This was 15 years ago when the internet was young. Since then, I've received hundreds of emails from self-declared geniuses who urgently want me to read their attached paper or visit their website. Some are trying to politely convince (with your qualifications... I would be honored...), some are outright offensive (intellectual elitism!), some are asking for pity (I have nobody to talk to.) Most of them write emails, some write letters, others send their self-printed books. I guess everybody with a PhD in physics has received one or the other such "theory." Baez' crackpot index tells this tale. Writing a blog makes you a preferred target. And during the last week, my inbox has seen a sharp increase in unsolicited mailings which I totally blame on winning a 2nd price in the FQXi essay contest.
I realize that some fraction of this blog's readership very likely consists of people who have themselves written such emails and who are hoping that I recognize their ingenuity. Not despite but exactly because of this I want to offer you some open words. I will not read your paper. I will not visit your website. And, no, I am not interested in your "theory." That's for several reasons. First, I generally will not open any attachments or click on links in emails from people I don't know, period. Second, I have no lack on interesting things to read and don't need your inspiration either. If I add your paper to the pile, I might get around to reading it sometime in the next century, so forget about it. Third, it is entirely obvious from your email that you have never read any of my papers, and have no clue who I am or what I am working on. Why should I waste a single second of my day reading what you wrote?
Let me be clear on this. I totally acknowledge the possibility that your theory is indeed groundbreaking and will fundamentally change our understanding of Nature. Not having read what you wrote, I am not judging your work whatsoever. But I am crucially aware my time on this planet is finite and I select the information that I pipe into my brain carefully. And yes, this means I use the most common crap-filters, peer review and personal connections. It is not impossible your work is groundbreaking. But it's unlikely. More likely, it's just a waste of my time. You can call that ignorant if you like, but it's effective. Tell me a better filter and I'll use it. You can go and complain about the arrogance of PhD holders. But I hope you realize that you and your spiritual brothers (if you have sisters, they are rare) have to blame yourself for this protective wall. If you wouldn't constantly bother us with immature ideas, we'd maybe take you more seriously.
The point is you have to know the rules before you break them. That's true in politics, in the arts, and it's also true in the sciences. No, you don't need a PhD to contribute to research in theoretical physics. But whether you have a title or not, you need the equivalent knowledge. You're not getting there by reading blogs, or posting in a forum. It takes time, it takes effort. And it is abundantly clear if your educational background is insufficient. You're not fooling anyone. You wouldn't go tell your doctor you have a great new idea for how he's supposed to do your bypass, would you? And why not? Because you know he has more education and experience than you. Time to realize that it also takes education and experience to write a paper in theoretical physics.
Having said that, let's look at the lighter side of things. I frequently scribble notes on papers. Most often used are "?" and "!," closely followed by "Check this!" and "nice." Inspired by this site with funny rubber stamps, you'll see in this post a few stamps I'd sometimes like to use ;-) Click to enlarge. And here's for the sisters: