Monday, April 23, 2018


I am giving (another) seminar in Heidelberg on Wednesday (April 25th), this time about my upcoming book.

May 1st is a national holiday in Germany (labor day) and I’ll be off-grid due to family affairs for some days.

May 7th to 9th I am in Stockholm to get yelled at (it’s complicated).

On May 26th I am in Hay-on-Wye which is a village someplace UK that hosts an event called How The Light Gets In at which I am supposed to debate how “the pursuit of beauty drive[s] the evils that hold back a better society.” I wouldn’t go as far as calling grand unification an evil, so please don’t judge me by the tagline.

I have also been asked to share this image below. Hope it makes more sense to you than to me.

On May 28th I am giving a public lecture in Dublin at the Irish Quantum Foundations conference.

In summary this means May will be a very slow month on this blog.


  1. I wonder... Will the "it's complicated" story be shared at some point? I am currently in Sweden and I am very curious about what could make Swedish people to yell at someone... :D Especially because Sweden is (supposedly) known as a calm and easy place.

  2. "The biggest ideas set free in a space of play" Organic composition demands idea bulbs (liberating LEDs!) not to be vertically upright. Physics is the patriarchal oppression of intolerable factualism. (OK, not since 1971 re factualism.) Newton was a male aggressor.
    ... Luce Irigaray sources physics' defects.

    We demand bigger cages and longer chains! Give me an hour in a chirped-pulse FT µwave spectrometer and I will move the world. Everything is better with hyperfine coupling. Renormalize reality.

  3. "How the light gets in" is from Leonard Cohen's song Anthem:

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in

    It's about living with and even celebrating imperfection.

  4. Bee,

    Antoine Tilloy in "Binding quantum matter and space-time, without romanticism" argues that QG is based on beauty. There's no experimental evidence of QG and spacetime could very well be classical. He considers the main arguments for QG to be based on beauty. He outlines his own proposal.

    Is the idea that gravity must be based on gravitons on QFT or string theory also based on beauty?

    To what extent is QG based on beauty.

  5. How did you get roped into the Brit thing? They sound very confused. My copy of Occam's razor (admittedly a knock-off from a discount retailer) suggests that great confusion is less probable than great dishonesty. Perhaps I am using the back of the blade. Anyhow, I cannot think that you will find common ground -- and will even venture to predict that you will find your name being used, afterwards, in implicit support of things that you do not intend to support. All of which is borrowing trouble; good luck.

    What is true is beautiful, ipso facto. One commonplace source of confusion is that the beautiful is not necessarily attractive, nor the ugly unattractive.

  6. "the pursuit of beauty drives the evils that hold back a better society".

    Unspiek, Baron Bodissey: "As a society matures, the struggle for survival imperceptibly graduates and changes emphasis and becomes what can only be termed the quest for pleasure" (from Life, Volume III, the Star King, Chapter 6, by Jack Vance).

  7. @Jeffrey Scofield said..."It's about living with and even celebrating imperfection."

    "The R&D Function" Harvard Business Review 61(6) 195 (1983)
    ... Exquisitely targeted research is crippled.
    ... When the answer is elusive, the search must be "antifragile" not robust.

    Single crystal turbine blades should not fail by imperfections nucleating cracks. Ceramic oxide-pinned dislocation alloys are nothing but imperfections, and also work. It is the vast gap of "acceptable quality" that fails.

  8. neo,

    The need for QG is due to a problem of consistency, not a problem of aesthetics. I explain that in my book.

  9. "What is true is beautiful, ipso facto."

    What, if any, is the meaning of this statement. Take, for example, the cat that there was a genocide. Is that beautiful? Not in any meaningful sense of the word.

  10. "What is true is beautiful, ipso facto."

    “Information is not knowledge.
    Knowledge is not wisdom.
    Wisdom is not truth.
    Truth is not beauty.
    Beauty is not love.
    Love is not music.
    Music is THE BEST.”

    ---Frank Zappa

  11. "Take, for example, the cat that there was a genocide. Is that beautiful?"

    cat ---> fact

    No animals were harmed in this comment. :-)

  12. Frank: “How did you get roped into the Brit thing? They sound very confused.”

    Chill out, Frank. I’m going to the “Brit thing” and it’s nicely low-key, more of a hippy philosophy festival with great bands and parties. Hopefully the weather is good, it usually is, so I can spend the whole weekend half-drunk outside my tent, feeling guilty that I’ve just missed another talk about the multiverse.

  13. Hay-on-Wye is a beautiful location. Bluff your way through the panel, debate, or whatever it is that is the price of admission. Then enjoy the rest of your time there. Hay is also home to a ridiculously good literary festival, and correspondingly great bookshops. Bring your walking boots if you are into that kind of thing in any degree whatsoever. Dress for rain.

  14. "I am in Stockholm to get yelled at (it’s complicated)."

    Sounds like every visit I make to my inlaws.

  15. I hope you will not spend all your time in Stockholm being yelled at. Our city is quite nice right now.

    I will come back with a reply regarding our naturalness discussion. I know what I'm going to say, but I need to read some renormalization so that I understand what I'm saying as well.

  16. Most true things aren't beautiful - most beautuful things aren't true. Exceptions prove the rule...

  17. " Stockholm to get yelled at" - METALLICA? :-)

  18. There have been a lot of PopSci articles about the group who theorizes that black holes don't exist and that they are actually wormholes. If they collide they would produce echoes that we could test for, theoretically (or so say the articles, which you know, are always 100% accurate and take no liberty with headlines). Could these be those echoes? I'm buying the book today!


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