Thursday, October 26, 2017

Every anti-physics nut job should write her "Not Even Wrong"

More than a decade ago, in 2006, two third-class pseudointellectuals, Peter Woit and Lee Smolin, wrote their notorious tirades against physics as a science that were titled "Not Even Wrong" and "Trouble With Physics", respectively.

The subsequent events have proven that there exist millions of people in the society who viscerally hate physics and who are willing to pay lots of money to talking heads who repeat some anti-physics populist gibberish sufficiently many times. The two central šitheads have simply picked up the profit from the sidewalk. Even ten percent of the Smolin's and Woit's readership may be a good basis for a business project.

That much was understood by Sabine Hossenfelder, a protégée of Lee Smolin's, one of the crackpots from 2006, and as she announced on her weblog, she wrote her own "Trouble With Physics", too. Hers is called
Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
The author gives you a great reason to buy the book:
This isn’t a nice book and sadly it’s foreseeable most of my colleagues will hate it.
This may sound as a negative appraisal but it's actually as positive as you can get from the viewpoint of the scum that has literally paid for Smolin's and Woit's šit a decade ago.




The book – to be released on June 12th, 2018 – is supposed to contain lots of interviews with folks like Arkani-Hamed, Wilczek, Weinberg, Lisi (surely a peer of the previous ones), G. Ellis, Giudice, Krämer, Olive, Polchinski, Kane, Mack, Orzel, Gang-Wen, Farmer, and also two men who were interviewed but didn't "make the final cut", Bear and 't Hooft.




OK, imagine this somewhat incoherent collection of interviews with physicists many of whom are really famous. And these interviews are clumped together and framed as arguments that physics is lost in math and has gone astray. Lots of people will buy the book because they're the junk readers who have previously bought books by Horgan, Woit, Smolin, and similar "monster minds". Some people will surely buy it because they're curious how the book may manage to reprint interviews with the likes of Arkani-Hamed and conclude that "physics is lost in math and has gone astray".

This is just so obviously insane that one simply wants to know how she ends up with a conclusion that could be at least remotely compatible with the title and subtitle of the book. "Dr Arkani-Hamed, do you agree that physics is lost in math, it has gone astray, your work is worthless, and physics and physicists should be as ugly bonershrinkers as myself?" I just can't imagine how some of the physicists who are really enthusiastic about physics and appreciative of the mathematics that underlies it may be squeezed into her narrative.

Also, there may be numerous lawsuits – because some of these physicists have probably been presented as supporters of her crackpottery; and because she has plagiarized Smolin's and Woit's titles and memes that "physics is a collapsing pseudoscience lost in mathematics".

What makes me so infinitely angry about similar [excessively uninformed yet arrogant women as well as men] is the fact that the expansion of this garbage proves the disappearance if not reversal of meritocracy in the society. I know numerous ingenious physicists – or mathematicians or some people in between – who could write amazing books with some precious, high-brow content. They could earn some well-deserved money for that. However, the society is so screwed that there's really not enough demand for any of the things that have a value. There is much more demand for clones of Smolin and Woit that just spit at physics. That's what millions of intellectually inferior readers want to read about and that's how many authors and P.R. figures may make money – and they are already doing so.

In the professional scientific environment, scientists may be carefully and finely choosing correct ideas – and their best colleagues. However, aside from that world, there exists the rough external world that uses different and often opposite criteria and that undoes the delicate meritocratic selection. Every young author may choose in which of these two platforms she or he may work – and the shadow anti-science is increasingly financially etc. lucrative in comparison with the world of science. Centuries ago, people who would violently criticize e.g. Isaac Newton by repeating some idiotic, Smolin-like or Woit-like slogans wouldn't get enough funding for that kind of "work", they would starve to death if they spent too much time with it, and most of them were illiterate and were physically unable to write these rants. We're living in the world where this junk not only can be written but it may also be funded and it is being funded which is why it's expanding.

Where can this trend lead the society and the very existence of top-class science? I am not optimistic at all.

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