There are a lot of barometers to keep track of! this thread is to try to keep together a bunch of signs of a changing situation in fundamental physics theory research and how it is perceived. I'm particularly interested in what's going on in the open media accessible to nonspecialist audience. Smolin and Woit books are only part of what we can gauge by, but they are at least something to watch. Smolin's is due to hit shelves next month 16 September. The US edition of Woit's is due 30 September. So we can gauge the ADVANCE SALES of these on Amazon. I watched the sales rank numbers (i.e. low is good) at scattered times over 5 days or so last week---BTW there may have been temporary reasons these numbers looked good, like Smolin being on Talk of the Nation: Science Friday, with Ira Flatow and Brian Greene, and appearance of some favorable reviews. For various reasons the numbers could be misleading, but here they are: Code (Text): Smolin book: 1819 1729 1058 926 Woit book: 5075 3427 2789 2694 You can see what the numbers are today if you want. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0618551050/ http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465092756/ Remember these are amazon advance orders, the UK edition of Woit's book has a slightly different title and different amazon.co.uk sales figures.