One of the weirder battles of the String Theory wars became known to some as “trackbackgate”, referring to arguments over the arXiv’s policy of not allowing trackbacks to this blog. I’ve mercifully forgotten the details of the story, other than that I wasted a lot of time arguing the issue with the authorities at the arXiv and Cornell, an argument that I finally lost. If you’re interested in the history, a couple blog entries you could start looking at would be this and this.
At some point the arXiv’s policy changed, and some trackbacks to blog entries here started to appear, as well as trackbacks to all sorts of media stories that linked to the arXiv. A little bit of checking seemed to indicate that trackbacks would appear if I linked to papers not in hep-th, but wouldn’t appear when I linked to hep-th papers. A recent example would be this blog entry, which linked to and discussed this paper. This made me a bit curious about what the arXiv current trackback policy might be, but from past experience I figured that trying to contact them to find this out was unlikely to get me anywhere.
One day recently it occurred to me that a way to find out something about this would be to start up another blog, write a posting linking to an hep-th paper and see what happened. It’s quite remarkable how little time it takes to start up a blog, so an hour or so later String Theory Fan was on the web, with an About section:
This blog will be devoted to discussing the latest exciting developments in string theory, our best hope for a fundamental unified theory of particle physics and quantum gravity.
The author is an academic actively studying this fascinating subject.
a first blog entry spouting hype about string theory, the multiverse and how uninformed critics were, and a second one linking to and superficially summarizing a randomly chosen recent multiverse paper.