As you might have read on Peter's blog already, Gil Kalai, a mathematician from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of the blog "Combinatorics and More" wrote a book ‘Gina Says,’ Adventures in the Blogsphere String War. It's advertised with the praising remark among others by Elchanan Mossel "I read it when I was sick and couldn’t do other things, and it cheered me up."
Some of you might remember a commenter called "Gina" being omnipresent in the discussions around Peter's book "Not Even Wrong" and Lee's book "The Trouble With Physics". Gil's book summarizes these conversations. I didn't follow them then, and am not tremendously interested to read them now. I have a pdf of the book, but didn't look at it, so don't ask for details. I recall wondering back then though whether Gina is indeed female as the name suggests.
The reason I'm mentioning this is I'm always stunned how people create dramas or 'wars' to lift themselves above irrelevance. The most sensible comment in the discussion came from George Johnson who said "Nobody of the public cares about string theory one way or the other." String theory or any other part of theoretical physics, that carelessness is what really bothers me. And while the question whether string theory is science or religion has indeed received public attention, the mudslinging has shed a very unfortunate light on the way we lead scientific debates.
What dismays me most however is the lax use of the word 'wars'. Science wars, string wars -- we should put our petty arguments a little more into perspective. Some people have real problems. People die in wars every day. They get shot, they are blown into pieces, they lose their children, their homes, their own lives.
We all have the same goal of understanding Nature. And we are in a very privileged position to be able to work towards this goal. Instead of focusing on what divides us we should focus on what we have in common.
And a good weekend to all of you.