The Noisy Upstairs Neighbors

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everybody now gets to enjoy the arguments by the upstairs neighbors
talking in sps
and Thomas Larsson was just saying to Urs Schreiber and Lubos Motl
(in post #7 of Supergravity Billiards thread)

"Hmrph. It is hardly some random symmetry such as that I suggest. The
diffeomorphism group is *the* correct symmetry of GR (ask Rovelli!)."

and Lubos responded that I would hope we wouldnt need to ask Rovelli!


but in Rovelli's recent paper gr-qc/0403047
he seems to be suggesting that a larger group (extended diffeos) would work and maybe just the plain unextended diffeos are not the right group

because when things are quantized they leave spurious unphyiscal clutter around, like adolescents who do not clean up their rooms

so you'd think that from Rovelli's perspective the diffeomorphism group
is NOT *the* correct symmetry of GR, despite what these fellows say.

Today Lubos offered a bookmaker-odds type questionnaire to
Nima Arkani-Hamed. Nima is a physicist at Harvard's Jefferson Lab, with whom Lubos co-authored in 2001. They are probably buddies and Lubos knows him well enough to ask him to estimate probabilities of things like this.

Prof. Arkani-Hamed: imagine that you are a bookmaker, and you task is to
estimate the probability of the following events (of course, if you
write a more detailed answer, it will be appreciated):

1. The LHC will find convincing evidence of supersymmetry by 2010.
2. A collider or another experiment will see evidence of large extra
dimensions or warped extra dimensions by 2015.
3. An investigation of CMB nongaussianities will support the idea of the
ghost condensate by 2015.
4. String theorists will only be a small group in the math departments
in 2015.
5. The cultural barrier between the phenomenologists and the string
theorists will significantly diminish by 2010.
6. It will be possible for string theory to give a successful and
completely new prediction about physics, even without knowing anything
about the "right vacuum" within the landscape.
7. A nontrivial relation between the parameters of the Standard Model
will be calculated theoretically by 2030.

-------end quote----

except for 4, this looks like a fairly comprehensive wish-list.
I think that 3. is something Nima would have specialized knowledge and interest relating to---some of the other questions are rather general so perhaps no one would have special insight into them.

it is an interesting wish-list, maybe as much can be learned from studying the list as could be from studying the answers. from my outside perspective it looks like a tall order to answer, at least with numerical odds

maybe Nima will not give numerical odds but only say subjective things like "high probability", "low-to-medium probability"-----this could not be used to place bets at the racetrack but is better than nothing
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