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Warsaw

WT*?

Don’t be so impatient. All will be explained, in due time. In fact, time, and associations in space and time, is what this posting is all about.

Firstly, the *image* is the album art of the eponymous Joy Division album [I so love using the word “eponymous”!]. If you really do want to listen to it, here’s a YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UYnyiL8-VI

I warn you, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

Secondly, I have to tell you that last Monday I gave a Zoom talk at the dept. of physics at the Jagellionian University, Kraków; in a seminar series, hosted by my friend Jarek Duda. The announcement said that the talk (on quantum foundations, and in particular on the issues of time in Bell’s theorem) would start at 17:00 hours Warsaw time and for some days I was under the misapprehension that I would give (and later, had given) a virtual talk in Warsaw. Kraków, Warsaw, … I have wonderful memories of a number of fascinating Polish cities.

While preparing my slides I belatedly learnt that two or three months previously Boris Tsirelson (Tel Aviv) , one of my greatest scientific heros, had passed away in Basel, aged 70. One year older than me. (His family originally came from Bessarabia – nowadays more of less Moldavia. More holocaust connections here). Boris’ whole approach to Bell’s theorem, and not just his famous inequality (the “Tsirelson bound”), had always deeply resonated with me. I felt devastated, but also inspired.

Actually when I was asked if I would like to make a contribution to the J U Kraków seminar, the provisional title of my talk, and its initial “abstract”, referred to “Bell-denialists”. Of course I was thinking of one of my current Bell-denialist friends (recently referred to as my “nemesis” by another one of my friends, but I think of him more as an inspiring sparring partner) Joy Christian. So there comes the word “Joy” again. Those who are not fans of English post-punk of the late 70’s and early 80’s might like to confer with Wikipedia, to find out what historical organisation was alluded to in the name of the band https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_Division. The lead singer, Ian Curtis, famously committed suicide at the very young age (for suicidal rock stars) of 23. He certainly was a “troubled young man” … . See the very beautiful movie “Control” directed by the Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_(2007_film).

Coincidentally, today I saw the announcement of a new paper by my quantum friend Sascha Vongehr, “Many Worlds/minds Ethics and Argument Against Suicide: for Emergencies and Evaluation in Long Term Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Outcome”, on viXra, https://vixra.org/abs/2004.0158. There are actually some very fine papers on viXra!

But I digress, as is my wont. Here are the slides of my Kraków talk, and of a sequel (next Monday, 17:00 hours, Warsaw time!) https://www.math.leidenuniv.nl/~gill/Warsaw.pdf, https://www.math.leidenuniv.nl/~gill/Warsaw2.pdf [Moved to Tuesday in connection with Easter].

Perhaps, but maybe that will be on another day, and maybe even another posting, I will explain what my talks finally decided to be about.

In the meantime, thinking of requiems and Warsaw made me think of a piece by one of my favourite composers Alfred Schnittke, dedicated to the memory of the victims of the bombing of Belgrade by the nazi’s. I will add a link to a suitable YouTube performance, if I can find it. If this piece of music indeed exists anywhere, apart from in my mind. Google search is not giving me any help. I have to locate my CD collection…

Ah, it was “Ritual”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdnmWXkfR3E

The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?

Fhloston Paradise interior film frame

We see the hotel lobby of the Fhloston Paradise hotel, the enormous space cruise-ship from Luc Besson’s movie “The Fifth Element”. It occurs to me that our global village, the Earth, has itself become a huge space cruise-ship, including the below-decks squalor of the quarters of the millions of people working away to provide the luxury for the passengers in the luxurious areas in the top-decks.

Now turn to some other pictures. Covid-19 bar-charts.

No photo description available.

From top to bottom: (per day) new proven infections, new hospital admissions, deaths, in the Netherlands. Source: Arnout Jaspers. It looked to Arnout that we were already past the peak of the epidemic. His source: RIVM, https://www.rivm.nl/documenten/epidemiologische-situatie-covid-19-in-nederland-2-april-2020

The curves look to me like shifted and shrunk versions of one another. About a third of those who are reported infected (mostly because they actually reported themselves sick) get so bad they go to hospital a small week later and a quarter of them die there just a few days later.


People who are infected (and infectious) but don’t realise it are not in these pictures. There have been an awful lot of them, it seems. Self-isolation is reducing that number.
As Arnout figured out for himself by drawing graphs like this, and David Spiegelhalter reported earlier in the UK, this pandemic is in some sense (at present) not really such a big deal. Essentially, it is doubling everyone’s annual risk of death this year and hopefully this year only. This means that 2% of all of us will die this year instead of the usual 1%. It looks as though the factor (two) is much the same for different age-groups and different prior health status. The reason this has such a major effect on society is because of “just-in-time” economics which means that our health care system is pretty efficient when the rate is 1% but more or less breaks down when it is 2%.


What is alarming are reports that younger people are now starting to get sicker and die faster than originally was the case. Human-kind is one huge petri-dish in which these micro-machines [“The genome size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 27 to 34 kilobases, the largest among known RNA viruses”. The “basis” units on the molecule are nanometers in size] have found a lovely place to self-replicate, and with each replication, there are chances of “errors”, and so it can rapidly find out for itself new ways to reproduce even more times.


The problem is, therefore, “the global village”. Mass consumerism. Mass tourism. Basically, the Earth is one cruise-ship. One busy shopping mall.


I would like to see the graphs in square root scale or even log scale. You will better be able to see the shapes, and you will more easily see that the places where the numbers are small are actually the noisiest, in a relative sense.

Today’s insights

I was going to write about some new insights here. I posted a picture. Then later added more pictures, to which I need a quick URL in order to refer to them elsewhere. So the new insights never came. But I think I still know what they were. Maybe I’ll write about them another time.

1000 points uniformly distributed on the sphere using the Archimedes theorem method (z is uniform [-1, +1]
https://www.phasespacecomputing.com/
2 “t-slices” of a uniform random sample (x, y, z, t) from S^3
Empirical historgram, and theoretical density of, t
“t-slices” of a uniform random sample (x, y, z, t) from S^3. N = 100 000. Delta t = 0.01. Red, radius 0.3. Blue, radius 0.8.
Histogram of x-coordinate of sample of ca. 52000 uniformly distributed points in 3-ball. Theoretical density = parabola. Also drawn: density of x-coordinate of uniformly dist points on 3-sphere = semicircle.
(x, y, z) coordinates of sample of size 1000 of uniform random points (x, y, z, t) on the 3-sphere.
1000 (x,y,z) points from uniform random sample of points (x,y,z,t) on 3-sphere.

My first WordPress post

This is my very first post on my very own WordPress site.

I’m Richard (David) Gill, a mathematical statistician in the Netherlands; originally from England. I’m an emeritus professor of Mathematical Statistics in the Faculty of Science, Leiden University, Netherlands (aka “Holland”), Europe. If you google “Richard Gill statistics” you may well get to know more about me. My usual internet name is “gill1109”. Guess why.