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Dont feed the troll

  1. Dec 2, 2006 #1


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    Trolls are people that go around stirring up arguments.
    the best thing to do is ignore them (so i've been told)

    One nice thing about this forum is we have a diverse culture with different viewpoints peacefully coexisting.

    We aren't supposed to be monolithic, we're supposed to be a mix (just my opinion of course). So emphasizing apparent contradictions is distracting and a waste of energy.

    A troll may occasionally quote you out of context: what you say can get grossly misinterpreted.

    Use your own judgment. I'm just going to ignore efforts to highlight apparent contradiction and to stir up animosity.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2006 #2
    Hello Marcus,

    Thanks for the namecalling.

    My documentary is funded by several prominent sources, and I would like to offer you an opportunity.

    I will fly to wherever you are and sit down with you for an interview.

    "Why are critics of ST and LQG regularly chastised and impugned upon these boards? Even though you yourself see how physics is hurt when non-physics is promoted throughout the media?"

    "Why are childish namecalling and ad hominen attacks used instead of logic and reason?"

    With malice towards none I have come here. I also happen to be working on a documentary about Abraham Lincoln--perhaps you would also like to appear in that one too.

    Researching the history of this board, I see that critics of ST, LQG, Kaku, and Green have time and again been sent to their deaths.

    Lee Smolin says, "The story I will tell you could be read by some as a tragedy. To put it bluntly--and to give away the punchline--we have failed. We inherited a science, physics, that has been progressing so fast for so long that it was often taken as a model for how other kinds of science should be done. For more than two centuries, until the present period, our understanding of the laws of nature expanded rapidly. But today, despite our best efforts, what we know for certain about these laws is no more than what we knew back in the 1970s. . . How unusual is it for three decades to pass without major progress in fundamental physics?"

    Perhaps the lack of progress is due to attitude's such as Marcus--he does no physics himslef, he bans people for proposing new theories, and he launches ad-hominem attacks on those who question the complete and utter failures of ST & LQG.

    What is left, but to show the Truth in the form of Epic Story in a documentary? Feel free to PM me if you want to participate in a documentary on cutting-edge physics.
  4. Dec 3, 2006 #3


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    Hi autumnwests!

    I realise there isn't much chance that you'd like to talk to me - but I'd be happy to participate in a documentary on physics. Personally, I think you have done very well to find this forum in the first place. Of course, I am really pro String theory / spin foams as far as the maths goes - although I'll admit there are big problems with their physics.

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  5. Dec 3, 2006 #4
    autumnwests, I'd like to fly you out to Sudan or Ethiopia and film you explaining to people who live on less than $0.50 a day and who can't feed their family how you can justify owning the computer worth more money than they see in 10 years or why you use thousands of times the amount of energy they do, or why you drive a car which gets less than 20 miles to the gallon or why you are a citizen of a country where more than 40% of the populace are over weight and waste so much food a day you could feed entire countries just on your wasted food.

    See, it's easy to make anyone look bad if you twist things enough and don't bother offering any other point of view. You can't say "String theorists waste so much money, they are the reason we have homeless people" without making a huge hypocrite of yourself ;)

    Anyone with the slightest grasp of real world economics sees straight through your twisted words and half truths.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  6. Dec 3, 2006 #5
    So then what your saying is because the congress is corrupt, ST has been far under funded?
  7. Dec 3, 2006 #6


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    I would like to request that this post be pulled. If someone can not have enough integrity to spew his/her political opinions on these boards (supposedly devoted to discussions on physics) then this person deserves to have one's post pulled.

    It takes a lot of integrity to keep one's political (irrelevant) political opinions out of an unrelated discussion. Apparently, that requires *too* much integrity for some.

    For the OP: I am surprised by the responses you got from the very start. It seems obvious to me that informing the general public about cutting edge physics research can only be beneficial to both the general public *and* to research. Reserachers seem to forget that in the end, most funding for fundamental research comes from public funds and that it is the job of the reserachers to convey to the public why we (as reserachers) do what we do and why it is exciting and worthwhile. Some people in these boards have replied with a tone that seemed to say "forget about making accessible what we do to th egeneral public...give us the money and don't ask us to make any effort to explain what we do and why we do it. Although the attitude does not matter in the short term, it would be detrimental over long periods, as the general public would become less and less aware of what fundamental researchers are doing and would see it less and less relevant to fund it.

    I had Brian Greene as a prof at Cornell before he became famous in the general public and I have to say that I am grateful that he wrote such well written and interesting books (and I was glad to help in the French translation). Now I discuss sometimes topics at the frontiers of physics such as string theory, LQG , extra dimensions scenarios, etc. when I teach my college level atsronomy class and it is always a pleasure to see students getting excited and curious (even some who are not planning to go in physics) and I always recommend Green's books for those interested in learning more.

    Any popularization of science (if well done) is very beneficial to the scientific community.

    As for the money involved, I don't think it is a good and meaningful way to start discussing physics. What about the money involved in fusion research? What about the money involved in the space program? Were the benefits worth the investments (and the lives lost)? I personally don't think one should try to quantize things in terms of money. Maybe string theory will end up being a dead end as a physical theory (I personally think there is much more interesting work to be done and that even though its present form is likely far from being complete, some aspects of it will prove to be fruitful..but that's just an opinion).

    My two cents

  8. Dec 3, 2006 #7

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    $6 million per annum pays the salaries and benefits of at most 200 people, and that requires making the vast majority of those people be postdocs or PhD candidates. The spending on string theory has been a drop in the bucket.

    The one person who has not kept their irrelevant political opinions out of this discussion is the producer of this documentary.

    Compare "With malice towards none I have come here." with "I would love to film an actual string theorist with a portable blackboard walking aorund to homeless people out here, telling them how little $500,000,000 really is." (Her $500 million is really less than $200 million).
  9. Dec 3, 2006 #8
    I agree that any popularization of science will benefit the community, and I am pleased to see the announcement of this new STRING THEORY movie a friend just emailed me:

    personal advertisement removed

    ALL TIED UP & STRUNG ALONG, a movie about String Theorists and their expansive theories which extend human ignorance, pomposity, and frailty into higher dimensions, is set to start filming this fall. Jessica Alba, John Cleese, Eugene Levie, Jackie Chan, and David Duchovney of X-files fame have all signed on to the $700 million Hollywood project, which is still cheaper than String Theory itself, and will likely displace less physicists from the academy.

    personal advertisement removed
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2006
  10. Dec 3, 2006 #9


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    Wait a minute... you're all bent out of shape about string theory "wasting" a measly $500 million over three decades, but then you support a movie about the waste that, itself, costs $700 million?!

    What kind of logic is this?

    - Warren
  11. Dec 3, 2006 #10


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    Well, autumnwests, now that you're just tossing in stupid fake-movie schtick in here, it's clear that you have no interest in actually discussing anything real. If you post anything else related to your incoherent, nonsensical beef with string theory, even one more time, you will never again be permitted to post here. Perhaps you think this is all just the height of hilarity, but we don't. Last chance, kiddo.

    - Warren
  12. Dec 3, 2006 #11
    When you ban me, you will be banning Einstein, Feynman, Laughlin, Hooft, Glashgow

    thanks to personal advertisement removed for the following quotes:

    It is anomalous to replace the four-dimensional continuum by a
    five-dimensional one and then subsequently to tie up artificially one
    of those five dimensions in order to account for the fact that it does
    not manifest itself. -Einstein to Paul Ehrenfest

    String theorists don't make predictions, they make excuses. -Feynman,
    Noble Laureate

    String theory is like a 50 year old woman wearing too much lipstick.
    -Laughlin, Nobel Laureate

    Actually, I would not even be prepared to call string theory a
    "theory"rather a "model" or not even that: just a hunch. After
    all, a theory should come together with instructions on how to deal
    with it to identify the things one wishes to describe, in our case the
    elementary particles, and one should, at least in principle, be able to
    formulate the rules for calculating the properties of these particles,
    and how to make new predictions for them. Imagine that I give you a
    chair, while explaining that the legs are still missing, and that the
    seat, back and armrest will perhaps be delivered soon; whatever I did
    give you, can I still call it a chair? -Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel
    Laureate in String Theory

    "It is tragic, but now, we have the string theorists, thousands of
    them, that also dream of explaining all the features of nature. They
    just celebrated the 20th anniversary of superstring theory. So when one
    person spends 30 years, it's a waste, but when thousands waste 20
    years in modern day, they celebrate with champagne. I find that
    curious." Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate

    I don't like that they're not calculating anything. I don't like
    that they don't check their ideas. I don't like that for anything
    that disagrees with a n experiment, they cook up an explanation-a
    fix-up to say, "Well, it might be true." For example, the theory
    requires ten dimensions. Well, maybe there's a way of wrapping up six
    of the dimensions. Yes, that's all possible mathematically, but why
    not seven? When they write their equation, the equation should decide
    how many of these things get wrapped up, not the desire to agree with
    experiment. In other words, there's no reason whatsoever in
    superstring theory that it isn't eight out of the ten dimensions that
    get wrapped up and that the result is only two dimensions, which would
    be completely in disagreement with experience. So the fact that it
    might disagree with experience is very tenuous, it doesn't produce
    anything; it has to be excused most of the time. It doesn't look
    right. -Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate in Physics

    But superstring physicists have not yet shown that theory really works.

    They cannot demonstrate that the standard theory is a logical outcome
    of string theory. They cannot even be sure that their formalism
    includes a description of such things as protons and electrons. And
    they have not yet made even one teeny-tiny experimental prediction.
    Worst of all, superstring theory does not follow as a logical
    consequence of some appealing set of hypotheses about nature. Why, you
    may ask, do the string theorists insist space is none-dimensional?
    Simply because string theory doesn't make sense in any other kind of
    space. Sheldon Glashow, Nobel Laureate in Physics

    From personal advertisement removed -- where apparently physics is allowed.

    Go ahead--make my day, and immortalize yourself in my documentary.

    By banning me, you are banning the Giants of modern physics.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2006
  13. Dec 3, 2006 #12


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    I wouldn't ban you for having the opinion that string theory is dead, or was dead on arrival, or does not amount to anything, or never did amount to anything. Those are all perfectly valid opinions, and you're welcome to express them here. Honestly, I think string theory's a dead-end, too, but I don't villify the researchers as somehow taking food out of the mouths of homeless people. Your tone is that of a zealot, and you might wish to speak a little more calmly with people who don't share your particular insanity.

    If I ban you, it'll be because you do nothing but purposefully avoid responding to well-formed counter-arguments, and because you (mostly) do nothing but repeat the same tripe over and over again. Really, no one here seems to agree with you that approximately 1,000 people spending approximately $500 million over thirty years -- approximately $17,000 per year per researcher! -- on a theory that may well have been the door to fantastic new developments in physics, is somehow an enormous, gastly waste of resources. If that's all you have to say, and you are not willing to accept counter-arguments, then you should find somewhere else to discuss your views.

    And c'mon, threatening me? Make your day? I could care less what you put in your little popcorn-peddling trifle.

    - Warren
  14. Dec 3, 2006 #13
    Well, I deleted my replies as unhelpful (and not because they were "political", but because on second thought I realized they were just trollbait.) Sorry everyone.
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