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Lots of things happening around May 6, 2008

Posted by dorigo in Blogroll, cosmology, humor, internet, news, personal, physics, science.

Here is a selected list of interesting links from blogs I read:

  • Bee at Backreaction has the most complete list of reasons why you should not be bothered by the LHC destroying the Earth. Instructive, entertaining, to the point. With useful furthering of the matter in the comments thread.
  • Peter at Not Even Wrong has two interesting posts out. In one he reports about Witten’s take on dark energy. In the other the question on what string theorists would do if their pet theory was proven wrong is discussed. Don’t miss the comments thread.
  • Carl at Mass explains in detail why the current cosmology does not explain the angular correlations in the fluctuations of cosmic microwave background for large angles, while a changing speed of light would fit the data better. Controversial!
  • Lubos at the Reference Frame discusses whether a theory that makes no predictions is to be preferred or disfavored, in relation to one that is more predictive. He also has a poll. Let’s all ask him to add a bullet, “A and B are equally unlikely because they are both favored by Lubos”, 😉
  • Jester at Resonaances has a short but poignant post on how to be a good crackpot. Recommended.
  • Kea at Arcadian Functor has reached lesson 182 in category theory. Her explanations make you believe you know those things, and there are a bunch of graphs you cannot miss. Esthetically pleasing.
  • Chad at Uncertain Principles has one of his imperdible dog dialogues out. Highly recommended.


1. arcadianfunctor - May 7, 2008

Thanks for the link! So I guess your hand is back to normal, then?

2. Luboš Motl - May 7, 2008

I am mostly a Euroskeptic but when I see what you are writing, I applaud the EU for prosecuting Italy for piling the megatons of garbage all over the place.


I hope that you will be dealt with soon, too.

3. carlbrannen - May 7, 2008

Hey, thanks for the link! By the way, the article on crackpots hit close to home, given that my paper on the neutrinos gave their masses to 8 decimal places.

By the way, if one has an opportunity to choose one of a variety of forms of insanity, I can give high recommendations to convincing yourself that you’ve found the key to the unified field theory.

4. Bee - May 7, 2008

Thanks for the link. If there’s somebody around here who presently has the time to explain the workings of the Hawking effect, scroll down the comment section to the end and take care of Dr. Wagner. He is somewhat confused, but I will be busy the next two days.


5. Doug - May 7, 2008

Hi Tommaso,

I was advised of the work of Kirill Ilinski credited with 26 ArXiv articles.

Ilinski switched from a physics PhD at St Petrsburg, working at the Russian Academy of Science, to Economics at Birmingham. Much of the latter work has been in the area of “The Physics of Finance”.

This is almost opposite of Edward Witten who left an undergraduate economics program for phyics.

Can ‘The Economics of Physics” be near?

Ilinski appears to be familiar with Dynamics and Ergodic Theory which seems more often used by mathematicians and engineers.

6. Louise - May 7, 2008

Carl and I both have reason to thank you. I am glad that you enjoy the posts.

7. dorigo - May 7, 2008

Hi Kea,

well, I still have stitches, but I manage to use eight fingers out of the usual ten…

Lubos, sorry but I plan to be around for a long while longer…

Hi Carl, Bee, Louise, you’re welcome… Bee, I hope somebody answers in your thread…

Hi Doug,
a job in finance makes more money than one in physics… It is hard to cross that potential barrier. Witten did it because he realized he was too brilliant. Lesser mortals are still smart enough to figure out their best bet is finance, and less smart ones stay in physics… So in physics we get the very best and the not-so-smart ones.
As for the economy of physics, we surely could use some expert, given the way our funding is going these last few years…

Cheers all,

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