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Politics / Re: Famous Battles
Battle of Vienna

Charge of Jan Sobieski

Battle of Vienna

The Battle of Vienna (German: Schlacht am Kahlen Berge or Kahlenberg; Polish: bitwa pod Wiedniem or odsiecz wiedeńska (The Relief of Vienna); Modern Turkish: İkinci Viyana Kuşatması, Ottoman Turkish: Beç Ḳalʿası Muḥāṣarası) took place at Kahlenberg Mountain near Vienna on 12 September 1683[1] after the imperial city had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire, under the command of King John III Sobieski against the Ottomans and their vassal and tributary states. The battle marked the first time the Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire had cooperated militarily against the Ottomans, and it is often seen as a turning point in history, after which "the Ottoman Turks ceased to be a menace to the Christian world".[18] In the ensuing war that lasted until 1699, the Ottomans lost almost all of Hungary to the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.[18]

Contemporary Ottoman historian Silahdar Findiklili Mehmed Agha (1658-1723) described the battle as an enormous defeat and failure for the Ottoman Empire, the most disastrous since the foundation of Ottoman statehood in 1299.[33] The Ottomans lost at least 20,000 men during the siege,[citation needed] while their losses during the battle with Sobieski's forces amounted to around 15,000 dead (according to Podhorodecki)[17] or 8,000-15,000 dead and 5,000 captured (according to Tucker).[16]:661 Casualties of the allied relief force under Sobieski's command were much smaller, amounting to approximately 3,500 dead and wounded, including 1,300 Poles.[17] Tucker's estimate is slightly higher: 4,500.[16]:661 The Viennese garrison and the civilian populace lost, due to all causes, about half of their initial number during the siege.[7]
Soon the Ottomans disposed of their defeated commander. On 25 December 1683 Kara Mustafa Pasha was executed in Belgrade in the approved manner--by strangulation with a silk rope pulled by several men on each end--by order of the commander of the Janissaries.
Politics / Re: Famous Battles
Politics / Famous Battles
Trying to learn solutions to Shrodinger's equation as applied to real world systems is very difficult, and in fact for even simple systems, virtually impossible.  So we generally start with trivial hypothetical toy systems.

Schrodinger's equation isn't actually a solution, it describes what the solution to the equation must be, and the solution is called Psi (the pitchfork symbol).

Stepping back a bit outside of Schrodinger's equation, lets look at a trivial differential equation where the solution is "Y", not "Psi"

Now, notice the differential equation has an infinite number of possible solutions. In other words, there are an infinite number of possible Ys that can satisfy the differential equation.  Now, just for fun, I can substitute Psi in place of Y in the differential equation and it's derivation of a solution.  It's all just symbol manipulation. I'm doing this to try to de-mystify what we are aiming to do with the Schrodinger differential equation by putting Psi in a trivial differential equation:

So that was the Psi solution to a trivial differential equation.  In Quantum Mechanics in many non-relativistic contexts for the simplest case, the Psi solution is a solution to this 2nd order partial equation in two dimenstions, namely Shrodinger's equation for a simple system:

Well the Nobel Prize winning Quantum Physicist Max Born produced some headaches for physics students but he produced a talented grand daughter to sooth some of those headaches.  Here is Born's grand daughter, Olivia Newton John singing and making God's world a friendlier place to live:

"I honestly love you" performed by a Quantum Physicists Grand Daughter
Now the Schrodinger Equation looks intimidating, but really it's just an equation with parameters.  The most important are:

m = mass
V= potential energy
h-bar = planck's constant/ 2 pi

A mathematician can then take those parameters and solve the equation of Psi (the pitchfork symbol).  Hypothetically, someone could write a computer program, and I could just pump in the parameters, and I get solutions to Psi.

It turns out one can then derive the probability distributions based on Psi by this equation by Max Born:

Max Born won the Nobel Prize for his work on Quantum Mechanics.

As a total aside, Max Born was the grand father of this famous singer and actress, Olivia Newton John:
This thread is a spin-off of the discussion here:

As alluded to in that thread the Bohr model of the electron in a hydrogen atom describes the AVERAGE behavior of an ensemble of hypothetical electrons based on the energy state of the electron. The change in energy associated with "orbits" of the electron is described by

E = h * nu

But if we have average behavior, what the is the equation that describes the probability distribution from which we get averages from.  For example, here is one distribution with an average, the normal distribution.  Graphically depicted the distribution looks like:

In terms of an equation, it is described exactly as:

Unfortunately, the distribution of positions of a quantum "particle" like an electron isn't so easy to depict as it is dependent on context. 

But let's look at a specific example,  the electron "orbiting" the hydrogen atom.  The average position accords with the bohr model.  If we plotted a graphical distribution of the distance of the electron from the center of the nucleus of the hydrogen atom, the probability distribution for the various "orbits" would look like:

That is to say, if we had a machine that recorded positions of the electron in a partical energy state (like 1s) over time, and plotted how many times the electron appeared at various distances, it would look like the plot above.

To mathematically capture this, Shrodinger had to make an equation to predict that behavior and hence the famous Shrodinger equation:

Tipler and Barrow generalized Schrodinger's equation to argue God exists based on the Copenhagen interpretation. To explore the Schrodinger equation in more detail, I'm starting a separate thread.

Schrodinger's Equation and Basic Quantum Mechanics Refresher
This thread is my personal "notebook" to re-teach myself Schrodinger's equations and their implications.  Amazingly, Tipler and Barrow generalized Schrodinger's equation to argue God exists, but I shall start out more modestly.  :-)
Given that quantum systems are describe probabilistically, the question arises whether we model things probabilistically rather than exactly because the uncertainties in our measurements are due to our lack of all the possible details of the quantum system or whether such details exist.  This lead to at least 3 (probably more) interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.   Quoting from Giffiths:

Realist position.  The particle was at C.  This seems like a sensible response, and it is the one Einstein advocated....some additional information (known as a hidden variable) is needed to provide a complete description of the particle.

Orthodox Position.  The particle wasn't really anywhere...Obserations not only disturb what is to be measured, they produce it...This view (the so-called Copenhagen interpretation... is the most widely accepted


The Orthodox position has theoretical and empirical support, and following the implications suggests that there is a God who is the Ultimate Observer that produces the ultimate measurement that creates all things.  That was the deduction of Richard Conn Henry as articulated in his writings including Nature 2005.
Now it turns out the spooky particles have some properties that make them have certain behaviors that can be probabilistic modeled.  For example, even though the spooky particles can be amorphous in space and time, they tend to present themselves as if they visit certain locations at certain times more frequently than others, hence the Bohr model becomes a nice approximation of the expected average behavior of an ensemble of hypothetical electrons.   

By way of analogy, even though we flip a fair coin and might be uncertain whether it will land heads or tails, if we flipped it a million times, we can expect on average the fair coin will land heads 50% of the time.  We can measure and observe this sort of expected or average behavior experimentally.  The distribution of probabilities of coin flips is easy enough (relatively speaking) using the binomial distribution, but the probability description of quantum systems is substantially harder, it is a quantum leap (pun intended) over simplistic probability distributions.

A non-relativistic model of probabilistic quantum behavior for a wide range of phenomenon is described by Shrodinger's equation.   Unfortunately, we are now getting into some nasty details, and from this point on, Quantum Mechanics (QM) starts to become bogged down in a lot of agonizing details.  How this all connects to God and intelligent design is not absolutely inferred by quantum mechanics, but is only suggested.  It took Griffiths an entire book to connect Schrodinger's equation to the philosophical question of an observer who chooses to look at a quantum system and affix properties to it.  This led to Wheeler and Tipler and others to postulate an Ultimate Observer that governs the Universal Quantum System which we call REALITY.  Some, like Richard Conn Henry, call this entity "God" or in his exact words "Grand Omni-present Spirit (GOS)".

So, I guess at this point the easy stuff is over.....

Much of the rest of my treatment of Quantum Mechanics will be the Schrodinger Equation:

As mentioned above the Bohr model is a good, albeit inaccurate starting point to understanding quantum mechanics.  The more accurate model of the electron "orbit" around the proton in the hydrogen atom is that the electron is described not as a classical particle at all but a some amorphous spooky entity with a position and momentum that cannot be simultaneously measured with absolute certainty.  In fact, because the two quantities of position and momentum can't be simultaneously measured, a philosophical question arose, perhaps not even settled today, whether it is proper to say that certain position and momentum actually exist.  From a math standpoint, such philosophical question don't need to be resolved.  That said, one can see that the Bohr Model where position is well defined (the electron's position in an orbit) isn't exactly consistent with full blown quantum mechanics.  How scientists concluded the electron is best modeled as a ghostly character spread out in space and time is through some agonizing math and experiments such as the Double Slit experiment:

Again the experiment looks innocent enough, but when the implications were considered it began to give scientists suspicions that the future can affect the past, that events in the future are entangled with events in the past, that consciousness is real and separate from the material world, and that it is possible, even likely God exists.

This spookiness of particles is partly encapsulated by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle:

QM for beginners is probably best described by the Bohr Approximation for the hydrogen atom.  This is a toy approximation with a lot of details simplified (an thus distorted and inaccurate), but it gets some of the essentials in place.  In the Bohr approximation of the hydrogen atom, we have a 2 dimensional model of the electron's orbit around a proton.  This is classically akin to a satellite orbiting a planet.  The difference however is the altitudes or distances that the electron is allowed to orbit only at specific altitudes.  Again this Bohr atom is an approximation, there are some inaccuracies in the Bohr description, but it was good enough to approximately explain the emission spectrum of hydrogen.  Bohr could not actually "see" the electrons in orbit, he had to model its behavior by guessing (making an inference) form available data.

the Approximate (and thus inaccurate, and distorted model) of the electron orbits for the hydrogen atom in the Bohr model is depicted as follows:

The orbital altitudes were thus at discrete or "quantized" levels, hence this is likely the reason quantum mechanics is called QUANTUM mechanics.   The Bohr model looks innocent enough, but innocent looking results led to disturbing and spooky implications about reality and even God as scientist followed the evidence further.

Unfortunately, the rest of quantum mechanics is not so easily explained, and it requires rather brutal and tedious math and descriptions.

Politics / US Public Schools

For decades, the public schools of Edina, Minnesota, were the gold standard among the state's school districts. Edina is an upscale suburb of Minneapolis, but virtually overnight, its reputation has changed. Academic rigor is unraveling, high school reading and math test scores are sliding, and students increasingly fear bullying and persecution.
As a result, the school system's obsession with "white privilege" now begins in kindergarten. At Edina's Highlands Elementary School, for example, K-2 students participate in the Melanin Project. The children trace their hands, color them to reflect their skin tone, and place the cut-outs on a poster reading, "Stop thinking your skin color is better than anyone elses!-[sic] Everyone is special!"

Highlands Elementary's new "racially conscious" elementary school principal runs a blog for the school's community. On it, she approvingly posted pictures of Black Lives Matter propaganda and rainbow gay-pride flags--along with a picture of protesters holding a banner proclaiming "Gay Marriage Is Our Right." On a more age-appropriate post, she recommended an A-B-C book for small children entitled A is for Activist. (Peruse the book and you find all sorts of solid-gold: "F is for Feminist," "C is for...Creative Counter to Corporate Vultures," and "T is for Trans.")
Increasingly, families who are serious about education are leaving the Edina schools. For example, Orlando Flores and his wife pulled their son--an academic superstar--out of Edina High School in his senior year to escape its hyper-political environment.

Flores, who fled a Marxist regime in Nicaragua as a child, had this to say: "Years ago, we fled Communism to escape indoctrination, absolutist thinking and restrictions on our freedom of speech. If we see these traits in our schools in America, we must speak out and oppose it."

Flores says that when his son was at Edina High, teachers routinely pushed politicians and political positions they favored, shamed and browbeat students with dissenting views, and forced them to defend themselves against baseless allegations of racism. According to his son, he says, classroom discussions were often "one-sided indoctrination sessions," and students feared their grades would be penalized if they spoke out.

The final straw for the Flores family occurred when an English teacher subjected their son and a classmate to a lengthy, humiliating and ideologically charged grilling--unlike that faced by other students--after the boys made a presentation with which she disagreed following racially-charged incidents in Ferguson, Missouri.

When Flores' son requested an apology, school authorities indignantly took the teacher's side, says Flores. Fearing retaliation, the boy asked to transfer to another English class. There, a student teacher informed the class they would not be reading classic books because "dead white men are boring," according to Flores.
One such mandatory session for school bus drivers is illustrative. The widow of a bus driver who had been required to attend the training sent the entire 25-page instructional curriculum to Center of the American Experiment, where I am a senior policy fellow.

The training session was entitled "Edina School DIstrict Equity and Racial Justice Training: Moving from a Diversity to a Social Justice Lens." In it, trainers instructed bus drivers that "dismantling white privilege" is "the core of our work as white folks," and that working for the Edina schools requires "a major paradigm shift in the thinking of white people." Drivers were exhorted to confess their racial guilt, and embrace the district's "equity" ideology.

The result of all of this? Four years into the Edina schools' equity crusade, black students' test scores continue to disappoint. There's been a single positive point of data: Black students' reading scores--all ages, all grades--have slightly increased, from 45.5 percent proficiency in 2014 to 46.4 percent proficiency in 2017.

But other than that, the news is all bad. Black students "on track for success" in reading decreased from 48.1 percent in 2014 to 44.9 percent in 2017. Math scores decreased from 49.6 percent proficiency in 2014 to 47.4 percent in 2017. Black students "on track for success" in math decreased from 51.4 percent in 2014 to 44.7 percent in 2017.

The drop was most notable at the high school level. Math scores for black students in 11th grade at Edina Senior High dropped from 31 percent proficiency in 2014 to 14.6 percent in 2017. In reading, scores for black students in 10th grade at Edina Senior High dropped from 51.7 percent proficiency in 2014 to 40 percent in 2017.