Thursday, June 15, 2006

Reviews of a certain book

Below you can find all 8+1 reviews of a certain "Not Even Wrong" book written by various people that some of our colleagues want to democratically influence the distribution of interest and resources in physics. I happen to have some doubts at least about seven and probably at least about eight of them. ;-) Here are more comprehensible versions of these reviews.

Dr. Chris Oakley

5 stars. Hi, my name is Dr. Chris Oakley, it is my fourth review and I am the 110,000th best reviewer. As my name indicates, I have a physics PhD and as the degree proves, I will be in the committee constructed by a German critic of science that will democratically vote about the future of physics. Twenty years ago, I wrote three or four preprints. Unfortunately, no other physicist has yet appeared who would think that they make any sense - but that's probably because of the string mafia.

I am especially proud about the paper that renormalization is not needed. My excellent solution is to insert random factors into the loop Feynman diagrams, such as the delta functions and step functions: I call the added step functions "positivity of energy". I have figured out that for some smart extra factors, this can miraculously make the integrals convergent! I don't care that the unitarity is sacrificed because unitarity is just a stringy propaganda. And I hope that the experiments will be changed to fit my predictions. My theory is clearly more important than AdS/CFT, and I will vote to replace AdS/CFT scholars by scholars who study my theory.

I have not read the book - in fact, I am writing this review half a year before the book is published. But I think it has something to do with the Star Trek by Isaac Asimov, and I prefer Asimov over the string theorists. Advocates of all physics theories would only admit that the author is right, in his book that I have not read, if they were wired up to a Polygraph. Also, I recommend you Second Creation.


5 stars. Hi, my name is Sam. It is my first and only review. The Standard Model is very useful. For example, the W and Z bosons are very useful. String theory sucks and it is isolated from experiments as much as motorcycle maintenance is isolated from experiments. I think that the vagueness is defined by the number of ground states. For example, spin 100 particles have vagueness of 201. String theory has vagueness about one followed by 350 zeroes. The ground states make it clear that it is the end of physics. Amen.

Luboš Motl

2 stars. Hi, my name is Luboš. It's my 54th review. I have read the book in detail. The author is known for AB, and the book might be useful in CD. However, there are many serious errors. The particular errors of intermediate importance include EF, GH, IJ, KL, MN, OP. Examples of the general and conceptual ones are QR, ST, UV. If WX turns out to be incorrect, then YZ.

J.B. Cook

5 stars. Hi, my real name is J.B. Cook and it is a pretty appropriate one. Much like in the case of Sam, this is my first and only review, and I am the 612,000th best reviewer at As far as I understand string theory, it is about the mental vacuum state of Brian Josephson. I also know other similar scientists to Josephson, for example Edward Witten, Lisa Randall, and Jacques Distler. Clearly, I have not read this book but I have seen an interview with Richard Feynman in another book who did not like string theory. You will appreciate if I post it here. The present book that I have not yet seen is a turning point in physics.

M. Wang

5 stars. Hi, my name is M. Wang, also known as Mrnexus. I admit that I have not seen the book but I want to respond to Luboš Motl. I will tell you a story about the U.S. president, whom I call George W. the Decider, and Intelligent Design in Pennsylvania. Long paragraphs about this topic follow. Have they decided whether string theory has 10, 11, or 26 dimensions? I don't understand what the excuses of Gell-Mann, Hawking, and Arkani-Hamid [sic] are if they say positive things about string theory. I can't offer you a slightest glimpse of an argument or understanding of any question in physics but I am sure that the German physicist with a blog will appreciate my comment as equally valuable as Luboš Motl's review, if not more, and reward my membership in her club. String theory is cancer.

Humble priest "string theorist"

5 stars. Much like in the case of Sam and Cook, it is my first review. I might be actually another pseudonym of the two previous ones. I will be a member of that committee, too, because I decided to describe myself and choose my identity as a young string theorist. The four content-free lines make it clear that I know as much physics as my dog and that I have not seen the book, but we have democracy, so it does not matter, so I give the book 5 stars and add some additional intelligent insults against Luboš Motl that everyone will certainly appreciate.

Knotted string

4 stars. My nickname is knotted string, it describes the topology of my brane, and I am a frequent contributor at the blog of the author of this book. It is also my first review, but I plan to write a similar, 3-star review called "Excellence" of Penrose's book. Unlike most others, I have already bought the book, so I can copy the table of contents, a quote by Winston Churchill, and tell you that the Standard Model parts are nice and the stringy speculators suck. I join all of my colleagues in saying that string theory must be destroyed.

Truth eker

4 stars. I am not too proud of my name, but truth eker sounds great. Because I don't know anything, I can call myself a philosophical blog watcher. Much like Sam, Cook, and knotted string, I just wrote my first review, and maybe all of us are dual to each other. But you will never know, sucker. I have not seen the book yet, but I have seen Luboš Motl's blog, and I want to add some nasty comments about him, too, so that he sees how powerful we crackpots actually are as soon as we (or I) start to write reviews - and subscribe by many cleverly constructed names.

Much like everyone before me, I also believe that a theory is only a theory after it is observed. Why does the society continue to support theoretical physics? The giant abstruse literature is 50 or 90 or 99 percent rublish [sic], and the string theorists even cite each other! Imagine that. I hate the landscape because I have seen on the author's blog that he also hates the landscape.

Bonus (new): LEJ Brouwer

5 stars. Hi, my name is LEJ Brouwer and some of you might think that it is the name of a philosopher who lived in the 1st half of the 20th century. But right now I am something similar to my friend humble priest, the "string theorist". In fact, I am more specific because I will present myself as a (former?) student of Barton Zwiebach from MIT. This is my sixth review: my first review analyzed whether NASA has ever landed at Moon, three reviews were about books on Iran, and the last one described a book about home education.

I have not read the present book either, but it is certainly an important contribution. Instead, let me provide you with 6 paragraphs of insults, mostly against Luboš Motl who has been lured onto the string theory bandwagon (by the numerous lovers of string theory in the Czech Republic) and whose blog panders to the cravings of the fellow string theory devotees. For example, I can inform you that I calculated that Motl would have poo-pooed Einstein and his ideas until his death. Also, Motl is a sheep in wolf's clothing. String theory is surely the most beautiful and complex theory ever contemplated, but time, money, and effort are surely better spent elsewhere.


OK, has the political correctness developed so far that one is not allowed to conjecture that at least 7 of the reviewers above might perhaps be crackpots? Would you feel comfortable if one of the 7 became the manager of the toilet paper on your restroom? What about the future of physics - should they determine it? We report, you decide.

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