Sunday, October 09, 2011

Wikipedia and Finnish physicists

The power holders of Finnish science continue to create classics of involuntary comics. Some examples related to Wikipedia.

A couple of years ago my name had appeared to the list of Finnish scientist. I was asthonished: how this kind of accident could have happened. Censors had been sleeping. The list contained also Claus Montonen: his name is familiar to every theoretical physicist from Montonen-Olive duality. In any civilized country a scientist of this caliber would be a professor but not in Finland.

I decided to check the situation since the reasonable expectation was that the recent experimental support for TGD must have raised the blood pressure and addrenaline excretion of my colleagues and also waked up the censors.

Gunnar Nordström was still there with an elaboration felt to be very important: "theoretical physicists, did not invent general relativity" (italics is not mine)! How movingly Finnish! For some years ago there had been a proposal to name one street in Kumpula according to Nordström for reasons obvious for anyone with intelligence quotient above 100. The attempt failed: the justification of professors was that Nordstöm had not been a professor!

Not surprisingly, I also learned that the decision makers of Finnish science had reacted to the Wikipedia article appropriately and removed my name as also the name of Claus Montonen! The latter removal made me astohished but tells a lot about the intelligence quotient of the Wikipedia activists involved.

Another descriptive event. For years ago an article about TGD was added to Wikipedia. It created an immense furor and very probably many of the anonymous and extremely aggressive commenters were finnish colleagues. It was amusing to find how creative fiction these otherwise rather unimaginative souls had managed to produce. Was this extreme perverse and in all imaginable manners mad and evil character they had created in the burst of godly (or devilishly?) inspiration really me?!

Later Lubos Motl added a short page about me as a physicst to the category "Physicists" in Wikipedia. Lubos was cautious and took good care that ambivalent interpretation as a crackpot or genius was possible. Even this was too much since this page disappeared in a mysterious manner. It was impossible to find the usual commentary explaining what had happened. Maybe Finnish colleagues had managed to somehow short circuit the usual procedures trying to prevent Wikipedia vandalism.

The laughing audience should however not forget that comic appears only when you look from large enough distance. Improving the resolution reveals tragic suffering and the best comics transform their personal suffering to a universal art. We should feel deep compassion: these poor fellows are really suffering! Really! Jealousy is a horrible and tragic disease.

Addition: Sahscha Vongehr has a nicely written article Superluminal Knee Jerk A Symptom But Transparent Science Maybe Cure about the recent situation in big science. The motivation for the article comes from neutrino super-luminality. The main stream is ready to forget the discovery without further comments as an unidentified measurement error just alike many earlier anomalies. I cannot but agree with the message of Sascha. In media we see only POP science producing hype after hype and ruthless censorship has been accepted as an essential part of science. The degeneration of science ethics has already led to a loss of respectability: laymen are not idiots ready to swallow any kind of hype. My hope is that the openness forced by web could cure the situation. Maybe the situation is becoming mature for a profound change: enough is simply enough.

5 Comments:

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Ulla said...

This is there yet. It is not listed in the finnish physicists list, and in finnish.

http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matti_Pitk%C3%A4nen_%28fyysikko%29

Yes, indeed. Jealousy is a horrible and tragic disease.

 
At 8:15 PM, Anonymous matpitka@luukku.com said...

This last removal was from "Finns/sientists" in Wikipedia proper. In english Wikipedia where the vandalism has taken place three times altogether.
These poor colleagues are doing their best to remove all signs about my existence.

As I told, these sillies removed also Claus Montonen who is one of very very few finnish theoreticians who has contributed to theoretical physics something permanent.

Jealousy is indeed a horrible and tragic disease and first it destroys brain;-).

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Ulla said...

...and shrinks the heart, the diamond, due to fear, intolerance, ownership, Ego.

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger donkerheid said...

I thought this kind of disease is a typically Hungarian phenomenon. There may be some genetic links between the two peoples after all.

 
At 8:39 PM, Anonymous matpitka@luukku.com said...

Jealousy is universal phenomenon but may be the inability to control even its comic manifestations is a genetic disease;-).

 

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