One sigma away from eternity.

I used to enjoy very much the NYT science bit on tuesdays. Looked forward. But then, they brought that horrible Olivia Judsons’ Wild Side, who wrote many silly articles, and despite and adoring fan base (that fell for her bs, mostly i assume aroused by her misleading sex books energized by her pics) she went away, but now the NYT engages in a general Hudsonian BS aproach to science reporting.

Today, we woke up to the good news that we are a sigma away from eternity: let me explain.

” At Particle Lab, a Tantalizing Glimpse Has Physicists Holding Their Breaths” by Oberbye. The real reason they hold their breath is because the data is a bump: “Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are planning to announce Wednesday that they have found a suspicious bump in their data that could be evidence of a new elementary particle  (Higgs) or even, some say, a new force of nature.” “The key phrase, everyone agrees, is “if it holds up.”  The experimenters estimate that there is a less than a quarter of 1 percent chance (less than a quarter %? how about o.24%) their bump is a statistical fluctuation, making it what physicists call a three-sigma result, enough to attract attention but not enough to claim an actual discovery. Three-sigma bumps, as every physicist knows, can come and go”.

And so goes the history sensationalizing a bump, that maybe opens the door to eternity, a sigma at the time. Whys does this story reminds me of NASA water and SETI?


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