Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Marni D. Sheppeard

Monday, May 12, 2008

Today's Mottle Quote

This was just too funny to pass up. On hearing about the appointment of Turok to the head geek job, Mottle says
As soon as the remaining heretics will be removed, the PI's cutting-edge picture of the Universe will be based on ekpyrotic loop quantum cosmology with a variable speed of light and 31+ octopi swimming in the spin network.
Presumably the 31 refers to the Kostant work on Garrett's E8, which is presently being discussed by Schreiber et al.


Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Variable speed of light would be good news. "Octopi" could refer to Sundance Bilsted's work, but could mean yours too. I sympathise with any woman seeking work in science, but perhaps there could be a place for both of us someday at PI.

May 12, 2008 7:05 PM  
Blogger Lumo said...

Thanks for your smile. Oops, 31 should have been 30, see page 8 of this paper. ;-)

Yes, 31 x 8 = 248 could be related to E8 but that's not what I meant.

May 12, 2008 7:16 PM  
Blogger nige said...

A comment by Dr Lubos Motl to Arcadian Functor? Now you know you are being taken seriously!

May 12, 2008 10:28 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

Hello Lubos, you're welcome. And perhaps we will meet one day in Canada, Louise.

May 13, 2008 5:43 PM  
Anonymous chimpanzee said...

This interesting program on Science Channel just aired:

João Magueijo's Big Bang
Wikipedia entry for Magueijo

At the beginning, he described feedback to him & his theory as "moron", "crackpot", "heretic", etc.

At the end, I was surprised to hear him advocate VSL..variable speed of light.

He made an interesting comment something to the effect: "you don't get breakthrough ideas while sitting in an office". He came up with the idea on a rainy day at home. There was a show "Parallel Universe" (L. Randall, M. Duff, et al), where N. Turok & others (P. Steinhardt ?) took a break from conference & took a train trip to hear a concert. That's where they came up with the "branes hitting each other" as a theory for big-bangs.

"The Universe is STRANGER than you can imagine"
[ similarly, the "big ideas" arise in strange places ]

The "heretics" that hang out on this blog need to take example from Magueijo, & start doing video (reaching the masses). Availability of desktop video & iTunes (or Youtube) is a perfect combination. Otherwise it's like what Jonas Salk said: "a cry in the forest".

Here is a good video by Jack Horner/palentologist:

Dino Digger

"Science is about gathering physical evidence, proposing hypotheses, & then trying to falsify the hyptheses. You never try to verify, you never try to prove you're right, you always are trying to prove you're wrong"

Someone needs to buy Kea a camera & video-camera, so she can start video-blogging.

May 15, 2008 12:04 AM  
Anonymous chimpanzee said...

Here is another "heretic" Bob Bakker(Jack Horner's colleague) at work:

"Dr. Robert T. Bakker is an American paleontologist who helped reshape modern theories about dinosaurs, particularly by adding support to the theory that some dinosaurs were homeothermic (warm-blooded)"

He seems to be something more than that. Bob Bakker was a leader of the handful of iconoclastic paleontologists who rewrote the book on dinosaurs three decades ago. He and the others — notably John Ostram and Armand de Ricqules — changed the image of dinosaurs from slow-moving, slow-witted, cold-blooded creatures to, in at least some cases, warm-blooded giants well equipped to dominate the Earth for 200 million years. They argued that dinosaurs are the ancestors of birds.
[ EXTREMELY controversial in paleontology, similar to "religious fights" in cosmology. Paleontology is like cosmology, missing a lot of data (ill-conditioned problem)..theories abound. ]
Some attribute Bakker’s blunt and outspoken manner to the fact that he has no academic appointments. Working with an assortment of ad hoc support [ video games, TV shows, etc ], he has been excavating the rich Como Bluff dinosaur quarry near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, for the past 30 years.

Ten years later, Bob, ever the scientific antagonist, published his first book, The Dinosaur Heresies, in which he writes: “I’d be disappointed if this book didn’t make some people angry.” He was not disappointed. The book contains a compilation of his controversial theories and self-illustrated visions of karate-kicking carnivores and boxing brontosaurs. The images alone were almost scandalous at the time to paleontological academia.

Another fabled paleontologist, Jack Horner, writes of Bakker in The Complete T. Rex: “I think Bob is great for paleontology. He makes a lot of intriguing statements that get other scientists riled up and sets them to work disproving him. And like much of what Bob has to say, I think his estimate of T.rex’s speed is extreme.”


B. Bakker is a good model for the "heretics" (antangonists) on this blog: self-funded (popular book like L. Randall, video games, childrens TV show, TV movie "Jurassic Park") & outspoken. The cosmologist J. Magueijo is going down this path.

May 15, 2008 12:38 AM  

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