Whither Higgs?

Ben M. writes:

By the way, whatever happened to the Hoggs Bison? Just a few weeks ago there was much rejoicing. Has the enchantment with the HB dissipated? Peter Higgs got his 15 minutes of fame. Did the supposed discovery not strike deeply into the human boson?

LA replies:

The Hog’s Bison was reincarnated as the Olympics. Liberal humanity must always be mass-celebrating something as the greatest thing that ever was.

Yet even as liberal humanity’s orchestrated worship of itself and its works goes on perpetually, its orchestrated hatred and expulsions of non-liberal humanity also go on perpetually.

- end of initial entry -

Paul K. writes:

You wrote, “Yet even as liberal humanity’s orchestrated worship of itself and its works goes on perpetually, its orchestrated hatred and expulsions of non-liberal humanity also go on perpetually.”

Indeed. Orwell envisioned the Two Minutes Hate, but we do things on a grander scale. After a solid month of George Zimmerman hate, we are now several weeks into Chick-Fil-A hate. Who will we be incited to hate next? It could be you, it could be me!

By the way, did you hear about the Dallas police officer who brought a Chick-Fil-A sandwich to work with him on Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, resulting in a confrontation with two lesbian officers?

LA replies:

I haven’t posted the Dallas story, even though it would fit with the last sentence in the Higgs boson post, because there’s no information on what happened. Words were exchanged, but we haven’t been told what they were. There’s insufficient basis to discuss the story.

August 10

Alexis Zarkov writes:

I don’t understand this ridiculing of a physics experiment—it’s anti-intellectual. If the Large Hadron Collider has actually found the long-sought-after Higgs Boson, then we have a milestone in basic science, which we should respect, not deprecate. In 1919 expeditions to Sobral Brazil, and the island nation known as “Sao Tome and Principe” made measurements during a solar eclipse that confirmed Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity—he became an overnight sensation. Front page articles appeared in newspapers all over the world, such as this piece, which ran in the November 10, 1919 edition of the New York Times. Just as the discovery of the Higgs is not yet fully confirmed, the data gathered in these expeditions were tentative as well. A more definitive confirmation came from a team at the Lick Observatory in 1922 who journeyed to Australia for a total solar eclipse. Lick is not far from me, and sits atop Mt. Hamilton near San Jose. A visit to the main building at Lick, with its splendid Art Deco interior, makes for a pleasant day trip. The publicity accorded to Einstein, and the confirmation of his theory, certainly exceeded that given to Higgs, and was far more celebratory. Einstein’s theory has held up well, enjoying repeated confirmation throughout the 20th Century. Our modern space-based navigation system called “GPS” would be impossible without General Relativity. If one uses classical mechanics to do the orbital calculations, then you get insufficiently accurate numbers to produce a properly working system. General Relativity is not some useless abstract theory.

Let’s show some respect for scientists and engineers who as a group have given much to human knowledge and the prosperity of the world. Infinitely more than the nasty, ignorant, narcissistic politicians who tell us “you didn’t build that.”

LA replies:

We’ve been ridiculing, not the experiment, but the hype, the mandatory global celebration, and the total inability of the scientists, except by repeating the very same hype (many examples of which I have posted) to explain what it is that we were being commanded to celebrate. But somehow, though this has all been explained several times before, you haven’t noticed it.

James R. writes:

The main thing being ridiculed, and which deserves to be mocked, is the implication they’re trying to impress upon people that finding this “God Particle” will demonstrably prove the purely material universe and put the final nail in the real God’s coffin.

Of course, other than rhetorically, it will do nothing of the kind. What is being ridiculed isn’t science as such, but scientism, and the all too common misuse of science as a weapon in ideological conflict.

August 11

Alexis Zarkov writes:

Scientists can, and have explained the Higgs experiment. For example, Harvard professor of theoretical physics, Lisa Randall has written a short ebook, Higgs Discovery: the Power of Empty Space, for a general audience. The Kindle edition costs $2.99. The Kindle ebook reader is available for free, runs on Windows or Mac as well as mobile devices and Tablet Computers, such as the iPad. She explains everything in clear language, and you need no physics or mathematics background.

LA replies:

We had many many entries on this, with discussions of many articles, including articles by physicists, every one of which turned out either to be hype or to be pushing the God Particle idea, which disproved the assertion that only journalists push it. I never said or suggested that I knew that there was nothing to this discovery. What I did say, over and over, was that based on everything I had seen that was written about this discovery by the journalists and scientists promoting it , it was manufactured hype aimed at promoting the materialist reductionist view of the universe and at commanding everyone to engage in a collective celebration.

If Randal’s article sensibly explains the discovery, fine. That will not undo the fact of the massive hype to which we have been subjected.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 09, 2012 11:02 PM | Send

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