Since many people have been posting off-topic comments here that were censored over at Lubos Motl’s Reference Frame, I’m creating a separate posting so that there will be an appropriate place for these. Also, if you want to try and carry on a discussion with Lubos on the topics of these comments, here is the place to try (although I don’t quite know why you’re bothering…).
Quantum Theory, Groups and Representations
Not Even Wrong: The Book
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I think that your red neck credentials are now sufficiently well established for you to apply to appear on Jerry Springer. Application form below.
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Peter Woit, you shouldn’t call Lubos names like ‘subhuman’. That just brings you down to his level. We all know he isn’t subhuman and making unrealistic, extreme and exaggerated insults like that should be left for Lubos.
I agree that what he did to Riofrio was in bad taste.
I’m trying to ignore Lubos today and I suggest everyone else do the same. You’re quite right that one shouldn’t descend to his level. On the other hand, I think “subhuman” is a more accurate characterization of his recent behavior than “in bad taste”.
after answering to a few hoax like this one, Lubos deleted his whole post:
Lubos, maybe the problem with “Carroll joins Woit” is that feminists are not more intelligent than females.
It is not funny, but maybe it is educative
Mea Culpa: Since the comments were off on the last link about the book / Carroll, I took the liberty of posting the cache link in an off topic thread (LHC News). Guess I didnt scan long enough to find this section. Skeptical about the \”carrying on a discussion with Lubos\” part though. Is he tenured? I dont think he was tenured at the time of the Summers affair.
A funny side effect of this story, is that Lubos Motl who have (somewhat) supported once the Bogdanov tricksters (by the only reason that Peter Woit reacted to the dishonest way he was quoted in their book) is now quoted (in support of the authors) at almost every pages of the June 06 reprint of Igor & Grichka Bogdanov “Avant le Big Bang”, a cranky book where it is explained how wrong string theory is, and how it could be replaced by a non-existent theory, based on wrong statements, which suggest a mystic and mathematical origin of the Universe.
Incidentaly, I just got my first censored comment on Motl’s blog :
” You are involved by being quoted in the new version of their book, period. You are now involved with real cranks, what is quite funny given how you try to qualify as ‘cranks’ anyone, like Woit, expresses different views as yours.
I wonder where you’ve got that I could “deduce anything about string theory from this”… given I’ve never write anything like this.
You seem more and more unable to read honestly any paper, just like you did by linking Carroll to Woit.
Who’s insane ? ”
Given that I was responding to a post from him qualifying me of “insane”, I can now deduce to what kind of guy I was dealing with…
hum, looks like Motl’s blog is not running so well, posts are popping in and out at every reload…
Lubos clearly has been driven completely over the edge recently, maybe the appearance of my and Lee Smolin’s books and various articles in the press about the problems of string theory have something to do with this. He’s never had much interest in facts or logic, but recently he has become completely delusional. I hope his colleagues are trying to get him help, but if you believe what he has to say, they seem to just be encouraging him in his madness.
It is indeed quite strange he did wrote this “The book is also full of inconsistencies. In one chapter, he argues that the alternatives to string theory in the field of quantum gravity should be supported. In the following chapter, he argues that they should be suppressed – the work of the Bogdanoff brothers is one of his examples.”, so he is now comparing Quantum Gravity side by side with Bogdanov’s work, even if he did wrote elsewhere how poor their work is. He seem being unable to grasp that you could consider the Bogdanov brother as crank (what they are) on the ground of their behaviour and poor work even if they happen to attack string theory.
The (not so) funny consequence is that now Motl will be known in France as the only (apparent) academic support of a cranky book which explain how string theory is a complete failure !
That is kind of funny. I think the only reason Lubos is supporting the Bogdanovs is that I described them as cranks. Maybe I’ll try to come up with ideas of who else I think is a crank that I would like Lubos to support, then write something attacking them.
It’s more and more obvious every day that it is the reason of his support.
BTW, yet another censored post of mine (after he reinserted my previous one) :
” No surprise you’ve find my name linked almost exclusively to this
affair on Google, given that the Bogdanovs and their fans (none of them being able to deal with the scientific issues I’ve raised) managed to turn the debate into personal attacks from the first (of four) article I wrote on this subject.
I hope you’ll never have to deal with fans totally uninterested by science when writing about any scientific issue. If you could read french, you’d notice that the defaming accusation you’ve found out came from a fan and that she was unable to provide a single sample.
I usually don’t put my name on front when posting or publishing on the net, you are confusing Google with life.
For instance, typing your name on Google will make appear almost exclusively rants against Peter Woit (such as your comment on amazon.com), I wouldn’t think nevertheless that you spend your life turning around Peter Woit.
On one hand you are qualifying Peter Woit as a crank when he is attacking string theory, on an other hand you are now known in France as the only apparent academic support of the Bogdanovs in France, as stated in a book who qualify string theory as a complete failure.
Perhaps it will make you think about the proverb “the enemies of my enemy are my friends”, and the way it doesn’t match well.
P.S. Your posting system doesn’t work well, first some posts disappeared, then appeared twice. ”
This will be my last censored post there. I won’t post anymore on such a dishonest blog.
Given how you’ve been misquoted in the first print of their book, you could be amused to see how Igor & Grichka Bogdanov translated this sentence from Lubos :
“[…] the Bogdanoff brothers are proposing something that has, speculatively, the potential to be an alternative story about quantum gravity.”
Here is what he supposed to have written, as quoted in a footnote of the new print of “Avant le Big Bang” :
“the Bogdanoff brothers are proposing something that has, speculatively, the potential to be an alternative to quantum theory”.
suprisingly enough (not !), the link the brothers provide in the footnote to Lubos’ blog is incorrect.
Don’t the Bogdanovs have a popular science TV show in France? Maybe if things don’t work out in academia – or even if they do – Lubos could appear on their show. He could even have a regular “Crank of the Week” slot, where he denounces a new person each week, obviously being careful to steer clear of the brothers themselves in this regard. In time, I am sure that being a Bogdanov/Motl Crank of the Week will be considered the highest academic honour short of a Nobel Prize.
This is a wonderful idea. I vote for John T. Nordberg (who looks like Lubos!) with Archimedes Plutonium coming in a close second, and deserving extra marks for style.
I haven’t seen a copy of either the first edition of “Avant le Big Bang”, or the new paperback. Someone (was it you?) sent me copies of the pages of the first edition that misquoted me. Do you know if the misquotes attributed to me have been removed in the paperback? Also, do you know what happened with the brother’s lawsuit against someone who had written an unflattering magazine article about them?
Here’s another one for you to attack, Peter: the Flat Earth Society
They are now quoting you correctly, at least on the quote I checked (they are no more pretending you would have write “absolutely sure” when you wrote “certainly possible”). BTW, I’m not the one who send you copies of these pages (it could be Fabien Besnard).
I will ask about this lawsuit and will keep you informed.
I’ve just been reading John T. Nordberg’s website. Wow, this guy is a crackpot extraordinaire. Does anyone know what university he’s affiliated with (if at all he’s affiliated with any) ?
Please, don’t start discussing more crackpots here, there’s a very large number of them, and what they really want is attention.
Back on-topic, Lubos seems to have just deleted a link to a report on the public talks at Strings 2006, once someone pointed out to him that the report said the talks were boring and most of the audience went to sleep (except for Hawking’s talk). Anyone have a record of that deleted link?
Well, I’m now banned from Motl’s blog entry comments page (at least, I won’t see anymore my post *modified* as the previous one was).
What’s interesting anyway, is how he reacted to Bogdanov’s creative quotes :
” Dear YBM, thanks: that’s not a terribly accurate translation , but as I indicated many times, I am not gonna sue them.
Very speculatively, they might also have an alternative to quantum theory or anything else. ”
Basically he don’t care being notorious as a support to crackpots he clearly recognizes as such.
Here what is I could have answered to this post comming after one of mine he had the dishonesty to edit, just after having deleted the one I responded to his rant.
“To sue is a typical bogdanovian activity, as well avoiding scientific issues.
You could now realize what kind of people you’ve been dealing with (even if without consent).
Did they ask you for any kind of authorization ? Do you know that there is an excerpt from you (at least this one correctly translated) on the cover of their book ?
Forget Woit (who has real arguments), you are now the only proeminent apparent support of the most insane anti-ST ever published in France ! Félicitations !”
Pingback: Not Even Wrong » Blog Archive » Various Weirdness
Who told you that I “made amazon.co.uk erase all reviews” except the 5
star ones? Your review was complete nonsense, but the only action I took
about this was that when I first read it a month ago I clicked on the
“report this as inappropriate” link at the bottom. That’s it, I have done
absolutely nothing else.
As far as I know, no one else has written a negative review of the book on
Amazon, and your crazy one caused several people to write very positive
reviews answering it.
I have no idea why Amazon UK recently deleted yours. Maybe lots of
people hit the “report as inappropriate” link, maybe someone there read it
and recognized it for what it is.
I agree that your review on Amazon of the book by Peter Woit was deleted by some conspiracy, but you are wrong in writing that it is a crackpot-capitalistic conspiracy. There is a more plausible interpretation.
A recent string-theory paper (hep-ph/0607029) revealed the existence of intelligent civilizations with extended life expectancy in the 10th superstring dimension. Clearly, these aliens do not want to be discovered by us and are trying to prevent further progress in String Theory by deleting your review.
The bastards might even try to delete my comment from The Reference Frame.
Soon to be deleted:
I came to this blog as a young physicist seeking information in cutting edge physics research, and through sheer luck on my first visit I found it.
Now all I find here is the unreasoned rants and ‘reactionary’ insults of a man who cannot see past his faith in a theory that has much to live up to.
I have no doubt that this comment will be deleted, but hope that perhaps you will come to grasp just how damaging your behaviour is, to the image of string theorists and of physicists in general.
07 31 06
I recently found your site. I was quite naive to all of the insult tossing that goes on in the physics world. I visit Christine Dantas’s blog for some LQG links, then Lubos’s blog for some deconstruction. It appears as though I must regularly visit your site for further deconstruction. The diversity in opinions is what I love about science. And in the end, only time will tell who was right eh? 🙂 Please have a nice day:)
dear Rae Ann,
Lubos forgot to ban me, so if you like I could re-post my deleted comment that solved the mistery about what M of M-theory really means.
However, censorship made the comments section of the “Reference Frame” somewhat uninteresting, so I prefer to refer you to page 196 of “Not Even Wrong”.
Lubos, As usual there is much naive garbage and unearned arrogance in what you say, but I will have to be selective.
First, you don’t understand Bell inequalities. The fact that a QFT Lagrangian (or Hamiltonian) is local, and hence that space-like commutators vanish, does not imply that the whole theory is local. If you look at spin operators measured on the two sides of a Bell experiment, you will notice that they commute as well. The whole point of Bell’s analysis is that despite this commutation, entangled states still exhibit behavior that’s profoundly non-local. The standard attempt to cover this up with references to information transfer and no-signalling is itself diversionary philosophical tripe.
Second, whether or not positions make a complete set of observables in (Relativistic)QFT is beside the point. The point is that position-space is inherently special in RQFT, and so criticizing a particular interpretation for recognizing this special status is hypocritical. (Note, I did not say the act of recognizing this special status and demanding a local Lagrangian is hypocritical, as per your straw man.)
Interestingly it is only in the kinds of interpretations of QM/QFT that you prefer that one requires a special philosophical superstructure for measurement theory. In fact the point of the very interpretations you criticize is to formulate QM in such a way that does away with the superstructure — in which measurment processes are normal dynamical processes just like any others, not requiring ad hoc postulates, or collapses, or Born rules.
On any of these subjects, I would consider receiving something other than an F from you a blemish on my credentials. And your girlish preambles about not countenancing any counter-arguments are transparent.
censored from http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/03/panel-michael-duff-and-lee-smolin.html
dear Lubos, you (and Duff?) seem to think that the big problem of string theory is that Smolin might have 2 or 3 faces. The big problem is that string theory has 10^500 faces. Instead of arguing about Smolin, please present ideas about how to do physics despite the landscape; this is what will make the difference between success and failure
Just a reminder to everyone nerdy: Discover magazine’s deadline for submissions of a 2-minute U-tube explanation of string theory is 16 March, so submit today.
“The winning video will be selected by Columbia University physicist Brian Greene, best-selling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos, and broadcast via a prominent spot on the homepage of Discover.com … The video should present an accurate, basic understanding of string theory that will stick in the brains of relatively intelligent non-scientists.”
Therefore, make sure you include a full proof of how gravity and the standard model are uniquely derived from 10/11 dimensional M-theory, proving how the 10 dimensional superstring universe is a brane on the surface of the 11 dimensional supergravity bulk. I don’t know they require you to explain how the 10^500 solutions of string theory correspond to the multiverse.
The main thing to get across is that a 1-dimensional string, when moved, gains a time dimension so it has 2-dimensions (a worldsheet). Then you add another 8 dimensions to satisfy conformal symmetry if there is 1:1 boson:fermion supersymmetry, or 24 dimensions without supersymmetry (i.e., for boson string theory). This explains the reasoning behind 10 dimensional superstring and 26 dimensional bosonic string.
Next, because general relativity is only 3+1 dimensional, you need to roll up of 6 dimensions in superstring, which is done by the Calabi-Yau manifold which compactifies those unseen dimensions. The great benefit here is that the Calabi-Yau manifold can have all many kind of sizes and shapes for its dimensions, so the resulting little vibrating strings which constitute fundamental particles can have 10^500 sets of states or standard models, corresponding to 10^500 parallel universes. The anthropic principle will tell us that the particular universe we inhabit in this landscape of solutions is the one necessary for our existence. It’s a very beautiful theory.
Why do you tell “10^500 sets”? Use “discrete infrared ambiguities”.
Why “anthropic principle”? “Structural principle” is more elegant.
So, replace the last sentences with:
Thanks to a rich set of discrete infrared ambiguities, string theory naturally implements the structural principle, providing the only known solution to a fundamental problem at the basis of our life: the smallness of the Cosmological Constant.
and Lubos will not have to censor it. For example I improved my previous post into:
dear Lubos, I understand how much you value intellectual honesty and freedom of speech, but is it worth for you (and Duff) spending so much of your valuable time fighting with crackpots?
and this one was not censored. It’s just a matter of good taste.
I know this is a little off topic, but here’s a comment seeking refuge after Jacques Distler deleted it from a Musings post where he suggested that the landscape just isn’t a special problem in string theory (because it is possible to create messy landscapes with fictitious, non-empirical assumptions from the framework of the Standard Model and general relativity):
Re: The Standard Model Landscape
Thanks for the link to http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0703067 which mathematically is straightforward for a change. The physical basis, however, is abstruse.
Any idea that particle physics (the standard model) and general relativity have a landscape of solutions is a reversal of the idea that such a theory is defined as representing experimental data.
The only way you can have a landscape for the Standard Model and general relativity is to change this definition, so as to include unobserved, unreal solutions. I.e. you can claim that the basic field equations have lots of solutions if the parameters can vary to unphysical (non observed) values. Thus, general relativity would predict a closed universe if the CC was small and the density was very high. By changing the parameters in the Standard Model, you can also get a landscape of unphysical solutions to particle physics.
But in the case of general relativity and the Standard Model, this landscape literally is not a real problem. This isn’t just because measurements and experiments determine the necessary values which go straight into the theory, but it is also because the physical theories are really based on empirical data: the Standard Model and general relativity are derived from empirical data, e.g. symmetries in particle properties, spacetime, gravitation, energy conservation for a gravitational field, etc.
Comparing the unphysical landscape from empirically developed theory to that from string theory (where the spin-2 gravitons, extra-dimensions, and 10^16 GeV unification are not observations), misses Woit’s point that in one case the landscape is neither physically real nor a problem, while in the other case the landscape is a real problem.
Nobody has proved that any landscape really exists in nature. The assumption that there might be other universes with different values of standard model parameters is just speculation. If it turns out that those parameters are interdependent and so can’t vary in the way assumed for landscape analysis (even if the multiverse is accepted), then this would eliminate or reduce the landscape size.
The objective of physics for some people like Feynman was to find the reasons for why general relativity and the standard model have the form they do. If this quest is successful without string theory, and all the constants and parameters are predicted to have unique values from a theory that doesn’t allow other values, then there will be no landscape whatsoever.
Censored from Jacques Distler’s Musings Says – your eminently sensible posting was censored? It is to the point, pertinent, polite — I’m really amazed! Thanks for letting us know that things have become so bad.
I’m banned from the Reference Frame. I only wanted to disaggregate an issue (do issue analysis) in a discussion of global warming. Lubos managed to muddle two effects (becoming like Venus and posited temp increase for CO2 doubling) as well as two sources of information (ice cores and Venus temp/CO2 levels). He also does not understand how to bound a problem and when he is doing it and when he is not doing it. I really don’t get the impression of an honest, curious scientist.
“I really don’t get the impression of an honest, curious scientist.”
No kidding 😉 Sometimes it works to tell Lubos to do the opposite of what you want him to do. E.g.:
“Go ahead and block me Lubos, there are plenty of other internet cafes in the city where i live”
“Lubos, please hurry up and delete this comment. I want an excuse to repost it over at Peter Woits blog where it will be seen by lots more people.”
Both of these worked for me in the past.
hi, amused. Here is an example of what happens with your strategy. I posted:
dear Lubos, do you agree that your slogan “String theory is the language in which God wrote the Universe” must be updated into “String theory is the language in which God wrote the Multiverse”?
If you answer no, you are defending something that does not exist: there is only one string theory, and it has a landscape of 10^500 solutions.
If you answer yes, you are ready to start arguing with Woit.
If you censor, this question will be moved to the “censored by Lubos” section of Not Even Wrong.
This was not censored, and got a thoughtful answer:
…you are a mentally retarded imbecile…
But my later reply was censored:
dear Lord Motl, if it’so easy for you, why don’t you show us the solution to the 10^500 problem, and I will be pleased to hear your insults at your Nobel prize conference?
Thoughtful replies of that nature are all you will ever get from Lubos with that type of question. For what it’s worth, here are a few recommendations for interacting with him. Serious discussion is not possible, so think of it as a sport – motlbaiting. There are two possible goals. The first is to wind him up so much that he has to write a whole new blog post full of abuse to recover from it. Your comment will of course be deleted, but nevermind, you can just repost it here. Physics points should be avoided for this; snide remarks containing unfavorable comparison of his publication record to those of various “crackpots” are much better. The alternative goal is to try to slip in as much string-bashing as you can while taking a joking around approach, and avoid getting deleted or blocked. It’s for this that the suggestions in my last comment apply.
“snide remarks containing unfavorable comparison of his publication record to those of various “crackpots” are much better”
LM actually posted Smolin’s publication record as a way of proving that he, Smolin, is a failure. Smolin’s record, in reality, is extremely good, far better than I would have expected actually; and of course it is literally an order of magnitude better than LM’s. The fact that he can’t see that most readers would think this is a strong hint that he is really cracking up.
I’m really getting dissapointed with the honesty and smartness level of conservatives lately. Am I the only smart, honest one?
You know, I lack the math or physics ability to understand the arguments, pro/con with string theory. I do find your manner to be much more pleasant than Mr. Motl. What’s ironic is that he defends the “skeptics” of global warming, but he disdains those in his own field. A real scientist should be curious of all. Skeptical of all. And able to formulate the key questions to resolve what is trustworthy.
I’ve also never been able to really have a conversation that got into thoughtful issue analysis with him. Maybe part of it is my hesitancy, out of respect for superior math ability. And my tendancy to play game to cover that. But I think a part is Motl, not really being intellectually curious. Not being an issue analyzer. A disaggregator of causes and effects.
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13 April 07: I just invited Lubos to join our discussion on his 2002 Tripled Pauli Statistics idea, which appears in our version of M theory. I’m not sure whether he will look upon the invitation kindly or not.
Rudely deleted by Lubos from the thread of “Nobel Prize winners vs crackpots”:
Considering that you are very far from being a leader in string research, why on earth did PI want to give you a job? Is it because of your charming personality?;)
Btw, congrads to the string theorists on having recruited a new cheerleader among the science journalists. It’s fortunate for you guys that Chalmers doesn’t have a background in particle theory research, so that he is able to swallow the string hype whole without getting indigestion!
Lubos is full of fun and games these days, and rather than just deleting comments he’s taken to “improving” them… For example, in the thread of this post, where Lubos lists himself along with Witten, Maldecena, ‘t Hooft and Einstein as reknowned physicists, I added a little comment
“Gene, you forgot to mention Lubos’ awe-inspiring publication record 😉 ”
(In response to a comment by one of LM’s groupies chastising those who dare to doubt his guru’s towering intellect, since LM had `read Dirac’s book when he was only in high school’ (Wow, who needs PRL publications with that kind of achievement under their belt!)) Well, Lubos decided to “improve” that comment into something quite different… In fact my own views are more along the lines of this, which I like to think might have responsible for the amusing rant (“omnipresent intellectual trash…”) at the end of this post 🙂
And Lubos was so inconsiderate as to block me, which means I’ll have to walk an extra block to the next internet cafe next time ;-(
Btw Lubos, here’s something else I’ve been meaning to ask you: Is the SLAC faculty member who wrote this post also a crackpot?