## Monday, June 06, 2016 ... /////

### Parasites in the scientific community have contributed zero to string theory

Sabine Hossenfelder has shown us once again how convenient the life on the border of the scientific community is for dishonest and incompetent science-hating charlatans and saboteurs similar to herself:

Dear Dr B: Why not string theory?
The tolerance for chutzpah seems to be unlimited for the people around her. OK, so why not string theory, Ms Hossenfelder? The first sentence of her rant is even more insulting than the title:
Because we might be wasting time and money and, ultimately, risk that progress stalls entirely.
Wow. That's quite a "reason" to abandon the most fundamental research in science.

First of all, the most incredible word of the sentence is "we". Sabine Hossenfelder isn't "we". She has never done any string theory and she cannot do any string theory because she clearly isn't in the same league as the people who are doing string theory, have done string theory, or are at least capable of learning and/or doing string theory.

Also, she has never contributed any time or money to the fundamental research in science. On the contrary, she is a textbook example of a bogus quasi-researcher who devours a part of the money that should be going to science by pretending to be doing "the same thing" as the actual researchers except that something is missing.

Nothing ever comes out of it. Many people in the scientific bureaucracy don't care because to increase the density of the female reproductive organs in the physics departments is more important for their "success" than any contributions to science.

Hossenfelder must have learned this word "we" from her former boss Smolin who also loved to pretend that he can also be called a string theorist if you wish – probably everyone can, Smolin liked to suggest – no one in the public would dare to care that both of them are just incompetent crackpots who play the role of "scientists" representing the stupidest morons in the general public.

OK, this word "we" has elevated my adrenaline level brutally. But let's focus on other, equally important aspects of her proposition. She says that scientists or the society shouldn't be doing the scientific research on string theory because we could be wasting time and money.

Wow. One may equally say the same thing about any meaningful scientific research (and exploration) because almost by definition of the research, we can never know in advance whether we find out something, how much we find out, and how important it will be. This uncertainty is an absolutely inseparable part of any exploration.

When Christopher Columbus organized his voyages to "China and India", he also didn't know and no one knew how great the implications would be. But he knew that something important could be discovered in this way – and as we know, it was more than correct. Similar comments apply to pretty much every explorer, inventor, or discoverer in the history. Exploration and research always bring the risk of a disappointment but curious people simply can't resist, anyway, and that's the powerful force that is responsible for most of the progress of the mankind because a significant fraction of these things does bring something great.

Whether we pay attention to her "we" or not, Hossenfelder simply admits that she has nothing to do with the spirit of research and exploration. She just doesn't belong there. While a part of the research money is being wasted, she must greatly suffer, too.

At any rate, despite their whining, she and similar Šmoits won't be able to stop the curious people's curiosity and their drive to find the truth and discover new things. It's the curious people's time and money that is spent for doing amazing things and not hers.
In contrast to many of my colleagues I do not think that trying to find a quantum theory of gravity is an endeavor purely for the sake of knowledge.
Quantum gravity is a theoretically motivated enterprise.

More than 100 years ago, Max Planck knew that the typical length scale where the gravitational, relativistic, and quantum phenomena start to matter simultaneously is the Planck length, $\sqrt{\hbar G/c^3}=1.6162\times 10^{-35}$ meters. This incredibly ultrashort distance scale is probably the distance scale where the effects of quantum gravity start to be displayed directly. We know that the previous sentence may be wrong thanks to the extra dimensions etc. but the probability that the "actual" quantum gravity scale is much closer to the doable experiments is rather low.

So the research of quantum gravity has always been, still is, and probably will be almost entirely a theoretically driven research depending on a very careful application of the mathematical rules. Quantum gravity has always been a theorist's puzzle par excellence.
Instead, it seems likely to me that finding out what are the quantum properties of space and time will further our understanding of quantum theory in general.
This prophesy is very vague. It is partly wrong, partly right. And some of the insights that make it partly right have already been found. But it could only happen because some physicists were doing an actual research. They were not speculating whether the research would be a waste of time and money. Instead, they did it and the results made it clear that it wasn't a waste of time and money at all.

An important fact is that the speculations about the "meaninglessness of science" are an obvious waste of time and money. What individiduals such as Hossenfelder are doing is a much greater waste of time and money than the work of the most unimportant graduate student starting with string theory.
And since that theory underlies all modern technology, this is research which bears relevance for applications. Not in ten years and not in 50 years, but maybe in 100 or 500 years.
There may be "practical" applications of quantum gravity in 100 or 500 years. Or not. But a person cannot consider herself a "scientist" just for inventing similar absolutely unjustifiable speculations. If the average scientist's career takes 50 years, what the career (and the accumulated salary) represents is the progress in the science over 50 years. Consequences of some people's work in the far future (100 or 500 years) may be even more important but we don't know them. So an honest person just can't use these speculations about the year 2100 or 2500 AD as factors that influence our decisions today.
So far, string theory has scored in two areas. First, it has proved interesting for mathematicians. But I’m not one to easily get floored by pretty theorems – I care about math only to the extent that it’s useful to explain the world.
If the people who investigate physics of string theory find some important insights – e.g. "theorems" although this word is surely not describing how most of this research is framed – they are unquestionably helping us to explain the world. It just can't be otherwise. String theory is a theory of physics whose degrees of freedom interact with all others in the theory; and that contains some degrees of freedom that match the observed one. So it follows that everything that string theory contains is relevant for an explanation of the world.

Even if we focus the research on the physics of vacua that are not realistic, it's still true that the discoveries are important for the explanation of our world. These different vacua are described by the same laws of physics so they describe what may happen in the real world under some extreme conditions, e.g. in the early Universe. Moreover, many of the insights – e.g. holography or dualities – are clearly very general. If some truly qualitative lesson is relevant for a class of vacua, it's in one way or another relevant for all vacua.

Hossenfelder's idea that the "theorems obtained by string theorists" are usually irrelevant for the "explanation of the world" shows that she has no clue. She really doesn't distinguish mathematics and physics. Mathematicians study theorems that are generally not assumed to have any relationship with the real world. But string theorists are physicists and string theory is a physical theory so this "disconnect" with the real world is simply impossible. The only way how any of the insights of string theory could be shown inconsequential for an explanation of the real world would be to rule out string theory as a theory of the Universe in some way. Although there have been hundreds of situations in which this could have taken place, it hasn't taken place yet. String theory remains a viable framework to describe all phenomena in Nature.
Second, string theory has shown to be useful to push ahead with the lesser understood aspects of quantum field theories. This seems a fruitful avenue and is certainly something to continue. However, this has nothing to do with string theory as a theory of quantum gravity and a unification of the fundamental interactions.
Quite the contrary. It has everything to do with string theory as a unifying theory of all forces and matter. For example, the $d=4$ $\NNN=4$ gauge theory with a large number of colors is known to be fully physically equivalent to type IIB string theory (which includes supergravity but also much more) on $AdS_5\times S^5$. So not only the stringy description of quantum gravity has "something to do" with an unusual aspect of a (strongly coupled) gauge theory. They are exactly the same thing! How two things that are exactly the same could have "nothing to do with one another"?

Also, the string theory's ability to unify the forces including gravity is exactly the reason why the theory has been capable of illuminating the previously unknown phenomena and properties of quantum field theories. In AdS/CFT or Matrix theory, the stringy physics – including gravity – is literally emerging from the non-gravitational starting point. It is hard to find a consistent theory of quantum gravity and string theory shows us all the ways to do so. Quantum field theories are reliable and consistent so it shouldn't be surprising that a consistent theory of quantum gravity may emerge from some previously esoteric phenomena in the (obviously consistent) quantum field theories.

In holography, a whole new spacetime dimension emerges – and the gravitational force in the bulk emerges along with it. This emergence is a classic example of the way how string theory unifies all the forces. For example, in AdS/CFT, it's unavoidable for the gravity to emerge. Spin-two particles, gravitons, must exist in the bulk because they are AdS/CFT-dual to the spin-two stress-energy tensor on the boundary. Also, for example in the BMN $pp$-wave limit, excited strings with the string theoretical dynamics emerge from a gauge theory (from long traces). They have to. Consistent theories capable of describing quantum gravity always emerge with the building blocks that string theory claims to be unavoidable in quantum gravity.

Many of these insights that pushed string theory and quantum field theory closer were surprising – quite generally, the scientific research brings surprises, that's an inevitable consequence of the research's not being completed from the beginning – but this linking of the two "sectors" of theoretical physics has in no way weakened the importance of string theory as a theory of everything. On the contrary, it has strengthened this fundamental role of string theory because some properties of this gravitational, unifying theory have been shown important even in contexts that were once thought to have nothing to do with quantum gravity.

AdS/CFT and Matrix theory were just two examples. S-dualities, noncommutative gauge theories, and many other things have actually emerged during a deep, stringy thinking about similar physical systems – we may say that these things are already "applications of string theory" – and it is absolutely no coincidence. It's just a breathtakingly stupid lie to say that string theory as a theory of everything has nothing to do with the insights about the unusual phenomena in quantum field theories.
For what quantum gravity is concerned, string theorist’s main argument seems to be “Well, can you come up with something better?” Then of course if someone answers this question with “Yes” they would never agree that something else might possibly be better. And why would they – there’s no evidence forcing them one way or the other.
What?

Note that the people responsible for doing string theory, those who have been referred to as "we" at the beginning, suddenly became "they". When it comes to determining what's happening and perhaps how resources are distributed, parasites like Ms Hossenfelder want to be "we". But when it comes to the actual research and the discovery of new interesting ideas and theories, she suddenly says that it should only be done by "them".

However, the relevant "they" is just the competent theoretical physicists. They work with ideas they consider promising. They don't work with alternatives because there are no promising alternatives according to their evaluation of the existing knowledge about fundamental physics and the ideas on the market. It's that simple. If someone had an alternative, he or she would have to present some evidence or something exciting.

For example, in 1984, the anomaly cancellation in type I string theory found by Green and Schwarz made a deep change to the beliefs of this part of the scientific community. Most of the people searching for unifying theories including gravity have switched to string theory. If you want to switch them elsewhere, you simply have to find something of the same caliber. Whining and conspiracy theories won't help you and they shouldn't matter at all.
I don’t see what one learns from discussing which theory is “better” based on philosophical or aesthetic criteria. That’s why I decided to stay out of this and instead work on quantum gravity phenomenology. For what testability is concerned all existing approaches to quantum gravity do equally badly, and so I’m equally unconvinced by all of them. It is somewhat of a mystery to me why string theory has become so dominant.
String theory makes everything calculable and is consistent, all the alternatives that have been proposed are inconsistent and don't admit any calculations that would at least semi-realistically agree with the observations. Someone who denies this fact is just a stupid trash bag. But I think that Hossenfelder realizes very well that what she writes is just a bunch of lies. But she wants to keep her convenient position of a parasite who does "something like research" and she believes that persuading several fucked-up laymen following her blog that there is no real difference between the mankind's deepest ideas and her rubbish is enough for that.
String theorists are very proud of having a microcanonical explanation for the black hole entropy. But we don’t know whether that’s actually a correct description of nature, since nobody has ever seen a black hole evaporate. In fact one could read the firewall problem as a demonstration that indeed this cannot be a correct description of nature. Therefore, this calculation leaves me utterly unimpressed.
But it's just because you are a worthless stupid bitch. No sensible physicist in quantum gravity doubts that the Hawking radiation exists, has the temperature determined by Hawking, and string theory nontrivially produces the same prediction using absolutely different tools (and no other theory does the same).

Joe Polchinski and pals have confused themselves with the comments about firewalls but even if the firewalls existed, they would only imply that the black hole interior doesn't exist. Polchinski and pals aren't claiming that the black holes don't have the well-known temperature or entropy. The observations of a black hole by outside observers would work exactly as before even if the firewalls existed. Hossenfelder is just pumping whatever fog she finds useful to persuade the imbeciles who read her blog that there's something wrong with the stringy explanation of black hole thermodynamics (and other things). Except that there's absolutely nothing wrong. These insights are rock-solid and scientifically profound.

If I had to choose whether the history is changed so that these clearly correct and deep insights about the Hawking radiation and its stringy incarnation are not found; or Sabine Hossenfelder along with her regular readers are made disappeared from the world by a click, I wouldn't hesitate for a second.

And she goes on and on and on with her disgusting lies. Her ability to market herself as a scientist even though she is clearly just an obnoxious incompetent demagogue who is only doing P.R. meant to hurt science in the eyes of the public is just another example of the political correctness that has run amok.