A few unrelated items:
- Maybe Multiverse Mania in the popular press is fading. The Atlantic has The Multiverse Idea is Rotting Culture, where the author points out
In 2014, the New Scientist published an article called “Multiverse Me,” revealing that various lonely boffins take succor from the fact that alternate versions of themselves are leading fun lives full of emotional and sexual fulfillment, instead of solitudinous slogs through the stupid infinity of high-level algebra.
They’re not jealous; they want the best for their alternate selves, they want them to be happy. How can you help? The answers given are all cop-outs; the scientists have decided to keep on living as if the multiverse didn’t exist (“The multiverse,” one says, “tells us that we should behave as if we were valuing the risks according to probabilities in a classical universe”), because if it does exist the implications are horrifying. Right now, infinite versions of yourself are dying in really horrible ways, not in spite of the fact that you’re lazily giving answers to a New Scientist reporter, but because of it. Every second you live, their suffering increases. If you stand on a cliff-edge and decide not to die, how many billions are smashed on the rocks? Jump now, and save them all.
- Over at Scientific American, Lee Billings has a story about dark matter and the lack of evidence for WIMPS.
- At CASW Showcase, an interesting interview with Natalie Wolchover.
- Carlo Rovelli has posted on the arXiv The dangers of non-empirical confirmation, his contribution to the Why Trust a Theory? meeting discussed here and here.
- Next week there will be a Natifest at the IAS, celebrating Nati Seiberg’s 60th birthday. I’ll try and get down there for the first day, leaving on a trip (more about that to come) later in the week.
There’s a wonderful discussion with Seiberg arranged by Hirosi Ooguri that is well worth reading.
- Denny Hill wrote recently to tell me about an interesting article on the history of the study of gravitational wave solutions, by him and Pawel Nurowski, now on the arXiv here.