Saturday, September 26, 2020

September 26, 2020, fear and loathing on planet of the apes? Never thought I would see a parallel to Clodius (the Publius Claudius Pulcher of the factions in 59-50 BC Rome when Caesar was away in Gaul) here in United States of America. United. "United?" About a third of the US population is anti-intellectual, narcissistic, insolent, overweight and with indications of worrisome repressed sexual tensions (I haven't the heart to discuss projection with these folks, many of whom have been my colleagues many years ago in the music business, but it is embarrassingly obvious that their vile slander against well-known and respected public servants comes from within themselves rather than without), i.e., a perfect breeding ground for Clodius and his ilk. Another third are anti-Western civilization indoctrinated and busily gnawing away the foundations of the American experiment, one that produced the most advanced society up to now, technologically and socially (in history, how many times have you seen a nation fight for the peace of all? or generally greet other races and cultures with some acceptance in a world where genocide was always the rule sooner or later and still is, that being the natural tendency of animals). 

What about the remaining third of the population? That contains many relatively affable folk who just want to do what they are capable of as best they may, whatever the profession, and enjoy friends and family in peace. Within that group is a smaller percentage of truly noble persons, many of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with over the years. I owe my life in fact to many of those unsung heroes, the ones who go against the grain to do what is right, that being the definition of integrity really, i.e., not having oneself contaminated by the crowd, but maintaining an intact core of self, self-guidance and that deeper well-spring of humanity that cannot be explained in evolutionary terms (despite the convolutions of the self-hating types like Dawkins attempting to mislead many)

A small group of intellectuals created the American founding documents (John Adams in particular), for the first time a revolution guided by the lessons of history guided by transcendent philosophy and nobility of character. Adams knew well the danger of the population taking direct control of the reins of government and engineered protections that worked well for a time. Those protections relied on a minimum fraction of the population being of higher integrity and capability and somehow reaching the positions in government. We have unfortunately reached a heretofore unseen low in that regard both in the relevant population and the individuals that population elects to power, directly or indirectly. One can only hope that a Marcus Aurelius will emerge from the US military ranks if the situation deteriorates drastically in the next few months.

There is of course a basic absurdity in much of the organization of humans. One can surmise that the beings who appear to have been monitoring our progress are at a loss to explain how most of the capability of a society is wasted providing resources for a parasitic few, to the point that even the infrastructure of the civilization begins crumbling (not to mention why humans breed uncontrollably like bacteria in a Petri dish, seeming not to notice they are overgrowing their environment, with the inevitable outcome of widespread disease and largescale die off). It is necessary for progress that the level of mankind be increased, but the evolutionary trends are opposite to that now and for many centuries past. With the CRISPR technology one nation or another will begin to "upgrade" their genome, but without proper guidance (yes of course, I mean men who think and feel as do I, grin) those changes may eliminate much of the genius and nobility of man at his best. 

These considerations make me fear that my work (physics primarily the last four years), passing on my hard-won understanding to other students in various venues, e.g., Neutrino Physics, or Neutrino computer code, articles, is simply "fiddling while Rome burns." Well, we persevere, feeling blessed that we are able to study and write in a subject we had not been formerly able to pursue. We implemented C++ computer code in Python/NumPy lately in order to graph the flavor transition probability of muon neutrinos at 1300 km baselines in the range of 0.3 to 10 GeV (including the effect of their passage through Earth mantle), using the exact equations originated by Zaglauer and Schwarzer c. 1988 and in particular their 2019 implementation in C++ (we wrote software in C back in the 80's and are inclined to agree with many that C++ is too extensive, though useful if you adopt a subset of its features) by FermiLab physicist Stephen J. Parke (along with Denton, Barenboim, and Terne). I have read much of Parke's work, going all the way back to his 1986 paper "Resonant Solar Neutrino Oscillation Experiments", in which he gave a detailed treatment of the recent suggestions by Mikheyev and Smirnov which turned out to be the likely solution of the solar neutrino deficit problem first exposed by Ray Davis experimental work assisted by John Bahcall development of the Standard Solar Model. We graph the performance of the Parke equations in their C++ form, our implementation in Python/NumPy and an approximation from the T2K experiment:

The T2K code (green) continues higher at 0.3 GeV (far left of graph), but it is known to be less accurate at that level. We spent many hours yesterday troubleshooting our ZS code in order to obtain pixel-to-pixel agreement with the Parke code. The error turned out be a single parenthesis that our aging eyesight did not properly view as enclosing the entire denominator of a long equation in fraction form. It was enjoyable to be writing C (well, C++) code again and compiling, after some 33 years. Like bicycling, you never really forget how to code, you just fall down more often, perhaps.