Category Archives: Uncategorized

Oral Histories

I recently ran across a recent interview with Mary K. Gaillard, which encouraged me to look again at the AIP’s oral histories site. For a review of her autobiographical book, see here. She has the following comments on the current … Continue reading

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Final Fourier Analysis Notes

Our semester here at Columbia is finally over, and I’ve put the lecture notes on Fourier analysis that I wrote up in one document here. A previous blog posting explained the origin of the notes: they cover the second half … Continue reading

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Some Philosophy of Science

Defenders of certain failed speculative theories like to accuse those who point to their failure of being “Popperazzi”, relying on mistaken and naive notions about predictions and falsifiability due to Karl Popper. That’s never been the actual argument for failure, … Continue reading

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Various and Sundry

If like most other people you’re stuck at home, and having trouble concentrating on the projects you thought the current situation would cause you to finally find the time to complete, one thing you could do is watch a lot … Continue reading

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Why the Szpiro Conjecture is Still a Conjecture

There has been a remarkable discussion going on for the past couple weeks in the comment section of this blog posting, which gives a very clear picture of the problems with Mochizuki’s claimed proof of the Szpiro conjecture. These problems … Continue reading

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Latest on abc

Davide Castelvecchi at Nature has the story this morning of a press conference held earlier today at Kyoto University to announce the publication by Publications of the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences (RIMS) of Mochizuki’s purported proof of the abc … Continue reading

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Fourier Analysis Notes

This semester I’ve been teaching a course on Fourier Analysis, which has, like just about everything, been seriously disrupted by the COVID-19 situation. Several class sessions have been canceled, and future ones are supposed to resume online next week. To … Continue reading

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Penrose at The Portal

Since last summer Eric Weinstein has been running a podcast entitled The Portal, featuring a wide range of unusual and provocative discussions. A couple have had a physics theme, including one with Garrett Lisi back in December. One that I … Continue reading

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Why String Theory Is Both A Dream And A Nightmare (as well as a swamp…)

Ethan Siegel today has a new article at Starts With a Bang, entitled Why String Theory is Both a Dream and a Nightmare. For the nightmare part, he writes: its predictions are all over the map, untestable in practice, and … Continue reading

Posted in Swampland, Uncategorized | 6 Comments


A few months ago I ended up doing a little history of science research, trying to track down the details of the story of the Physical Review’s 1973 policy discouraging articles on “Foundations”. The results of that research are in … Continue reading

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