Unified theory of everything that might actually work.

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Woo, that's rather cool. It's definitely the prettiest field theory paper I've ever seen!
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
So how 'out there' is this?

It's written in LaTeX rather than Word, which tends to suggest it's not complete crankery. And the Lie algebra business looks fairly serious. What does it look like from a physicist's perspective?
 

Dusty

Tone deaf
Going by the little I know from hobby-reading and a pidgin understanding of the more scientific opinions, I think it can be summed up as "crazy... but by God, it might just work!"

As soon as the LHC is online things will get really interesting. Assuming it isn't delayed even more. http://www.lhc.ac.uk/
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
It wouldn't be posted on arXiv if it wasn't serious. (Edit: although that's by no means the same thing as having it published in a journal.) The guy isn't a faculty member at a university or lab, but he's got a PhD in theoretical physics. What's cool about it is that the symmetry group E8 was first described well over a hundred years ago but was only fully understood as a mathematical object earlier this year, and already someone's developed a pretty serious-sounding field theory from it. That's a pretty good turnaround!

Also, it predicts new particles, which means it can (in principle) be tested - string theory is starting to fall from favour precisely because of its inability to do this.
 
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Dusty

Tone deaf
Exactly, he can accurately predict the properties of 20 as-yet-unknown elemental particles. If they show up in the LHC experiments, then it instantly justifies the theory. Of course, if they totally fail to appear, it means hes a loony, and we go back to the 'normal' ideas.
 
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bruno

est malade
e8ok.jpg
 

bruno

est malade
the image above is intensely beautiful, i can't stop looking at it. i can't tell if the theory is rubbish or not but what absolute pricks these people are, is this what it's like in physics, mr tea? perhaps you should take up gardening!
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
the image above is intensely beautiful, i can't stop looking at it. i can't tell if the theory is rubbish or not but what absolute pricks these people are, is this what it's like in physics, mr tea? perhaps you should take up gardening!

Oh blimey, it's hard to say. I work in experimental particle physics and this is hardcore field theory, which is a related but in practice quite distinct discipline. Accusations that his algebra doesn't stand up to dimensional analysis (loosely, that he adds things that in principle can't be added, like masses and distances) are pretty serious, but when you get into this very rarefied kind of mathematical physics, intuitions you may have from more 'down to earth' physics can't necessarily be trusted.

So I guess I'm not really expert enough in this subject to make pronouncements on it myself, and there may be some legitimate criticism but then it may just be jealously from people who can't handle the idea that he's produced this all on his own outsided the mainstream scientific community.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
I have found it fairly informative that it is not just crit theory academics who are bitchy tribal egotistical bastards...
 
So I guess I'm not really expert enough in this subject to make pronouncements on it myself

But when the subjects are contemporary philosophy, social theory, psychoanalytic theory, etc, you're suddenly an instant, self-appointed 'expert' with no shortage of 'pronouncements' on topics you've never even studied in your Department of Ignorance.

Gek-opel said:
I have found it fairly informative that it is not just crit theory academics who are bitchy tribal egotistical bastards...

Also informative that when silent Sokals** are later exposed within the institutions of science and medicine, they are just side-lined as 'a few bad apples', the instutions themselves remaining flawless, infallible, and fully intact.

**Not just those who submit fake academic papers, but also the vast number of self-serving "egotistical bastards", from those who distort /invent data to fit a 'theory', to those who fake their credentials - all those phoney doctors exposed after practicing for years, not to mention their abuse of power vis-a-vis patients, or pharma-capitalism's phoney drugs, or 'environmental scientists' paid to falsify their 'findings' ... the list is endless. Of course, if an actual Sokal submitted a fake paper to a 'prestigious scientific journal,' had it accepted, and then publicly announced that it was all a complete hoax, fabricated to expose inherent flaws in the institutional structure of academic scientific research, the response would undoubtedly be 'That Guy's a Total Nutter, and a Complete Fraud', the unquestioned institution unblinkingly and smoothly then returning to 'business as usual.'

***I see that Badiou's The Concept of Model has finally been fully translated into English.
"This excellent translation of Alain Badiou's first book, The Concept of Model, is important on two counts. First, it constitutes a significant contribution to the philosophy of science (and to the philosophy of mathematics in particular), in which Badiou critically engages with the logical empiricist tradition which exerted such a profound influence on Anglo-American philosophy of science. Second, it sheds light on the epistemological considerations that eventually led to Badiou's subsequent but much misunderstood identification of ontology with mathematics. This book is not only indispensable for those seeking to understand Badiou's philosophical project, it should also be of considerable interest to anyone interested in investigating points of contact between the 'analytic' and 'continental' traditions." ---Ray Brassier, Middlesex University​
 
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gek-opel

entered apprentice
But when the subjects are contemporary philosophy, social theory, psychoanalytic theory, etc, you're suddenly an instant, self-appointed 'expert' with no shortage of 'pronouncements' on topics you've never even studied in your Department of Ignorance.



Also informative that when silent Sokals** are later exposed within the institutions of science and medicine, they are just side-lined as 'a few bad apples', the instutions themselves remaining flawless, infallible, and fully intact.

**Not just those who submit fake academic papers, but also the vast number of self-serving "egotistical bastards", from those who distort /invent data to fit a 'theory', to those who fake their credentials - all those phoney doctors exposed after practicing for years, not to mention their abuse of power vis-a-vis patients, or pharma-capitalism's phoney drugs, or 'environmental scientists' paid to falsify their 'findings' ... the list is endless. Of course, if an actual Sokal submitted a fake paper to a 'prestigious scientific journal,' had it accepted, and then publicly announced that it was all a complete hoax, fabricated to expose inherent flaws in the institutional structure of academic scientific research, the response would undoubtedly be 'That Guy's a Total Nutter, and a Complete Fraud', the unquestioned institution unblinkingly and smoothly then returning to 'business as usual.'

***I see that Badiou's The Concept of Model has finally been fully translated into English.
"This excellent translation of Alain Badiou's first book, The Concept of Model, is important on two counts. First, it constitutes a significant contribution to the philosophy of science (and to the philosophy of mathematics in particular), in which Badiou critically engages with the logical empiricist tradition which exerted such a profound influence on Anglo-American philosophy of science. Second, it sheds light on the epistemological considerations that eventually led to Badiou's subsequent but much misunderstood identification of ontology with mathematics. This book is not only indispensable for those seeking to understand Badiou's philosophical project, it should also be of considerable interest to anyone interested in investigating points of contact between the 'analytic' and 'continental' traditions." ---Ray Brassier, Middlesex University​

HMLT: Did Sokal critique Badiou's maths in his book or what?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Of course, if an actual Sokal submitted a fake paper to a 'prestigious scientific journal,' had it accepted, and then publicly announced that it was all a complete hoax, fabricated to expose inherent flaws in the institutional structure of academic scientific research, the response would undoubtedly be 'That Guy's a Total Nutter, and a Complete Fraud', the unquestioned institution unblinkingly and smoothly then returning to 'business as usual.'

Except a paper as gratuitously and transparently meaningless as Transgressing the Boundaries... would never get published by a peer-reviewed mainstream physics journal.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
From a bit of research it would appear to be that Sokal mentions him rather briefly, and not anything post 1981...
 
HMLT: Did Sokal critique Badiou's maths in his book or what?

Hardly [apologies; perhaps I should have posted the note in another post/thread, but I think the intrusion/collision is all-of-a-sudden interesting and appropriate nonetheless].

The question could be asked though: Why should anyone care about Sokal's inter-textual self-reflexive imbecility [surely quite harmless relative to the plague of ego-maniacal guys writing 'theories of everything' and really reeeleee believing them, ha ha, for the Karma, maan?] Sokal exemplifies, rather than critiques, the postmodern condition - and in that sense is incapable of critiqueing/satirizing anything - it wasn't his paper and its subject-matterless that was 'controversial', it was his playing to the media, his subsequent 'it's a fake' announcement, his construction of the whole affair purely for the gaze of the Media Big Other [confirming Baudrillard's ideas]. He forgot that his 'scam' is equally applicable anywhere (ideological hegemony notwithstanding, of course) under pomo's deficit of symbolic efficiency. But I don't claim any of this to be true, you understand, in the absence of replicated clinical trial validation, empirical data capture/confirmation, and peer-review corroboration ..
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Oh for fuck's sake....

...R.I.P. a thread about science, long live the culture-studies brain-wank hegemony. :(
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
Oh for fuck's sake....

...R.I.P. a thread about science, long live the culture-studies brain-wank hegemony. :(

Sorry but even you admit to not actually understanding the intricacies of field theory sufficiently to actually be able to discuss the merits (or otherwise) of this paper... so go on then...?

HMLT: Is it possible that the disjunct between these fields is such that neither are actually legitimised to comment upon the other with any authority? (altho the cross-disciplinary Phil/science stuff in Collapse was much more along the right lines... the arche-fossil explored from an anti-correlationist AND dark matter astrophysics/cosmological PoV...)
 
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