Tuesday, June 05, 2007

About landscape: what's the real problem?

I have seen quite too much bullfighting in blogs so that I try to avoid saying negative things, and I have indeed enough to do in explaining the progress of TGD. In a situation in which string model hegemony is gradually replacing reality with M-theory landscape and making anthropic principle part of physics it is however difficult to remain silent. Therefore I make an exception from the rule.

Peter Woit commented the recent paradoxical situation in which most people in field deny of taking antropic principle and landscape seriously but increasing portion of people are working with it. What makes me disappointed that also Lubos is accepting the existence of landscape (fine!) but not admitting that something is badly wrong and suggesting a return to the roots.

Banal explanation and what to do?

Banal explanations are often the most realistic ones. Concerning the observation of Woit, the banal explanation is that the people working in the field can only one thing: to apply and develop the existing methodology. Landscape is certainly a treasure trove in this respect. Rapid production of formula rich publications is the basic virtue of theoretician nowadays and it is easy to apply methods instead of conceptualization and attacking those nasty real world problems, which have been around for decades and to which even the most refined methodology does not bite. As a result huge quantities of "literature" read by no one is produced.

I know that the following is politically very uncorrect to say this aloud but since I have nothing to lose, I will do it. The basic difference to the situation at the golden era of theoretical physics is that the field is full of mediocrits without real gift and passion. They dictate the standards of the field with the consequence that the people capable and willing to devote themselves to slow time consuming conceptualization have no chances in the competition for academic positions. The survivors are methodologists, people completely uncritically using the same conceptual framework as was used already at the times of Dirac and confusing problem solving with computation. These people could do valuable work in a situation when the field is in healthy condition with a lot of routine things to do but not just now.

To continue in the politically uncorrect mode: an effective but cruel manner to resolve the situation could be a considerable reduction of the funding of this part of theoretical physics so that only the really brilliant and strongly motivated people would continue (even without funding) and people with less gift and passion could find jobs providing challenges more appropriate to them. This would also reduce the gigantic flow of trash papers to which significant works by non-names are drowned, and would help to get rid of the situation in which only the works of names receive attention irrespective of their quality.

The fatal step

In the environment favoring application of recipe instead of thinking, many fatal steps have been made during the last thirty years after standard model. From TGD point view it is easy to identify the sequence of these most fatal steps: most of them were visible already 26 years ago. The first wrong step of course the most fatal one and was the acceptance of the standard model group structure as such. The identification of quark color as a spinlike quantum number: this is where the troubles began.

In TGD framework color corresponds to color partial waves -not spinlike quantum number-, and this simple observation leads in few minutes to a one page explanation of all the known elementary particle quantum numbers. Imagine what a joy it has been to work from the beginning with a theory allowing a tight interaction between real world and the attempts to mathematize the theory. I can safely say that every real progress in the theory has involved input from experiment (anomalies being also of extreme importance) and that all purely formal theoretical developments without this connection have been failures. I am sad that the people in string hegemony have not had the experience of seeing that the theory really works and solves its problems instead of creating new ones all the time. This kind of experience gives incredible motivation and without it I could not continue to work seven days a week as unemployed and without academic human rights.

After this first wrong step the rest is sad history leading unavoidably to landscape, brane world scenarios, and anthropic principle as the last stray of hope. There is of course nothing bad in anthrophic reasoning as such: theoretical physics is a big seesaw puzzle in which all kinds of consistency conditions are well-come. Taking anthropic principle as a basic pillar of the theory is however non-sense.


I have asked many times which is the ultimate reason for the recent situation and developed several explanations. Perhaps the most convincing explanation is the extremely narrow conceptual scope of recent day theoretical physics due to uncritical acceptance of the reductionistic dogma. Although the word "consciousness" has ceased to be a taboo in neuroscience, it continues to be such in just those circles who are supposed to develop the most fundamental theories about existence. Historians of physics will work hardly to understand why people with brains of Witten were not able to not to see how unbalanced their approach was and therefore doomed to fail from the beginning.

Personally I am convinced that the only manner to make real progress is to develop a quantum theory of consciousness. Just the realization of what the problems are, gives a fresh bird's eye of view to the crisis in theoretical physics. The quantum theory of consciousness (there are still people believing that classical mechanics is enough for understanding consciousness!) should provide a model for life and its evolution and a general vision about the hierarchy of life forms and identify our position in this hierarchy. One outcome of this theory should be an explanation for why the universe seems to be tailored for us. Is this due a quantum evolution of consciousness replacing the universe with a new one quantum jump by quantum jump and what are its mechanisms? This approach is a diametrical opposite for raising ourselves and the life as we know it to a corner stone of theoretical framework.

I have followed my own teachings. My documented work consist of 7 online books about quantum TGD and 8 online books about TGD inspired theory of consciousness and of quantum biology at my homepage. I can safely say that TGD is excellent candidate for "it" (I know that saying this provides excellent material for crackpot labelling activities but this does not matter). Colleagues can waste as many decades as they wish to develop even funnier brane world scenarios but sooner or later they must return to the roots and end up with TGD.


At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that my opinons matters, but I think this is excellent general reflections.

You touch the reason why I chose not to enter the academic world, which was my original plan. String gurus told me my questions was philosophy, or alternatively that my vision was unrealistic. That was sufficient evidence for me that there is too much politics involved in that world. That is not very interesting to me. Neither could I let myself down and align.



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