Anniversary

It’s now been exactly one year since I first set up this weblog. At the time I thought the number of those sharing my interests would be very small and hardly anyone would be looking at whatever I put up here. Things have turned out very differently, with an ever increasing number of connections. I started gathering statistics in May of last year. Here’s the average number of connections to the main page per day (there’s a similar number of connections to other pages, from Google searches and links from elsewhere).

May 2004 146
June 2004 240
July 2004 281
August 2004 336
September 2004 315
October 2004 514
November 2004 514
December 2004 572
January 2004 735
February 2005 955
March 2005 (first half) 1109

I’ve enjoyed and learned a lot from many of the comments posted here (at last count there have been 2728, concerning 168 different postings), but a recurring problem has been that many people would like to turn the comment section into a discussion forum for their own personal speculative ideas about physics. This threatens to completely overwhelm discussion of the topics I’m actually posting about. This morning I had to delete several several such comments from different people. Please do not post comments here of this kind. Get your own weblog and do it there. If every so often you want to post a link here to something you’ve written of this kind elsewhere, that’s fine.

It’s been quite a year, especially as the story of string theory just gets weirder and weirder. I have no idea what will happen during the next year, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

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18 Responses to Anniversary

  1. Narayanan says:

    sorry this is the right link I typed in 03 instead of 02 in the last comment

    http://arjunnarayanan.blogspot.com/2005/02/really-really-popular-science.html

    arjun

  2. Narayanan says:

    Hi,

    I am a student from India interested in math and physics. As you might be aware India has a large amount of string theory in its morning newspapers and in its research institutes. I am irritated by what I percieve to be an attempt at deluding students. after 20 pop sci lectures and even shiraz minwalla giving a couple of “involved ” lecutres I am still in the dark(though now I know enough analogies/jargon to write my own pop sci book)
    recently I blogged in a fit of anger. could someone here please take a look at it and see if I need to tone down the youthful vitriol. it troubles me because i am really bright Till a couple of years ago I agreed, with every bright person i know, on why physics is Beautiful , But not any more. and its scary, makes me want to leave and go study economics or something(at least there are more girls in eco departments.)

    heres my post

    http://arjunnarayanan.blogspot.com/2005/03/really-really-popular-science.html

    thanks
    arjun

  3. J.F. Moore says:

    Happy anniversary! I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago, but it is now regular reading for me. Thanks!

  4. Aaron says:

    Maybe half thought about doing strings coming in, but it ended up just being six of us, I think, unless I’m forgetting someone….

  5. ali says:

    Congratulations Peter! (from a former Rabi sch.)

    As someone who spent a couple of years at princeton (1998-2000) and witnessed first-hand the mad rush to study string theory (half of my entering graduate class wanted to do a string thesis), I very much appreciate your willingness to confront this openly and intelligently. For a while it seemed like it was really just Glashow (and the ghost of Feynman)…

    By the way, I went to Lawrence Krauss’s talk (to a lay audience) this week at the CUNY graduate center. He summarized pretty well the evidence for the standard model of cosmology, leaving the audience to contemplate the mystery of the dark matter and energy. At the end, he asked if there were any questions. A few people asked, but he seemed frustrated with the caliber of the questions. He said he’d take one more question, if someone had something GOOD. I shot my hand up and said (truly unsarcastically), “What about string theory? Isn’t it supposed to explain everything?”

    Krauss smiled and then said that string theory is a failed theory in his opinion. He got into cosmology in the 80’s to understand the fate of the universe and the smallness of the cosmological constant. He said that string theory has completely failed in addressing either of these. He then plugged his book coming out in September.

    In retrospect, the way that last question played out made me look like “jeff gannon” to Krauss’s “George Bush”. But I couldn’t help myself! πŸ™‚

  6. Congratulations on your first blog-bday, Peter! πŸ™‚ It’s a real “ritual of passage”… something along the lines: “If i made it so far, i can keep on making it!” πŸ˜‰

    As for the “comments about the comments” (gotta love meta-statements… and Gφdel!), sometimes i think people forget that this is your space, not theirs… and, this pretty much gives you the right to do whatever you please. I guess some concepts are complicated…

    Anyway, if you ever need a boost on your stats, just let me know… i can easily make your blog beat the 1.000.000 hits/month! (Yeah, you’re reading it right: one million. πŸ˜‰

    Take care! []’s!

  7. quantoken says:

    Peter said: “many people would like to turn the comment section into a discussion forum for their own personal speculative ideas about physics.”

    Oh Peter, that’s a good one. Speculative. Don’t you realize that ALL research into a new candidate theory unifying QM and GR are ALL speculative ideas? If something makes a solid prediction and then be verified by experiment beyond doubt. Then it’s no longer just a speculation, but an accepted theory. Nothing like that happened yet to any of the theories being investigated.

    So every one is speculative, yours included. You just like your own speculation better than others’.

    And sometimes you erase purely none-speculative, but factual comments. Like last time when I talk about stars radiate energy and it acounts exactly for the right amount of CMB energy. It’s a fact, not speculation. Even proponents of BB, like Edward Wright, accepts that there is a “coincidence” between the two. But to you, since you can not agree with that fact, you call it “speculative”.

    Quantoken

  8. Nonspeculating man says:

    “many people would like to turn the comment section into a discussion forum for their own personal speculative ideas about physics.”

    Good iniciative, bad methodology!!

  9. Kyle says:

    Thanks for your time and effort Peter!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Peter, Congratulations. Your blog is very informative.

  11. rich_w says:

    Thanks, Peter, for blogging and keeping the site going – it’s been informative, enjoyable and, on occasion, controversial. Thanks again, from this humble mathematician wannabe…

  12. Peter says:

    One trend I’ve noticed is that even a year ago many string theorists automatically assumed that anyone who criticized the theory was an idiot and/or did not know what they were talking about. I see less and less of that these days…..

  13. Not a Nobel Laureate says:

    How about graphing that data as a “landscape”.

    πŸ˜‰

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wow, hard to believe it’s been a whole year. Out of curiosity I went back and looked at your first several posts and comments. I must say, as a former particle theorists, I feel embarrased on behalf of some of my former colleagues for some of knee-jerk abuse you’ve been subjected to. And that’s even before the arrival of Lubos!

  15. Peter says:

    Sorry, I don’t want to spend time massaging this data. Connections are from all over the world. Quite a few academic machines with a name that includes the string “strings”…..

    And Lubos, if I really wanted to compete with you on traffic numbers, I could start expressing opinions about Columbia’s Mideast-related political controversy (don’t anyone even think of submitting comments on that here….)

  16. Lubos Motl says:

    Congrats, Peter your numbers are pretty encouraging for others. πŸ˜‰

  17. Anonymous says:

    Or how about some geographical visitor info? It would be nice to see from where the various visitors are.

  18. Steve says:

    How about posting a graph of that data with a fit curve?

Comments are closed.