Readers will have noticed that The Trouble with Physics is far from a diatribe against string research---it gives a sympathetic exposition which may well be the clearest down-to-earth non-mathematical discussion anyone has given so far. The book deals with quite a range of issues relating to several separate areas (research funding policy, the behavior of research communities, details of various current approaches to quantum models of space time and matter, fundamental ideas, history of scientific innovation etc...) maybe too many to list. It deals with a range of issues and has a number of different messages----the tone meanders between recounting personal experience and giving thoughtful (basically friendly) advice. There are several things in the on-going RESPONSE to the book which I find fascinating and would like to discuss with you if you have noticed them too. One of these is the remarkable anger we are seeing from string-folk. I don't think there is any need to go into detail. What I am wondering is where the anger comes from. what I've heard so far does not come from people who have read the book and who cite some specific paragraph on some page. In his KITP talk G.J. kept pointing out that what people were ranting about was not what the book actually said, and he repeatedly asked and discovered people had not read the book. Likewise over at Woit's blog one of the commenters has expressed bitter resentment but says he has only read parts of the book in a bookstore. He does not refer to specific stuff on specific pages. Instead, what the commenter starts talking about is basically his own life situation and his frustration. He indicates he can barely read the L.S. book because he gets so angry while reading it. This is extremely interesting. I want to understand this anger. I suspect it may be that Smolin has actually put his finger on the main blockage in string research. (this would be the lack of a manifestly background independent formulation) The anger I hear confirms my suspicion that Smolin may actually be right about the root cause of a stringy frustration. So I want to take it as a clue and look at it some, in this thread.