31 January 2013

The difference between Lust and Sokal

Read this paper, please. Read the abstract. Read the paper. Enjoy the first page. This is the kind of papers showing that string theorists have departed in another world and lost touch with reality.

Nobody in his right mind would ever write such a text. This is a Sokal hoax in a physics journal. And it is ongoing. Sokal performed a hoax, he was healthy. Lust is convinced, he is sick.

String theory is not about nature, not about reality, and not about a theory of everything. It is about a group of people in a shared fantasy world. What a tremendous suffering for all those involved. Who can help them?


8 comments:

  1. That's amazing! I recall my own diploma project (17 years ago): "Geometric structure of N=(4,4) SU(2)x SU(2) supersymmetric sigma models in harmonic superspace" with 1.5 page of text on "importance and relevance" of the project. The "importance" was mostly substantiated by referencing the similar papers writen by others.

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    1. Oh, supersymmetry, the fashionable delusion...

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  2. Perhaps what we're seeing is an aggravated state of collective delusion. But do not expect to see this widespread brainwash to vanish any time soon. Things will get worse before getting better. Your thoughts?

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    1. No, it will not become worse. But it will have a long decay time.

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    2. It may have a long decay time, but there is no evidence yet that the decay has even started. Just look at the Milner Prize, at the (partially justified) glorification of the AdS/CFT conjecture, at the yearly Strings Conferences, at Witten's research on Jones polynomials and so on. Too many die-hards out there refusing to give up.

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    3. The number of papers in hep-th is not as it used to be. The famous people do not write much, at present. Despite Milner, there is a decay of the delusion. But it is slow .

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    4. I beg to differ on this point, Clara. My feeling is that all Quantum Gravity theories will slowly morph into some new un-falsifiable, highly abstract mathematical constructions with zero contact with physical reality. It may well take few generations of theorists to abandon the mirage of the Planck scale and Black Holes. Stretching General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory well beyond their range of validity will still be an obsession for a long time to come. The dynamics of this trend is similar with self-organized criticality: it is highly unstable and takes unexpected twists and turns before settling in a temporary local minimum.

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