt, there would be some sort of natural equilibrium if we just let the feral oh-so-cute “kitties” run wild. This is one of the more ridiculous of 'sciency' rationalizations, because natural cats like lions actually hunt as little as possible.

Donna Laframboise’s book “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert: An Expose of the IPCC” is out. Negative reviews on amazon are very helpful. Forget the positive ones; they are seldom useful. Reviews that give the writer a low score are the most revealing. Often, they are witness of an informed person who has spend time on a charitable reading but who found the work nevertheless lacking for good reasons. In this case however, the negative reviews are lightning fast reactions of well known people (Scott A. Mandia, Peter Gleick) who have obviously not read the book before writing their “review”.

“Siri” is the personal assistant application on the newest iPhone. Now it is not exactly news that Apple products are overpriced and of relatively low quality - do not drop the new iPhone; it is fragile. Apple aims for those who ‘are easily parted from their money’ (translation at Pocket English Idioms).

A study by ICARUS re-investigated their neutrino experiments based on the article by Cohen and Glashow, who showed that superluminal neutrinos in standard model physics lose energy through neutral-current weak-interactions, which is somewhat like Cherenkov radiation. Given a neutrino moving faster than light a given distance D through a standard background, one can compute the rate of usually expected energy lost through that radiation. The neutrinos are detected via so called ‘charged-current interactions’, which turn them into muons, 104 of which ICARUS detected.

While people are busy with their own knee-jerk reactions trying to stifle my criticizing the scientific community, the Wall Street Journal did what was predicted by that very criticism, namely turning the way that the scientific community deals with the faster than light neutrino results into an asset for global warming denial:

Robert Bryce in “Five Truths About Climate Change”:

The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations”, published in 2004, is a book by James Surowiecki. It discusses, often using anecdotes, that under certain conditions, crowds of people make better decisions than experts. In how far can we (mis)construe this as further proving the democratic doctrine?