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Anthropixia as a mental disorder

  1. Aug 10, 2007 #1


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    Anthropixia is an intellectual illness to the extent that lets physicists off the hook---gives them an excuse, that is, to shirk their job as explainers.

    Discouraged theorists are particularly subject to this disorder. Those at the end of their productive years, who have failed to find the ToE they looked for, are apt to take it as a way out. In effect, they throw up their hands and say there's NO explanation, we looked! there just isn't any---so you young people can stop trying: get over it!

    But theorists in middle life, if they find their line of research is making little headway, or they are short on new ideas, can be subject to anthropixia as well.

    This disease is especially dangerous today because we are in a period when String research is bogged down and dwindling. String suffered a blow in 2003 when Susskind (a leader) accepted that there are something like 10500 essentially different formulations and began to pretend that all these different versions EXIST as different worlds. In effect, he captulated:
    Our physics is our physics because that is just the way it is.

    What I mean by anthropixia is this GIVING UP on the job of explaining predictively---either "that is how God made it, my son" or "this is just how it is, there are millions of other universes but we probably couldn't live in most of them."

    At this point significant progress is being made in the fields of Quantum Gravity and Cosmology in determining details and explaining the history of THIS universe: quantum gravity is renormalizable after all (Reuter has succeeded where Weinberg failed in 1979), the expansion probably began with a bounce (Bojowald), a NON-EXOTIC inflation mechanism has been found which takes care of the "horizon problem". Acceleration is beginning to be understood without an exotic "dark energy". Non-string geometric realizations of the standard model (and perhaps gravity as well) seem to be emerging from various people's garages (Connes, Barrett, Lisi) iffy as that sounds.

    this means that there is a potential revolution: one can expect the conventional exotic inflation scenarios of 1980-2000 to take a hit. Old Guard like Guth, Vilenkin, Linde are probably not going to like it. There may be resistance. One can expect the associated multiversal scenarios with their "inflaton" fields and "bubbles" to take a hit. It will help this revolution succeed if we can reduce the amount of noise and distraction connected with the outbreak of Anthropixia.

    the trouble is, the fantasy of multiple universes works as IMAGINATION CANDY. People get high on it and they get hooked on imagining all sorts of garbage---colliding universes afloat in extra dimensions, inflaton fields blowing immense bubbles. At one point these visions may have been justified because nobody had an alternative solution to the horizon puzzle, or the flatness and structure puzzles, or any other way for quantizing gravity and resolving the cosmological singularity. But now we have alternative ways to do these things. The baroque visions have been cut off from their root rationales, but they still have a hold on the popular imagination.

    And they still provide the waning generation with a novocaine for failure.
    The multiple realities of Anthropixia provide a welcome excuse: "Why we didn't find a ToE?"----"there isn't any, so get over it!"---"this is just how things are!" :smile:
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2007 #2
    Hi Marcus,

    Alas, searching both on-line ICD-9 and medical dictionary for your word “anthropixia”:

    I get these results:

    a - Similar words: Amyotrophic
    No matching records found
    This means the search engine could not find the search text in the database
    It could mean that your search is too broad and matched too many records in the database
    1 - Diseases and Injuries
    2 - Procedures
    3 - Appendices
    4 - Other Resources
    2007 ICD-9-CM is here!
    (effective 10/1/06)

    b - No match for anthropixia

    These words are defined:

    1 - anthropocentric
    With a human bias, under the assumption that man is the central fact of the universe.
    Origin: anthropo-+ G. Kentron, centre
    (05 Mar 2000)

    2 - anthropogenesis -->
    The origin and development of man, both individual and racial.
    Synonym: anthropogenesis, anthropogony.
    Origin: anthropo-+ G. Genesis, origin
    (05 Mar 2000)

    The publisher invites inquiries.
    Please send an e-mail message to omd@cancerweb.org.uk.
    Published at the Dept. of Medical Oncology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    © Copyright 1997-2003 - The CancerWEB Project. All Rights Reserved.
    Why is this definition missing?

    The dictionary does contain this word:

    confabulation <psychiatry>
    Fabrication of detailed, plausible experiences and events to cover gaps in memory. May occur as a feature of Wernicke's encephalopathy.
    (05 Jan 1998)

    I also searched these sites only from the first Google page [no results]:







  4. Aug 10, 2007 #3


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    So we have discovered a new mental disease that is not in the handbooks yet!
    Maybe we can get it recorded in the official catalog of the American Psychiatric Association.

    The etymology of Anthropixia, as you may have deduced, goes back to the term
    Anthropic Principle.
    or as some say, the Anthropic LACK of Principles. :smile:

    For discussion of a case history, let me refer you to this other thread
    Sean's SAP post seems oddly shallow--what's happening?
    I suspect what is happening is that Sean Carroll is coming down with Anthropixia.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  5. Aug 11, 2007 #4


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    I think Sean was making a joke - poking fun at anthropery [SAP, get it?]. He is too bright to advocate such lame arguments [as you noted]. I don't think anyone is taking the anthropic argument seriously these days. This may be the greatest achievement of ST - it restrains the best models. ST theorists have greatly contributed to the search by producing some of the best and most practical math that has emerged in the last century. I'm both a closet fan, and skeptic.
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