Friday, January 08, 2010

Surfing the Universe

So what's Garrett Lisi up to these days?

“Surfing the Universe” is a unique new reality series that blurs the lines between scientist and athlete, breaking the popular perception of both. These are inspirational stories of young scientists at the forefront of their fields, who also love playing outside -- people living life to the fullest both intellectually and physically.

We call them ‘Scientific Adventurers’.

Host Garrett Lisi (a PhD in theoretical physics who’s also an avid surfer) is the epitome of a Scientific Adventurer. Having reached a high level of academic achievement in physics, Garrett discovered long ago the best way to balance his demanding life in science is with a constant stream of fun and adventure.

Part personal profiles, part science, mixed with sports adventures and travel, each episode will profile a new ‘scientific adventurer’ whose work includes anything from uncovering the mysteries of the human brain, finding a cure for AIDS, or a look inside the high energy particle collisions created by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva.

Then we’ll accompany our ‘scientific adventurer’for an exotic sports adventure: skiing the Alps, surfing in Tahiti, snowboarding in Alaska, kite surfing in Maui, paragliding in Chile, mountain climbing in Thailand, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, and many, many more.


www.surfingtheunivserse.com

Not sure whether to laugh or to cry.

48 comments:

Rhys said...

I think I'll choose the "cry" option.

Zephir said...

'Most beautiful' math structure appears in lab for first time

T. said...

No, I think it's great for the public image of science. Please consider that most people still think we all wear long white labcoats.

Bee said...

Zephir: Thanks for the link, that's interesting.

T: Maybe that's the case in your part of the world. Next thing we know is that people think we spend our days surfing and skiing. I think I prefer the image with the labcoat.

Andrew Thomas said...

What next? "Brain surgeon celebrity dancing"? "Quantum physicist celebrity makeover on ice?"

Steven Colyer said...

From the article Zephir linked:

"The fact that you see this particular symmetry in this spin chain doesn't say anything about string theory per se," he says. "The existence of this symmetry in a sense is sort of separate from any [particular] physical phenomenon."

For the same reason, the experiments also provide no backing for Lisi's proposed theory of everything, which is based on E8, he adds.


Has anyone bought Lisi a house yet, you know, the Science Hostel he keeps campaigning for? One by botrh the mountains AND the beach (think==>Maui)? I wish someone would, just so I don't have to keep hearing about it. Lazardis, maybe?

Getting back to Physics .. is the article indicative of the E8xE8 Heterotic Type HE branch of String Theory?

Bee said...

Oh yeah, could somebody buy me a house too? An old farmhouse will do. I'll renovate it myself and organize the greatest workshops there you've ever heard of. I'll even cook myself. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Is this John Lennon or what?

Steven Colyer said...

I'm back, yes. Took a left turn thanks to the weak force and rode a stream of W-bosons through one of Lenny Susskind's anthropic universes where Elephants lead bands just west of Pepperland and march off cliffs, as seen at the end of the YouTube video here

Pls provide Macca's current address. I hear he gets around a lot now that he's shed that goldigger.And to think, all that money he gave her could have built a dozen dozen Science Hostels. Instant Karma's gonna get Lisi mates, believe that, if he keeps up his risky behavior. He should contact Heather Mills. And heya Pauuulie, Linda's fine. Keep the faith but give the mandolin a rest, thanks. The Hofner's fine.

Bee said...

Steven: If your previous comment contained any actual information I was not able to decode it. To me it reads like you pulled it through a randomizer n>4 times. Could you do me a favor, save me brain time, and speak plain English, French or German?

Steven Colyer said...

No problem, Bee. My sadness with Professional crackpot theories marches on, specifically Many-Worlds by Everett and Anthropic by Susskind & Polchinski (the Civil War in String Theory ... as if the other War between Strings and 3+1 dimensional quantum gravity theories wasn't enough ... Witten seems to be moderating the Civil war, and not very successfully as far as I can tell ... well, Witten worked for the McGovern campaign when he was 17 or 21 or something ... perhaps he should stay out of politics and leave it to the experts).

I'm not qualified to comment on Lisi's version of E8 Lie Algebra, so I can't say it's crackpot or not. I do know his arIXve preprint is beautiful, but so what? To his credit he thinks his "exceptionally simple" (a wordplay on specific Lie algebas) is either all right or all wrong ... a bit of an extremist position, yet a refreshingly honest one.

My W+ comment was in reference to the weak force, which reminds me of mass (and our ignorance thereof), and the four forces and four dimensions and how we have NOT be able to tame them, and wondering aloud ... could there be more? Technicolor (walking), MOND, MOD, Macca Theory (there's good and bad in everyone including oversugary songs), whatever the latest Randall theory is, etc., fascinate me. Joy Christian's finding of an overly simplistic assumption by J.S. Bell in his 1964 paper which for some reason doesn't make the theory wrong; the isolation of a single quark last year (top) at Tevatron and how curiously it receives so little press, there are SO many things interesting things going on, but what do we speak of? The joy of climbing rocks (see: Heinz Pagels) and Superatheist Sean Carroll's new book released today which is apparently more Philospohy than Physics. Oh, well.

How's that Nordita conference you're planning going, Bee? Good stuff on experimentation in Physics going on right now these days. Have you seen the first results from WISE?

Bee said...

Steven: Thanks. The conference organization is going well so far, though not much has happened over the holidays. We'll send out the poster soon and I have first abstracts coming in, so probably we'll have an update on this blog at some point.

You should be careful how you use the word crackpot. What makes somebody a crackpot is not what they work on, but how they work. You might not share their interests, you might not understand their motivation, you might not like their research, but that doesn't make them crackpots, and doesn't make their work "crackpot theories," as you call it.

(Btw, I explained here why anthropic arguments is not useless.)

Best,

B.

garrett said...

Laugh, definitely laugh.

garrett said...

Doing science requires an intellectually adventurous spirit. For some scientists, this adventurous spirit is also directed towards doing fun stuff outside. I couldn't imagine any reality tv show that would be cooler than meeting up with other people like this, learning about their research, and joining them outdoors for some fun. When the producers asked me, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to host it. I think it will be fun to watch, and I hope, inspiring. And if you know of young scientists who would be good for the show, email the producers and they'll contact them.

Bee said...

Garrett: Sure, I can understand why the temptation and I can also see that it has the potential of getting young people interested in research. I just hope you don't find in some years that I was a waste of time. It seems to me you could put your brain to better use, but then it's your brain :-)
Best,

Sabine

Steven Colyer said...

Hi Bee,

I totally reject Anthropic, both the Weak and Strong versions, because IMO (and not ONLY my opinion), they are Philosophy disguised as Physics, which is an insult to both fields, as I see it.

Let's face facts: we're alive inside an explosion. Whether the source is a Big Bang or Big Crunch, it doesn't matter. We be a-'splodin', in any case, and Anthropists think they can step outside the box so to speak and come to conclusions about said explosions, which strikes me as downright ludicrous.

Next topic: TOE. Is it too much to ask to develop a GUT, first?

ALL sorts of theories seem to ignore the Strong Force. Oh, what a wonderfully simple world it would be if Strong didn't exist, but it does.

Regarding Lisi's lifestyle: Me likey! Every fellow American MAN does. Life DOES need balance. But a theory, once started, begs for completion. How are things going Garrett in eliminating the theoretical particles your theory predicts, but have not been seen?

In any event, Garrett's decision to "go it alone" and reject the horrible state of the horrible tenure-based state of America Academia is the thing I like about him the most. Keep on keepin' on brah, and good luck on that theory stuff. Surf's up. ;-)

Uncle Al said...

What are your options then, Bee? Ion-beam poppyseed sculpter (Mohngugelhupf), 14+ children (confer with Stefan), surströmming gurgitator, fjärd hopper, competitive västerbotten lifting?

Bee said...

I'm flexible. All I need is time to read, think, and write.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Garrett,

I've read Lisa Randall is into rock climbing big time, so perhaps you could approach her for an episode. That would have the E8 man vs the Braneworld woman in a race for the top without ropes or nets. Now when in this position I would like to see how you each convince the audience that gravity is almost an inconsequential as a force :-)

Best,

Phil

Giotis said...

You must be careful with that stuff and the media exposure in general. They can easily turn you to a caricature. But of course it depends on the concept.

Anonymous said...

I'd totally take you up on a free ski trip sometime garrett.... That said, I know Jerzy Lewandowski is an avid skier (and all round action hero) so perhaps there's a candidate for you...

Anonymous said...

Bee,

"High" level of scientific acheivement? To the best of my knowledge, Lisi has never held a tenured position and lives in a trailer on Maui ( I have a friend who knows him ). His "magnum opus", a supposedly unified theory based on E8, has been regulated to the general physics section on the ArXiv - a place usually reserved for crank literature.

He's far more a surfer than serious scientist.

Steven Colyer said...

Thanks a\Anonymous whomever you are for announcing Garrett's paper is in the general section at arXiv. It wasn't originally there though, was it? Was it demoted? When, if so? They did that to Neilson's stuff re future LHC preventing past LHC from starting up, too. Remember that one? ;-)

Nothing wrong with a trailer in Maui. In Lahaina, I hope. Best view on Earth?

What is this? E8 Friday? Lubos has a technical post on the subject, today ===>here.

Anonymous said...

Laugh for/at humanity.

Cry for science.

Enjoy the scenery.

Ulrich

Arun said...

Ulrich has it right!

Just More C02 said...

Who dreamed this entertainment idea up?

Was government grant funding (aka "taxpayer money") paid out to the creators/producers of this for-profit series?

Will there be an animated cartoon version available?

garrett said...

Wow, you guys are doing a lot of speculating here. Let me offer some information you can choose to believe or not, in reverse order that these questions came up in the comments:

I don't know of a cartoon version, other than this. (You have no idea how weird it is to encounter yourself portrayed in a comic you read.)

I haven't received government grant funding since I was a grad student. As a liberaltarian, I like the idea that the public supports science, but I hate the fact that money is taken by force in the form of taxes. However, of all the money government spends after taking it from people, I think the money for science is the best spent.

The "Surfing the Universe" idea was dreamt up by several producers, and I (and a few others) helped refine it after they contacted me. If anyone has suggestions for making the show better, let me know. It's in the early development phase and could very easily not happen. If you like the idea, consider becoming a fan of the Facebook page. And tell the producers if you know of potential participants.

arXiv: I submitted the paper to gr-qc. It was then moved to hep-th, then to gen-ph, then back to hep-th (where it remains), all very quickly. If I am to speculate, I'd guess the arxiv administrators either decided the paper wasn't so bad after all, or they didn't want such a high profile paper (judged by downloads) in gen-ph because then people might look to gen-ph for interesting papers. Either way, I was highly amused by this. I am extremely grateful to the inventors and operators of the arxiv, but some of them are incredibly arrogant and contemptuous people. For example, it bothers me that they censor papers like this one.

I've never lived in a trailer. I'm currently renting a house (a modest Science Hostel) in Maui, with two spare bedrooms in it, which currently houses two visiting scientists. :) I did at one point live in an RV (a customized van) for a year.

Giotis: I'm already a caricature -- figure I may as well own it.

Phil suggests Lisa Randall: Yep, I've met her and she said she might be interested in participating. That's not to say she will, but that was the main content of the brief interaction I had with her in Boston.

GUT before ToE: I agree, and we have a nice GUT called Spin(10), which fits algebraically in a nice GraviGUT called Spin(3,11), which fits in E8. The strong force is easy -- it's generations that are hard. I'm still working on it, as well as what to do with the extra stuff in E8.

Science Hostels: The idea isn't about someone buying me a house -- it's about people using a website to offer the use of houses they already have, for me and other scientists who like to visit and work in nice places. The Science Hostel website is coming together, but unfortunately rather slowly.

What to do with my brain: My brain likes playing outside just as much as it likes physics. And I don't expect to regret the time I spent playing, as it has formed some of my favorite memories.

Labcoats vs snowboarding: I snowboard (for example, today in Tahoe) in a long white labcoat. (:-D

Best,
Garrett

Bee said...

Anonymous: Garrett's level of "scientific achievement" is definitely higher than that of the average person watching the show will be. I don't think you need tenure to host a talkshow, so what's your point.

Incidentally, I also have a paper on gen-ph, so I take your claim that this arXiv is allegedly "crank literature" personally. Well, at least submitting the paper to gen-ph is what I tried. It was then reclassified to hist-ph on which I objected since there's nothing historical in the paper whatsoever. It ended up being pop-ph crosslisted to gen-ph and hist-ph (I didn't do the crosslisting) and I kinda thought who cares anyway. This whole process appeared to me somewhat erratic. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Steven: The point I was trying to make, apparently unsuccessfully, is that I don't care what you "reject" and what other people's opinions are, the only thing that scientifically matters are arguments. Before you continue to produce hot air, why don't you go and read the post I mentioned, and if you find anything faulty with my argument, leave it in the comments (there, not here). Thanks,

B.

Ervin Goldfain said...

Hi Bee,

Here is a link that points out in great detail why Lisi's model is faulty:

http://arxiv.org/abs/0905.2658

Regards,

Ervin

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Garret,


That’s nice to hear that Lisa Randall is considering it as actually I see the whole concept of the show as a good idea for several reasons. First and foremost, anyway that can be discovered to be able to communicate some serious science to a general populous that has little idea about any if it I find as not only worthwhile, yet imperative as to attempt to lessen the ever increasing kmowledge gap. Another reason I find it as a good ideas is it is an opportunity to dispel some stereo types when it comes to those that actually do what you do.

That is although all researchers may not be surfers, rock climbers, snow boarders or sky divers, neither are the vast majority of the general public and as such your program may serve to have people think again about their picture of those strange anemic liitle people with their pocket protector and thick glasses. With having people such a Lisa Randall it might also have some question their notions in respect to how gender having any significance in who can or cannot be a good scientist.

I for one firmly believe that primarily due to these prevailing stereotyping prejudices, has many to never even consider science as a career path, as not wanting to be so associated. Worse however, is with having such notions has many to undervalue science, not only as to what it gives to us physically, yet what it can offer anyone who incorporates it into their way of reasoning in respect to creativity and decision making. So I would encourage all to sign on to your facebook group, as I see nothing other then positive things coming out of it as a result. So I wish you luck and hope the producers follow through to make it all happen.



Best,


Phil


P.S. It all makes me wish I had something to bring to the table. However the only remotely physical thing I do these days is play a little golf once in a while. Now come to think of it this would have me able to demonstrate that the consequences of the uncertainty principle are not scale restricted only to the world of the quanta:-)

Gordon said...

Bee: A perfect farmhouse on an island in Sweden may be available if Elin Nordegren takes leave of her senses and reconciles with the golfing louse :)
Garret: Man, am I jealous. The last (and only) time I tried surfing, the board broke my big toe.

Bee said...

Giotis: If it's supposed to be of maximal use for academic purposes, it should be not too far away from a major international airport and be an attractive location year round. (Or in other words, I don't like islands, and in particular not those far away from the equator.) Best,

B.

Steven Colyer said...

Ervin Goldfain, as soon as you posted that link, and without knowing who wrote it, I made a bet with myself: Don't tell me, I bet it was by noted Lisi critic Jacques Distler. I was right! lol

Crap, now I have to pay myself. Where's the money?

Garrett, thanks for explaining how GUT is incorporated in your theory. That's precisely what I'm looking for. Also, a better word for "fun" might be "a mental break." I'm sure it makes you think better, getting involved in physical, adrenalin-producing pursuits. I'm still lol btw at your comment at your blog re the dust gathering on the weightlifting equipment in the gym at Perimeter. :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Lisa Randall will have time to do the "Surfer Science" show.

She's busy with an opera about herself and she's also selling crystals and doing tarot card readings during intermissions.

Gotta love that post-modern pseudoscience!

Ulrich

Phil Warnell said...

One of Lisa Randall’s proposals is that an explanation for gravity being so weak, in compassion to other forces, is that it’s somehow not confined to the brane as to leach out beyond. Rumour has it she came up with the idea upon observing that many Anonymous blog commenters display having weakened powers of thought resultant of having leaky brains:-)

Bee said...

Steven: And let's not even mention the squeaking of the treadmill...

Tkk said...

I don't know about Lisi, Randall, even Bee, but it appears one Verlinde has been surfing or climbing real hard:

On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton
arxiv.org/abs/1001.0785
Erik Verlinde

Stunning. A must read.
Information+position -> Entropy > gravity

He claims to overturn Einstein's notion of gravity-energy-geometry. Gravity emerges from a change in entropy.

More writeup:
http://www.scientificblogging.com/hammock_physicist/it_bit_case_gravity

Steven Colyer said...

Hi Tkk,

I noticed that three days ago at The Reference Frame. It intrigued because for once Lubos is undecided about something. His article and replies are here, and both are intriguing. Thanks for the extra links.

Zephir said...

Maybe string theory or holographic theory are related to entropy quantity in some abstract way (albeit I can see nothing entropic in their postulates with exception of vagueness) - but the connection of Aether gas concept to entropy is still much more straightforward and transparent.

The apparent inability of physicists to distinguish trivial particle system beneath all these noble abstract ideas about thermodynamics, entropy and emergent holographic scenarios is striking. Even worse, it's a sort of modern religion or political decision - supposedly the both.

We simply cannot have an abstract entropy quantity existing as such without underlying physical system (usually inertial particle gas or fluid), which maintains the laws of statistics. Emergence is just another postmodern word for ancient Aether model, described by gas (thermodynamics) or by fluid (hydrodynamics) models.

Zephir said...

This is basicallly, what Motl said in more vague manner:

"I find it somewhat unlikely that "bulk physics" may be really derived without any "bulk physics".

While his intuition is completelly right in this case, the above approach is exactly, what the string theory did all the time. We should realize, Verlinde's work has nothing to do with string theory, in fact - Motl just feels some competetion in the air.

chimpanzee said...

I've also been pursuing the "B" option ("Entertainment") for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Outreach, as an add-on to the "A" component ("Information"):

A) Information
Dissemination of Science to the Public

B) Entertainment
"Capturing an Audience", i.e. pandering to the Masses (Morons/Idiots/Fools who are Science Challenged)

I've been making the above point (for a couple of years) on Backreaction, Not Even Wrong (Peter Woit's blog), Arcadian Functor (Kea's blog), Cosmicvariance, Lubos Motl's blog, Quantum Diaries (Tommaso Dorigo's blog). Kea (Marni Sheppeard) has a FANTASTIC resume in Outdoor Sports (like G. Lisi & L. Randall), she's an alpine skier (30 yrs experience), tramper, mountaineer. She's almost a carbon copy of L. Randall, both of whom have had near-death experiences while pursuing their outdoor activity (rock climbing & mountaineering).

I think Kea is an ideal candidate for her own show, & then "cross link" it to G. Lisi's show. I.e., have a Network of "Brains + Brawns" Scientist Outreach "entertainment" shows. In order to displace the "stereotype" of Scientists as irrelevant, old, white, male Einstein types.

I have been at the 2010 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas the past week

http://www.jumplive.com/main.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157623049052489/

& have met Hollywood celebrities, producers, actors, etc. I asked 1 Hollywood guy about the NASA/JPL STEM Public Outreach project (for JPL's 2011 MSL/Mars Science Laboratory 6-wheeled rover), regarding an Entertainment type of thing, to which he replied:

"Make it FUNNY [ Comedy ]"

So, I think G. Lisi is definitely on the right track. Consider the show "3rd Rock from the Sun" (triggered by JPL's Mars Rover missions) a few yrs back, now it's "Numb3rs". I heard somewhere it's based on Lubos Motl's character? (does Lumo get a commission for this?)

"Life [ the Life of Physics ] is a SCAM [ currently "starving scientist" model ], what's your Angle?"
-- Steve McQueen, actor

So, I think an Entetainment angle, with a female "bent" would be the next step. Pair Kea with Bee ("Birds & the Bees"...hahaha!!), a couple of pint-sized brainy theoretical physcists (Bee was termed by a colleague as a dwarf, & Kea could be described as a midget). Throw in a "wild crazy guy" (Lumo the "human hand grenade", ala John McEnroe of Tennis fame), "hot blooded Italian" (Tommaso Dorigo, as described by Kea), & I think we have a

"cast of Characters"

who could "save Physics". I've recently met Maria Spiropulu (experimental particle physicist), a recent Caltech Physics hiree, so there's another pint-sized member for the "girl power" team. 2 (theoretical) + 1 (experimental) team, say the "3 Mousketeers". There's also Dr. Michelle Thaller (formerly Public Outreach Mgr for Caltech's SIRTF/Spitzer Infra Red Telescope Facility) & Dr. Amy Mainzer (JPL WISE mission, Deputy Project Scientist), who have worked together on Science Outreach, see the History Channel's "Universe" series. "Universe" is an "A. Information" strategy, explained at a very layman point-of-view, with LOTS of multimedia. It has been panned by serious scientists (refer to P. Woit's criticism), as being JUNK. Michio Kaku's shows on the Science Channel have also been panned for the same reason.

[ CONTINUED ]

chimpanzee said...

[ CONTINUED ]

Look. The whole CATASTROPHE in STEM Funding (in America, at least) is based on a FLAWED model for Public Outreach/Education. You're treating the Public

[ for the most part, a bunch of Morons/Idiots/Fools, who are Science dis-connected & challenged ]

like your "peers": you're trying to talk Science to them. At 1st glance it sounds reasonable, but in the Bigger Picture

[ Kara Lawson, a female Harvard alumni Math major, told me about the film Idiocracy, about how stupid un-educated idiots breed within their communities, thus furthering the Stupdity ]

it's quite a blunder. The million dollar question is, how does one "Capture the Audience [ General Public ]", in order to fund these Big Science projects (which are tax payer $$)? The answer lies in this quote:

"When Life gives you Lemons [ Morons/Idiots/Fools ], Make Lemonade [ serve up Stupid Entertainment, that's Physics-based ]"
-- Sour into Sweet

Michio Kaku CONSTANTLY gets panned on Physics blogs for being a charlatan, showman, etc. But, he is probably sitting back, LAUGHING at the "serious Scientists", who are the real CULPRIT in this STEM Funding disaster. Brian Greene (Columbia) is going the Entertainment route as well, with his book ("The Elegant Universe"). The NOVA 3-part series featured a Public Talk by Brian at the Guggenheim Museum. I can still remember the glassy-eyed audience (old woman & a young male actor), who were transfixed by Brian's "showman presentation
". Afterwards, the male actor offerred Brian a part in a movie, to which he replied "That would be nice!". Brian currently is working with Disney Entertainment on multi-media techniques (3D Scientific Visualization, is the technical term, a field which is my background), for future projects. He is also the founder of WSF (World Science Fair), which is a physical convergence of Scientists, Actors, Musicians, etc. Obviously, it has an Entertainment component, which can "engage & capture" an Audience. There is also the Science & Entertainment Exchange (Jennifer Oulette, S. Carroll's wife, runs it), which was conceived by a Hollywood mogul (& his wife).

chimpanzee said...

[ CONTINUED ]

So. I was at the 2010 CES Show to find an Entertainment Partner for the upcoming NASA/JPL 2011 Mars Mission, the 6-wheeled rover known as MSL (Mars Science Laboratory).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157622627654220/

Made a LOT of contacts. Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung, Sharp

[ they are partnering with Jeffrey Katzenberg of Hollywood fame, for 3D content. You will recall the recent 3D movie by James Cameron called "Avatar", which is breaking all sorts of records in terms of attendance & revenue ]

The buzzword at CES was "3D HDTV". MSL will have stereo cameras (I think), like the previous rovers. So, just imagine "out of this world" Mars 3D images (strung together as a time-laps movie), as a platform for the above TV mfrs to showcase their New Technology. Add mobile-media-solutions (iPod/iTouch/iPhone, Sony PSP, Qualcomm's Flo-TV), together with the oncoming e-Book readers (Kindle, Sony, & others). This could be the Dawn of a Revolution in STEM Outreach, coupled with these "TV Reality Shows" based on Exciting/Dynamic Physicists. E.g., Lumo's music video on Youtube ("Tom & Jerry"), Max Tegmark's in-class guitar video, Lisa Randall's opera, G. Lisi's upcoming show, etc.

As I was crusiing the show, I kept thinking about Kea & Bee. I had this "visualization" of them becoming TV "superstars". Their "Entertainment Program" would thrust them out of the "starving Physicist" syndrome. A nice house, nice car, nice relaxed lifestyle to conduct Physics research. A world-wide network of Science Research centers ("hostels"), as part of the Mobile Scientist concept (my thing), would allow them to freely travel to do research. A truly Distributed Architecture for doing research, under the Connectivity Umbrella that is the Internet (land, satellite, WiFi/WIMAX). The 4G network that is WIMAX is being deployed in select markets like Las Vegas. I actually saw a demo of an inexpensive/affordable HD video-conferencing system by Logitec (using WIMAX).

CANON had ann interesting booth, where they had a "Mad Scientist" Public Outreach theme:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/sets/72157623189337910/

They were doing experiments for the onlookers, had a Solar System model, & books (including one on Physics). Colorful display, smiling actors (the guy is a high school math teacher). THIS is the kind of "impression" (fun & exciting) that TV Reality show needs to project to the Public.

Tkk said...

Zephir: "We simply cannot have an abstract entropy quantity existing as such without underlying physical system ..."

It appears to me that Verlinde did not claim 'bulk physics' behind entropy - just gravity. A change in entropy content of matter is what produces the force of gravity. He did not suggest the existence of graviton to mediate action-at-a-distance. The holographic nature of information is the key mechanism behind the action and distribution of information, thus entropy, and thus our macro view of gravity.

It will take a while to digest his stuff...

Anonymous said...

Dim One,

Well at least some folks have brains to leak out of, rather than dim bulbs mounted upon their shoulders.

Chimpanzee,

Good science sells itself without embarrassing hype. All it takes is true sincerity and integrity on the part of the science and the scientists. Carl Sagan did a very reasonable job of balancing science and entertainment without sacrificing the former. Jacob Bronowski did a truly exceptional job in his "Ascent of Man" PBS series.

On the other hand, the embarrassing hype that is post-modern pseudoscience will attract the morons and the $$$ in the short term, but end up harming science badly in the long term.

Ulrich

Researcher said...

Just to note that Garrett has recently posted a new preprint on arXiv:
http://arxiv.org/abs/1006.4908

Steven Colyer said...

Hi Reasearcher,

Since most of us also read Not Even Wrong, we knew that as well as Anti-Lisiite Jacques Distler's response to said paper in 137 minutes after arXiv's posting, here.

Such drama in mathematical physics.
:-)