Bad Vibrations

I would like to thank Lubos Motl for yet another lesson in the futility of attempting to hold a civil discussion with a fanatic - even if the fanatic happens to be witty, clever, and have a genius level IQ.

Mainly to remind myself, here are some signs that you may be dealing with a fanatic.

(1) Intellectual rigidity. Inability to civily discuss possible points of disagreement.

(2) Hypersensitivity. Treating every challenge as a personal and deadly affront.

(3) Absurd Conflations: "arguing against string theory is like arguing against the evolution" attributed to some string theorist who is not LM but partially endorsed by LM.

(4) Irrationality:

CIP - I have yet to have any string theorist tell me of any confirmed prediction of string theory

LM -
your demand is logically inconsistent. If you ask string theory to have "confirmed predictions", then the word "confirmed" means that the validity of the prediction is already known, and therefore the prediction is a known fact that string theory does not contradict.
It's unbelevable to me that a Physics prof at Harvard could fail to grasp the meaning of "confirmed prediction" - something first predicted and subsequently observed.

(5) Argument by Insult. - As an occasionally confrontational blogger/commenter, I expect a few insults, but they get tedious when they don't rise above the fourth grade level:
No one is interested in morons who keep on repeating stupid, boring, and obnoxious comments about the experimental unavailability of string theory - pretending that it is a problem of string theory. They're dumb, useless idiots.

... complete idiot,

... even more manifest idiots.


(6) Violent fantasies.
...should drown in their own blood...
Said about loop quantum gravity theorists.

(7) Comically accusing others of one's own bad behavior:
If someone prefers to insult scientists who are trying to do their best instead of helping them...

(8) Delusions of grandeur and fantasies of humiliation:
When [String Theory's] unambiguous proofs are found, it will be almost the end of the story. We will be all heroes, the critics of string theory will have to splash themselves in the toilet...

(9) Defending oneself with absurdly obvious falsehoods:
No one is writing serious non-stringy papers trying to answer the actual questions in physics (of quantum gravity etc.)...

(10) Making shit up:
Gravity is a confirmed prediction of string theory...
Buy youself a dictionary and look up the word predict. String Theory, or at any rate, brane theory may predict deviations from Newtonian behavior at short distances, but these are yet to be observed. On the other hand, maybe it doesn't predict such behavior, or at any rate it doesn't predict at what distance such behavior should be observed.

I sort of like string theory, based on my extremely limited knowledge (Greene plus Zwiebach thru Ch 12), but it tends to creep me out how a few of its practitioners take a religious point of view toward it - and preach damnation for the heretics - or at least a bath in the toilet.

Did I mention that I get touchy after the seventh time somebody calls me an idiot or moron?

Fanatics are not the only ones who like to get in the last word, though.
If you have nothing to offer, then I encourage you to shut up because your comments are completely counter-productive and idiotic.
All the Best Lubos - don't forget to take your meds, and just a suggestion: grow up sometime.


  1. Anonymous6:23 PM

    One of the best postings I have ever read. I enjoy string theory, but boy, is Prof. Motl a jerk or what.

    As the saying, the nail that sticks up gets hammered down first... I think it's matter of time to see this happen to Lubos; much faster than having string theory confirmed.

  2. Despite all the nasty things I said about him, I really do wish Lubos all the best. I was pretty annoyed when I wrote the post, and I think justifiably. Lubos is a brilliant and passionate advocate - but I still hope he could learn to be more tolerant.


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