Strings 2015 and Convergence: two very different conferences
There are two very different conferences going on. The first one is Strings 2015 commented by Peter Woit. Superstrings live nowadays mostly in grant applications: 10 per cent of titles of lectures mention superstrings and the rest are about quantum field theories in various dimension, about applications of AdS/CFT, and about the latest fashion taking seriously wormhole contacts connecting blackholes - a GRT adaptation of magnetic flux tubes accompanied by strings connecting partonic 2-surfaces introduced by Maldacena and Susskind. Susskind introduced also p-adic numbers a couple of years ago. Also the holography is due to Susskind but introduced in TGD much earlier as an implication of general coordinate invariance in sub-manifold gravity.
Asoke Sen is talking about how to save humankind from a catastrophe caused by inflationary phase transition and destroying ordinary matter: anthropically estimated to occur about once per lifetime of the Universe from the fact that it has not occurred. This attempt to save human kind has mostly been taken as a joke but Sen is right in that the worry is real if inflationary multiverse scenario and GRT are right. Logic is correct but premises might be wrong;-): this can be said quite generally about super string theories.
This is definitely an application of super string theory but I would be delighted on more concrete applications: say deducing the standard model from super string theory and maybe saying something about quantum biology and even consciousness as one might theory of everything to do. Unfortunately the only game in the town cannot do this. The spirit in Strings 2015 does not seem to be very high. Even Lubos did not bother to comment the talks, which he said are "interesting" and asked whether some-one in the conference might do this. It is clear that Strings 2015 is were big old guys guys meet and refresh memories, it is not for young revolutionaries.
Another conference - Convergence - is held in Perimeter institute at the same time - perhaps not an accident: see the comments of Peter Woit: Lubos has not commented this conference - I expected the usual rant about intellectually inferior imbecilles. The spirit is totally different: it is admitted that theoretical physics has been on wrong track for four decades and are now actively searching the way out of the dead end. People are talking about revolution taking place in near future! Some-one mentioned even consciousness. There are a lot of young participants present. I am highly optimistic. Things might begin to move again.