Drunken salesman

This post combines the major 2 ways of thinking in modern physics: on one side the drunken traveler and on the other side the traveling salesman… the result is of course the drunken salesman. Whenever I see some papers (and misfortune brought one of these in front of me recently) that present the general combinations of two methods that might work into one single most powerful method that certainly doesn’t work I start feeling as a drunken salesman… These ways of thinking combine all the virtues of being drunk (whichever they are) and of being a poor salesman: you can be quite entertaining on one side (when drunk) and try to sell useless crap on the other side. Most of the physicists today do precisely this. Whenever they see two bad methods they assume that by some miracle their combination must necessarily be better… this might be some sort of Bacchian interpretation of the old saying that the whole is more than the sum of its parts… however, this interpretation does not really define the whole anyhow different than the sum of their parts so how can it be anyhow different? Sometimes the whole is defined with lots of holes in it so that the whole is far less than the sum of its parts but I guess this is the best interpretation “we” can bring forward… why all this? As said, I had the misfortune to read some papers about stochastic numerical approaches and about how problems there are being avoided… it somehow fits into the logic of my former post but not entirely, this is why I write this new one today… I kept thinking about what is damn wrong with combining so many assumptions and ending up with so many trivialities. Simple enough: the authors did not understand how logical and mathematica objects relate to each other. They have no clue about the fact that a mathematical notion may “induce” others inside the context and one cannot avoid those others in any way. An idea, once there is pretty hard to eliminate, even less if it creates a mathematical structure. This makes most of the “creation” rather futile and certainly *less* than the sum of their parts…

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