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Martin Gardner review in New Criterion

  1. Apr 12, 2007 #1

    marcus

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    A lot of us know Martin Gardner from his regular monthly recreational mathematics contributions to Scientific American, which were a major good thing about SciAm for thirty years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Gardner
    He will be 93 this year, still kicking though.

    Gardner fans may like to know he has a review of relevance to current controversy in April issue of New Criterion (a broadspectrum print magazine with online archive). Thoughtful old head and still a skillful writer, too good a combination not to pass along.

    Its free:
    http://www.newcriterion.com/archives/25/04/m-is-for-messy/

    thanks to T. Larsson in NEW blog for the pointer to this
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
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  3. Apr 12, 2007 #2

    marcus

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    In case anyone is reading who doesn't know of Gardner
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000547F6-C50D-1CC6-B4A8809EC588EEDF
    here is a more recent SciAm article ABOUT him by current SciAm columnist Michael Shermer.

    "Fifty years ago Martin Gardner launched the modern skeptical movement. ...much of what he wrote about is still current today
    ...
    Thankfully, there has been some progress since Gardner offered his first criticisms of pseudoscience..."

    Apparently he was an early critic of pseudoscience fads. I didn't know this, being more familiar with his "Mathematical Games" column.

    I see Gardner still has some books in print. These are just a few of them!
    http://www.amazon.com/Colossal-Book-Short-Puzzles-Problems/dp/0393061140
    The Colossal Book of Short Puzzles and Problems
    and
    http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Gardners-Mathematical-Games-Gardner/dp/0883855453
    Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games
    and
    http://www.amazon.com/Fads-Fallacies-Name-Science-Popular/dp/0486203948
    Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
  4. Apr 12, 2007 #3
    I like the analogy from 't Hooft.
     
  5. Apr 12, 2007 #4

    marcus

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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
  6. Apr 13, 2007 #5
    a lot of inaccuracies in the article, off the top of my head

    Witten majored in history, not economics.

    String theory has always offered dark matter candidates - SUSY esp the neutralino, which is believed to be stable.

    Originally, string theory did have something to say about "dark energy" -- it was originally thought the Universe was Anti-Desitter. Unfortunately, observations of type 1A supernovae shows that the Universe is currently DeSitter. The KKLT 2003 paper shows how it is possible to get deSitter space out of string theory, resulting in the famous landscape.

    String theory does have something to say about the cosmological constant, and mispredicts it by a magnitude of 10^120 too large.

    I do share the author's skepticism regarding higher dimensions and supersymmetry and D-branes (as he discusses string theory to a previous 19th century TOE in Lord Kelvin's vortex theory of atoms in the 19th's century) but I am eager to hear the results from LHC as anyone here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
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