Lubos Leashed

Lubos Motl has taken to signing some of his postings with “leashed”, and Capitalist Imperialist Pig has speculated that “My dark suspicion is that he might have gotten caught in a PC violation in the Summers Affair, forcing him to do a T reversal to save his Lorentz invariant m ass”. Lubos wrote in to tell him “Unfortunately your intuition is perfectly correct, but I am not sure whether your imagination is big enough to imagine the scale.”

I have no idea who is responsible for the leashing of Lubos or what the reason for it is, but I figured this meant his blog would stop featuring the right-wing ideological political commentary he’s fond of. But today he has a posting about the Frist Center “filibustering” in which he says “I currently do not enjoy the freedom to tell you what I think about these things.” Actually he manages to make it pretty clear what he thinks about these things.

This leashing of Lubos is too bad, especially since I was finding myself more and more in agreement with his postings (not the ones about politics, but we seem to agree about the Landscape), and generally think the First amendment gives everyone the right to make a fool of themselves with crazed political rants if they feel like it. Lubos’s blog has also played another important role for me. Whenever people won’t believe me that string theorists can be smart and well-informed, but still crazed ideologues, all I’ve had to do is point them his way.

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57 Responses to Lubos Leashed

  1. JC says:

    Anonymous (Posted at May 1, 2005 12:39 AM),

    Sounds like stuff in Erich Fromm’s “Escape From Freedom” book.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is a liberal illusion that people (as a whole) liberated from oppression understand freedom. The experience in most of the world is that freed peoples turn around and behave like their former oppressors; just as the abused individual is likely to become an abuser, like the harassed daughter-in-law becomes a terror of a mother-in-law; the victims of racism are racist; the persecuted dissenter becomes intolerant of dissent.

    It is also both a liberal and a Christian misconception that suffering confers virtue.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Conservatives love to feel sorry for themselves.

    If he is denied tenure, I’m sure Lubos would find it much more comforting to nurse the illusion that he was persecuted for his political beliefs, than to face the fact that he has wasted his life on silly pretend physics.

  4. Daniel says:

    (I don’t know Lubos Motl personally, or in any capacity except for his blog)I do know however, that he comes from a country that has in the past been “leashed” by communism, economic stagnation and stifling bureaucracy. A country where free speech and the individual were suppressed by corrupt people who thought that *they*, and *they* alone, knew what any given person *should* be doing at any given time. With this background Lubos, I would imagine, understands what makes *your* country, Dr. Peter Woit (assuming you are an american), a great country. His “right wing idealism” that you refer to, is an exaltation, a rejoicing cry, an exhausted relief in the simple fact that there *does* exist a place in the world where one man can rise above the rest, where reason isn’t inhibited by political correctness and adherence to the majority belief. Given the stark contrasts that he has seen perhaps he and others like him who have emerged from behind the Iron Curtain know better than any of us what America really stands for and what we as members and visitors of this society should exalt in. (Forgive me for this slightly sarcastic final comment,…but Lubos stands in the extreme minority with his political views (in academic circles) and is unafraid to challenge the norm, and you stand in the face of the majority string theorists and are also unafraid to challenge the “standard” view. You are quite similar in many ways!!)

  5. Peter Woit says:

    Annoying your colleagues with loony political beliefs certainly doesn’t tend to make them better disposed to your tenure case, but I’ve never heard of any case in math or physics where this was in any way an issue in a tenure decision.

  6. JC says:

    Peter,

    How common is it for somebody to be denied tenure because of their political beliefs?

    One extreme case of this sort I’ve heard of, though not having to do with tenure directly, was of some professor who was posting up Nazi white supremecist propaganda on his www homepage. The department eventually moved his office to some dark corner in the basement or the boiler room.

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