This week there’s a large conference in Potsdam on non-perturbative/background independent quantum gravity called Loops ’05. The programme is on-line, and there is live-blogging from Robert Helling.
Update: String theorist Robert Helling has more coverage of the conference. This includes the hilarious criticism (quoted approvingly by Jacques Distler) that too many of the talks were “so vague and speculative that they are not even wrong.” Helling does notice that the string theorist speaker (Stefan Thiessen) delegated to talk about what is going on in string theory had nothing to say, and just repeated the failed dogma from more than 20 years ago. Maybe at Strings 2006 they’ll even let someone from the LQG camp speak, or at least there will be live-blogging from an LQGer.
Note: This is a reconstruction of my original posting. Unfortunately I accidentally hit the wrong button when trying to edit a typo in a comment, deleting the posting and all comments. Thanks to Steve and Aaron for helping me retrieve the content of the posting, but unfortunately most of the comments were lost. If you have copies of them, please send them to me or resubmit them yourself.
Update: For something truly bizarre, see Lubos Motl’s comments on Loops ’05, where he attacks the talks there as “not even wrong”, while in the same posting respectfully reporting on a talk by Cumrun Vafa at Radcliffe on the Swampland, a talk at which several people evidently expressed the opinion that it could never lead to an explanation of anything about physics.
Update: There’s a bit more about Loops ’05 in the latest issue of John Baez’s “This Week’s Finds”.
Update: The talks from the conference are now on-line.