Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hundreds against several - the open letter of more than 2500 polish scientists against 15 supporters of the government ...

The original Polish & English translation can be find here: https://sites.google.com/site/slpnp2016/

"Recently, 15 Polish scientists have written a letter to Frans Timmermans, criticizing triggering Article 7 against the Polish government.
We respect anyone's right to voice their opinion. We also respect those who signed the letter—many are our colleagues and teachers. However, we find the key claims of the letter unfounded and its language deeply divisive, even offensive. The purpose of the present statement is to make clear that a significant part of the Polish academic world rejects the accusations and innuendos contained in the letter, as well as its hostile tenor. The main claim of the letter is that European Union is trying to "overthrow our democratically elected government" , in order to destroy the strong Polish democracy, so as to be able to govern Poles and other European nations, using "a totalitarian social engineering" of political correctness and to keep supporting a host of "domestic and international thieves". Another reason is Polish government's refusal to admit refugees and, especially, the Polish "freedom of beliefs perhaps the most hated by the EU officials" . These grave charges were made with virtually no justification. They are supported only by sweeping statements like "our current judiciary system represented nothing but a self-protecting postcommunist organization". At the same time, the authors implore their "friends from academia and beyond" (in a letter addressed to Mr. Timmermans) to "think whether you have some serious grounds to believe your media. What if they lie?". In reality, there are absolutely no grounds to believe the main statements of the letter. The claim that the EU hates Polish freedom of belief and is trying to destroy it is preposterous. The opening criticism "It is strange by itself, that these EU personalities, themselves just appointed - not elected, love so much democracy" is an attempt at irony but comes out as a clumsy insult. The authors present no legal arguments or expertise, beyond a vague statement that "the proposed changes in our judiciary system are the same or are very similar to those, which exist in other Western countries systems for decades". In view of the international political situation, and of the Polish geographical position, it is of utmost importance for Poland to remain one of the key EU states, and for this it is imperative to treat the statements by the EU authorities seriously. We regret to conclude that our colleagues decided to put their signatures under a letter of dubious quality, containing standard propaganda slogans instead of arguments, written tenuously, inaccurately and aggresively. We want to make clear that we do not support its contents, its hostility or its awkward style. Statements on important political subjects should be argued carefully and we are supporting the idea of such a discussion. Making arbitrary accusations, regardless of one's political views, is harmful for the community, for Poland and for Europe."

I have also signed the letter.
Mirek Sopek

PS. The photo I used here was made by AFP Photo/Wojtek Radwanski (from https://www.yahoo.com/news/thousands-protest-against-polish-government-control-state-media-164547203.html)



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Statement of Poland's Supreme Court related to the public enunciations of Poland's Prime Minister.


With regard to the numerous public enunciations of the Prime Minister of Poland, Mr. Mateusz Morawiecki related to the courts of Poland, including the Supreme Court (i.e. in his exposé and especially in his article in “Washington Examiner” from December 13th, 2017) it must be firmly declared that his thesis about the domination of the communist time judges over the Supreme Court is plainly false and cannot be used to objectify to the collective move of 40 percent of judges into the compulsive retirement.

The fact of a given judge sentencing in the times of the Polish Peoples Republic does not automatically render the judge judicially dependent on the communist regime, or the one, whose actions were uncreditable. If Prime Minister has access to the information about the particular cases and particular judges, he should present them publically, instead of casting injurious generalisations.

Similarly, he should act, when he claims that some court proceedings were “led by bribes, whenever the case was more profitable”. Any facts about such cases, which are known to the Prime Minister, should immediately be transferred to the persecutor office. The Supreme Court community supports unconditional persecution and severe punishing of corrupt judges. In the same time, we strongly protest any unconfirmed, highly biased, and stereotypical references to imaginary cases, particularly made by the Prime Minister of the Polish government and published abroad. Such activity brings harm to thousands of honest judges, who are the important part of the state of Poland.

We support the system of random allotment of cases to individual judges mentioned by the Prime Minister. Such a system should also be applied to Supreme and Constitutional Courts – what unfortunately, was not introduced by the previous reforms. However, we strongly protest against the claim about the practice of “purchasing” of cases by judges.

We also cannot agree with the accusation, directly pointing to the Supreme Court, about the alleged favouring of criminals who betray the VAT system. We have already extensively explained all the related partcular cases. It must also be noted that the Supreme Court did not participate in the acquittal of the criminal charges against Mr. S. Kociołek (the claim by the Prime Minister on December 17, 2017 in Szczecin). In this case the Supreme Court considered the persecutor annulment and abolished the sentences of acquittal.

From the Prime Minister of Poland, whose opinions shape the opinion of the public, we should expect matter-of-factness, and the use of facts that were verified and confirmed.
(translation: Mirek Sopek)
The original:

and here:

Wobec licznych wypowiedzi Prezesa Rady Ministrów Mateusza Morawieckiego dotyczących sądów, w tym Sądu Najwyższego (m. in. w exposé, a zwłaszcza w artykule opublikowanym w „Washington Examiner” z 13 grudnia 2017 r.), stanowczo stwierdzić należy, że teza o dominacji w SN sędziów okresu komunizmu jest chybiona i nie może stanowić obiektywnej podstawy do grupowego przenoszenia w stan spoczynku 40 proc. sędziów. Sam fakt orzekania w czasach PRL nie świadczy o tym, że dany sędzia sprzeniewierzył się niezawisłości i postępował niegodnie. Jeśli Pan Premier dysponuje wiadomościami na temat konkretnych spraw i konkretnych sędziów powinien przedstawić je publicznie, a nie posługiwać się krzywdzącymi uogólnieniami.

Podobnie postąpić powinien wtedy, gdy stwierdza w odniesieniu do spraw sądowych, że „gdy sprawa wygląda na najbardziej dochodową, wymagane są łapówki”. Wiedza o takich sprawach powinna być udostępniona przez Pana Premiera organom ścigania. Środowisko SN popiera bezwzględne ściganie i surowe karanie sprzedajnych sędziów. Sprzeciwiamy się natomiast odwoływaniu się do niepotwierdzonych, obiegowych opinii i stereotypów i to w wypowiedziach Premiera polskiego rządu, publikowanych także za granicą. Krzywdzi to tysiące uczciwych sędziów, którzy są ważną częścią polskiego państwa.

Poprzeć należy system losowego przydzielania spraw poszczególnym sędziom, o którym wspomniał Pan Premier. System taki powinien jednak konsekwentnie działać także w Sądzie Najwyższym i Trybunale Konstytucyjnym, czego dotychczasowe reformy nie przewidziały. Sprzeciw budzi natomiast zagadkowa teza o praktyce kupowania spraw przez sędziów.

Nie możemy pogodzić się również z kierowanym wprost do Sądu Najwyższego zarzutem rzekomego sprzyjania przestępcom wyłudzającym VAT. W sprawie tej składaliśmy już obszerne wyjaśnienia. Zaznaczyć trzeba także, że Sąd Najwyższy (będący częścią wymiaru sprawiedliwości III Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej) nie współuczestniczył w uwolnieniu od odpowiedzialności karnej S. Kociołka (przemówienie Premiera w Szczecinie 17 grudnia 2017 r.). SN w 2015 r. uwzględnił w tej sprawie kasację prokuratora i uchylił wyroki uniewinniające (sygn. II KK 340/14).

Od Prezesa Rady Ministrów, którego wypowiedzi mają niewątpliwy wpływ na kształtowanie się opinii publicznej, oczekujemy rzeczowości i posługiwania się sprawdzonymi i potwierdzonymi informacjami.
   

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Decoding Reality The Universe as Quantum Information

"Decoding Reality - The Universe as Quantum Information" is a very important book in the recent series of hot discussion related to the role of information in physics, quantum computing and the relation of information to the theory of gravitation. Written using relatively simple language can be comprehended by literally everybody. Its author, Vlatko Vedral is renowned physicist specializing in the quantum information theory. He is Professor of Physics of the University of Oxford and of the National University of Singapore.

However, the great value of his book to me was in its references to philosophy and epistemology that were both very deep and comprehensive. I was glad to discover that he finds the fundamental value in the Popper's method of falsifiability (which is, to me, the most important method in all sciences). However, he pointed my attention also to the "negative theology" of the Cappadocian Fathers, which, when applied to the deepest mysteries of the reality - is perhaps the only way to start from. Of course the author applies it to the interplay between information and the reality... In that context, he also makes other interesting references to some other spiritual tradiations....

The book ends with the quote from Lau Tzu. I'm leaving it with a thought about the wisdom of the thinker who wrote it some 2600 years ago...:

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.
   
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The forgotten truth

remember who made you
and those before you
and those before them.

all the ancestors are within you,
stretching back to Creation.

years hence,
whom will you be within?

from Philip Toshio Sudo:
Zen Sex
The Way of Making Love


Saying it is an amazing book, is like saying nothing. Yet, for many deep reasons it is hard for me to write a typical review. Or, at least, it is difficult now...

Let me only say, that it touches deeply the realm touched by "Song Over Songs", and speaks also to those who while being in love could not have children with those they loved so much, and to those who could not have them at all. One of the deepest and truest book about love I ever read...

Beyond this terrific book, this was also the discovery of its author, Philips Toshio Sudo.
His books and his life is a true lighthouse for those who sail across the oceans of lives.

Gainesville, November 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

"The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing"

I just finished reading (i.e. listening to) a great book: "The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer" by David Leavitt. (BTW, I just learned he has ties to the University of Florida in Gainesville). It was a great and informative reading about the man so important to both modern sciences and computer sciences alike. What is interesting in the book is perhaps an analysis of some links between Turing's fascination of  the machine intelligence and him being gay. I do not think anyone before Leavitt (who is also openly gay) could touch these topics. While, surely, I do not share many of the Leavitt's opinions being on the thin boundary of objective reading of Turing's papers and, in some way, biased reading from the position of gay person - I must say it was an interesting account, and in some deeper sense explains Turing's fascinations...

Boulogne-Billancourt, September 15, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

My "discovery" of the great XX philosophers...

Of course, the "discovery" here is just a metaphor. I knew about them, but did not yet have time to read their works.
This is now changing ...
Tim Maudlin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Maudlin
David Lewis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lewis_(philosopher)

more to come here about them ... :-)

Mirek@Boulogne-Billancourt

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

On recent folly about (corrupt? fake ridden?) media ...

Let me paste here what I recently wrote to a great friend of mine. We differ on politics, yet we have a great respect to each other...

As for the general outcry against media recently. I find it very bad. See, instead of bashing the media, we must find counterbalancing views and the media that present them. THEY EXIST. For many years we were accepting the diversity of the media and we were selecting those who, in our opinion, represent better what is going on. Today the trend is different - we claim the media is corrupt the media spread fakes. Well they sometimes do. But instead of undermining their right to do so, we try to say they have no right to exist. We must be careful, because that usually helps those who come and try to limit the freedom of the media. I saw it here: for years the right wings here were spreading the news of the media corruption, and now they, in power, practically eliminated the freedom of public media (we still have strong private media, thanks God).

In my opinion, the buildup of distrust against the media is exactly what our common enemy likes the most. You know who I have in mind. So, instead of speaking against the media, find the media that speaks well. It exists.

Mirek - Lodz - Poland August 30, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Into the serfdom

Say the word

In a totalitarian state
Freedom
Is not evicted
Abruptly
Overnight
From Tuesday to Wednesday
They will stint it slowly
Take it away piece by piece
(Sometimes giving back a piece
But never more than what was taken away)
Day by day in bits
In quantities imperceptible
Until the one fine day,
After a few or several years
We will wake up into the serfdom
Yet we will not even see it
We will be convinced
That so it should be
That so it always was.
This is my, perhaps poor, translation of the poem written by Polish Poet Kornel Filipowicz.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Can reason emerge from atoms? Reading DeLanda ...

I have been reading, for some long time, an hour a week or so - extremely interesting book I do not quite accept as expressing the philosophical views I subscribe to ...
Manuel DeLanda, "Philosophy and Simulation. The Emergence of Synthetic Reason"

However, I have no time today to review it and explain it all. The only thing I wanted to say today, is that it is a worth reading, profound piece of philosophical work that tries to prove that all higher level objects of this world are emergent properties of the lower level objects. This smells like reductionism, but, and here comes a surprise - it is really not !

I hope to have time to say more about it soon...