July 12, 2012Scientists at CERN, the organization that runs the Large Hadron Collider may have found the elusive Higgs boson, nicknamed "the God particle." It is the last blank to fill in the Standard Model of subatomic particles and could be critical to understanding exactly how the universe was created.
It is the end of an almost 50-year investigation, with thousands of scientists involved.
The results may have little technical importance now, but Al Goshaw, professor of physics at Duke, said it's a bit like space exploration.
"We're trying to understand nature at its most fundamental level," he said. "These theories also connect to the beginning of the universe. To know how that happened, we need this basic science."
Raleigh News & Observer, July 4, 2012
There's a massive celebration going on in the world's scientific community because they have finally found the long sought after God particle, and the most recent report I saw said that, according to the scientists, when it comes to the certainty of whether or not they've found the God particle, there is "less than a one-in-a-million chance the results are a fluke."
Now, excuse me if I'm not one of those people cheering. It's a project that, from conception to completion, took 30 years, and took up the greatest scientific minds, at a cost of $6 billion or $7 billion so far, and most egregiously without the permission of any of us, it put the entire existence of the planet Earth and the 7 billion people on it at risk of complete annihilation.
Now, think about it: All of that time, effort, brainpower, money and incredibly irresponsible risk and why?
So that a few scientists could see on a phosphor screen a picture of a particle they already knew existed.
So, after all that, they've now seen the God particle on a phosphor screen. And how much better off are you than a few weeks ago, before they saw the particle?
Don't you think that, after all that money and risk to our lives and the risk to the entire planet for that matter that we should get something out of it: Like maybe an iPad that works for four years without recharging, or maybe a cure for Lyme disease, or, at least, say, a cure for athlete's foot.
It's like all that money that they spent on the space program, and then, when you asked the space scientist people how it was justified, what was in it for you, the scientists would always say, well, there were a lot of offshoots real-world benefits to your life that came from the space program.
Then you would ask, like what?
And there would be this long silence, while they tried to think of something.
And what was the only answer they ever came up with after 60 years of the space program?
So the Hadron scientists have finally said something that I agree with: Yes, I agree the Hadron Collider is very much like the space program indeed.
When I first started writing about the Hadron Collider and the insane stupidity and reckless disregard of all things that the collider project exemplified, I started getting emails from scientists from all over the world who told me to stop scaring people needlessly.
I wrote back and told them that they were the ones who were needlessly scaring people by continuing to conduct their crazy pointless experiments even though they could easily
cause an earth-devouring black hole at any moment.
Some very prominent scientists say a black hole from the giant collider is a very real possibility, but the whole attitude of the Hadron Collider people is, I kid you not, hey, let's take a trillion subatomic particles, and spin them around and around and around until we get them going 99.9 percent the speed of light, and then, let's take a trillion other subatomic particles and accelerate those up to 99.9 percent the speed of light, and then, when the two streams are both spinning as fast as possible, let's just slam them together and see what happens let's see whether we get a God particle or a black hole that kills 7 billion people not to mention all the penguins and other animals on the planet.
Now, after all that, the scientists have seen the God particle, and it turns out that, despite the highly impressive name, the God particle and $4 will get you a cup of Starbucks coffee. But here's the thing: $4 alone would have gotten us a cup of Starbucks coffee even without the God particle in the equation.
And this is the thing I hate about the Hadron scientists and the Hadron project the most: It is the highest degree of mankind's stupidity but it is walking around masquerading as the highest form of human intelligence.
These "highly trained professionals" have about as much of an idea what they are doing as the "highly trained professionals" who were running Wall Street before they obliterated the world economy. Just as the financial experts did to the economy, so, the physics "experts" are very likely to do to the physical world.
Just look at a few events on the collider timeline. At first, the Hadron scientists were planning to set off the collider for the very first time on Sept. 10 in Geneva, which meant they were setting it off just as Sept. 11 dawned across the International Date Line. You already have a world population terrified about what you are doing so what do you do: why of course you set it off at the exact time of the year when people are most afraid of catastrophic events.
Then, they started up the colossal machine which, by the way, has an electric bill no kidding of about $25 million a year and, when they set off the collider, the modern marvel, the precision-crafted crown jewel of human engineering created by the world's most brilliant scientists it blew itself up.
Another time, the work was delayed by
well, here, I'll let Fox News tell you. Their headline that day was: "Large Hadron Collider Halted By Bird Crumbs."
This news report is from Nov. 6, 2009: "The massive machine at the center of the world's biggest scientific experiment has malfunctioned again derailed by a bit of bread dropped by a bird."
Listen, when I was a kid, I built a crystal radio from a $3 Toys & Hobbies kit, and the radio worked, and, if a bird had dropped a crumb on it, my hobby radio would have still worked fine unlike the greatest marvel of human engineering created by the greatest minds of our time.
That's what I'm saying: The Hadron scientists masquerading as the smartest people in the world are actually the world's biggest idiots: You know, supposedly these are the best and brightest and the smartest people, doing the most important work in the universe but the truth is that they are the exact opposite.
It's exactly like that story of the emperor who wore no clothes. He rode his horse naked right down the middle of the Olde English town of Coventry, but everyone averted their eyes and no one would even look at him except one small boy who is now known as Peeping Tom. And Peeping Tom shouted out: "Look, the emperor is as naked as the horse he rode into town on."
Well, today, I am that person who refuses to avert my eyes. I am a modern day Peeping Tom.
I am calling out the Hadron Collider people for what they are.
Fine, they say, there won't be any immediate benefits, but, they say, it is like the space program, and there will be a lot of real-world benefits down the line.
At least with the space program we got Tang.
I don't know about you, but I don't even like Tang, but let's play devil's advocate. Let's say that you are one of those people who like Tang.
Well, how much did that glass of Tang cost you?
The total amount NASA has spent from 1958 to 2011 comes to $526 billion. According to the Office of Management and Budget, when adjusted for inflation, the figure for NASA's total all-time budget is $790 billion.
So I always say, enjoy your Tang, because it may not be the best tasting thing in the world, but it cost us over three-quarters of a trillion dollars to be able to have a glass.
Now, at least, from the space program we still have Tang. Because, from the looks of it, we aren't even going to get a new drink out of the Hadron Collider.
Well, fine, so it's space scientists: 1, Hadron Collider scientists: 0.
OK, now, here's the mind-blowing part maybe the most mind-blowing thing I've ever heard of or learned in my life. I came upon it in my research, and it is utterly astounding to me that I could have gone to my grave without ever knowing it if I hadn't happened to chance upon it.
Please sit down before reading this because this is large.
Normally with a twist column ending this big, I would have said something at the beginning of the column to make sure that people kept reading to the end; however, in this case the revelation was so gigantic, I only wanted the loyal readers who kept reading to the end to find out about it.
As for the other people, who maybe read a few lines and then stopped well, I made the decision that, unlike you and me, they could just live their lives in ignorance and operate under the same misconception that the whole world has lived under for over 60 years.
However, for the rest of you, I am about to blow the roof off and you will never see the world in the same way again.
Normally, by writing about how important something like this is, you would worry about building it up too much, but this is something you can't build up too much.
I mean, it is LARGE. Please note that that is in caps, italicized and in bold.
Ok, well, ready?
Here, I am going to let Wikipedia break it to you. Prepare to be amazed as I was. Wait till you get to the italics
Tang is a fruit-flavored drink. Originally formulated by General Foods Corporation food scientist William A. Mitchell in 1957, it was first marketed in powdered form in 1959.
Sales of Tang were poor until NASA used it on John Glenn's Mercury flight, and subsequent Gemini missions.
Since then, it was closely associated with the U.S. manned spaceflight program, leading to the misconception that Tang was invented for the space program. The Tang brand is currently owned by Kraft Foods.
So there is the ugly, ugly truth: Tang didn't even come from the space program.
The space scientists' big ace in the hole isn't an ace after all it's not even a playing card; it's simply an empty myth wrapped in a figment of our imagination surrounded by a tall tale.
So, in the case of the space program, it's $780 billion simply down the drain, and, like with the case of the Hadron Collider, we don't even get a glass of Tang or a free Starbucks coffee for the effort.
And in the meantime, at the collider, even after they have found what they were looking for, they continue blasting away, risking the creation of the Earth-devouring black hole at any moment.
There's a reason that the word "mad" comes right before "scientists."