Monday, June 30, 2014

this is interesting

 Check this 


We consider the effect of a period of inflation with a high energy density upon the stability of the Higgs potential in the early Universe. The recent measurement of a large tensor-to-scalar ratio, rT0.16, by the BICEP2 experiment possibly implies that the energy density during inflation was very high, comparable with the GUT scale. Given that the standard model Higgs potential is known to develop an instability at Λ1010GeV this means that the resulting large quantum fluctuations of the Higgs field could destabilize the vacuum during inflation, even if the Higgs field starts at zero expectation value. We estimate the probability of such a catastrophic destabilization given such an inflationary scenario, and calculate that for a Higgs boson mass of mh=125.5GeV that the top mass must be less than mt172GeV. We present two possible cures: a direct coupling between the Higgs field and the inflaton and a nonzero temperature from dissipation during inflation.
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  • Published 20 May 2014
  • Received 16 April 2014
© 2014 American Physical Society

The Human Centipede: An economic driver to why knowledge is broken

This post is going to be hard to understand, but it is important. It will not be acted upon any time soon, but it will be acted upon. The central idea is the connection between the Reaganite financial architecture, and the conservative technocratic consensus. Here the word conservative means its cognitive definition: that is the movement opposed to rapid change, not its conventional meaning, that is, the movement of the right. This is because the right is not a conservative movement at the present time, it is a reactionary movement, attempting to roll back the social changes of the last three progressive waves, and last four if you count its most reactionary members. The right wants a very different society.

Looked at this way the Democratic Party is the conservative party, and the Republican Party is the reactionary party. In a two party system, there is a ratchet effect towards the active movement, where there is alternation between the active party, the one which makes changes, and the conservative party which fixes and adjusts, but largely leaves in place the changes. In the US, from 1933-1980, the Republicans were the conservative party, and the Democrats were an active party of liberalism. These positions eroded starting with Nixon, who began building the new Republican governing corps, and Jimmy Carter, who started the Democrats on the path to neo-liberalism, including deregulation.

From 1980 through the present, the Republicans have been the active party, and the Democrats the conservative party, paring back only the most egregiously unworkable of Republican actions, thus for roughly 50 years, there was a ratchet left, and now for 40 years there has been a ratchet rightward.

Core to the ratchet rightward has been the creation of a professional technocratic class, and this class consists of one half of Reagan's legacy. What has happened in American politics is very similar to what happened early in the 19th century: the Federalist Party disintegrated, and the Jeffersonian movement split into two parts, Whig and Democratic. In effect, Jackson was the figure who was the Reagan of his time, afterwards the Jacksonians were the party of government, and the Whigs the party of cleaning up the loose ends. This lasted for 32 years.

So first point: to think clearly requires using words with their correct cognitive meaning, even where this conflicts with the conventional meaning. The Republicans are a party of change, and therefore not a conservative party. The Democrats have only wanted to ameliorate the effects of Republican policies, not overturn them. That is, they are the conservative party. For reference Bob Dole and Alan Simpson are now too far to the left for the Republican Party.

First lemma: the Democrats are conservatives, the Republicans are reactionaries.

In 1776 Adam Smith published a book, an inquiry into the Wealth of Nations, of which the first three parts are widely quoted, if not read. He observed that cities concentrate the value of land rents, and that, therefore, prices would rise in cities because the value of land rent is convenience, that is time, and the purpose of a city is to engage in those arts of commerce where time is valuable, because it reduces the time for movement of goods, ideas, and people. People trade time for money directly by what they pay for land.

In 1933, in response to the collapse of the banking system in the face of a global depression, the Democratic Senate and President FDR collaborated on a new architecture for the financial system: FDR and his Treasury Secretary, Republican Bill Woodin, instituted regulation of the banks, and issuing of "Federal Reserve Notes" to pay depositors. Senator Wagner wrote in deposit insurance, which is the FDIC, SLDIC, and backed by the Federal Reserve. This made land rents, in effect, the basis of US currency, because banks could issue money against the loans on the books, which were commercial and residential assets. More value, more money. This creates and organic link between the value of the economy at the personal level, and the amount of currency in circulation.

FDR's theory was that ordinary people, across the country, needed to be able to have enough purchasing power to afford the products of factories and the industrial system, even though left to itself, the industrial system would focus only on the cities, where money pools up. The country side being poor, and short on demand for labor because it takes more and more labor to save smaller and smaller amounts of time, while the cities have money and high demand for labor is an old problem. It is "the city problem," and was known to the ancient Romans: the dispossessed poor of the country side poor into the cities, but that deprives the empire of soldiers and grain, and creates a chaotic urban poor that revolts.

FDR's solution was to build up cities with public works, but to ship money out to the country side through farm and mining subsidies. Thus verticle and horizontal redistribution were at work: prevent money from pooling up in the hands of the rich, or in the cities. People in the countryside could then buy manufactured goods, and this would slow the influx of people to the cities.

Second point: By linking value to development, it meant that people would not have to go to the largest cities, but could go to subsidiary city centers.

Second lemma: left to itself, the economy will pool liquidity in cities, impoverishing the rural areas, and lead to people crushing into the cities.

In the Reagan Revolution, one of the most important legacies was making the tax system regressive and flatter: income tax rates were flattened, and payroll tax rates were raised, more taxation was moved to the states, where it is regressive. This had the effect of reducing demand, and creating GDP which was real estate flipping.

A second prong of the Reagan Revolution was the spreading of the security industrial complex, including prisons and the military out over the hinterland. This changed the nature of horizontal demand spreading and paved the way for handing money to a different group of people in a wide swath of the country: from those who wanted to do good for their area, to those who liked beating on people: prison guards, franchise owners, and the generally greedy.

This, in turn, created a demand for a kind of revived moralizing. After all, if your job is to incarcerate non-violent marijuana users and degrade them, or squeeze dimes out of fast food workers for the Great McDonald's empire, a church that preaches that people get the material circumstances that they morally deserve, and this you are justified giving them anal probes and minimum wage jobs, is for you.

Third Lemma: Reaganism created real estate inflation in the cities, and the revival of old testament style calvinism in the country sides. 

These two prongs were combined with another trend, that of creeping certification.

Creeping certification was creating a slow change of knowledge manufacture from a revolutionary mode of the early 20th century, which saw the founding of core disciplines in the arts, humanities, and the sciences. to an evolutionary mode. Working with the conventionalizations became more important than redefining them. This meant that "education" became more important as training in the conventionalizations.

This leads to the increasing sorry spectacle of knowledge and academia as a self-perpetuating oligarchy: one gets a degree by being in human bondage to a professor, one becomes a professor by peonage as a post-doc. Instead of an orderly path from PhD to assistant professor, one must spend upwards of 5 years, and often closer to 10 or even 15, before one is on the tenure track. Thus it is no longer knowledge, but the human centipede.

This means that there were three impulses into the center for bright people: the money was in the cities, the oligarchy of certification led in to the cities, and the social repression meant that for any not wishing to fit in with the marry and reproduce early ideology of life that the interior of the country increasingly fell into, had to get out.

Third Lemma: The Reagan tax rates, the fundamentalist revival, and the increasing conventionalization of knowledge, produced  a drive inwards of intelligent and socially liberal people to the bicoastal areas.

The result of this was a pump: people who wanted to become professionals moved to cities to engage in their economic lives, raise their children in schools which were cordoned off by local funding. Then on retirement, they would cash out of their houses, and move to a low tax, low education state in the sunbelt, where their retirement dollars would go farther, and wages were lower without unions and education. This pump drove the rise of the same Republican areas of the countr