January 2004 - arXiv eliminated the e-mail method of submitting papers and instituted an automated web form submission system known as the "endorsement system".
11 February 2004 - I checked some of the papers for which I requested that arXiv give me authorship, and for some of them I have been given authorship and the revised arXiv.org/auth/show-endorsers/ web pages say, for at least one of my papers put on the e-print archive now known as arXiv before I was blacklisted:
"... Frank Smith Jr. is qualified to endorse. ... Frank Smith Jr.: Is registered as an author of this paper. Can endorse for physics.gen-ph. ...".
12 February 2004 - Having submitted a new paper to arXiv as physics/0402061, I was informed by arXiv "... We have removed your submission in order to give you a chance to replace physics/0207095, which would make more sense. ...". I agreed with that decision, and the paper was posted as a new version of physics/0207095.
13 February 2004 - I submitted to arXiv a paper entitled "Cosmology, Gravity, and the WMAP ratio 0.73 : 0.23 : 0.04" which was initially accepted by the automated system as physics/0402065 and a paper entitled "Penrose-Hameroff Quantum Tubulin Electrons, Chiao Gravity Antennas, and Mead Resonance" which was initially accepted by the automated system as physics/0402069. Later that day the human (not-automated) part of arXiv said "... Your submission ... (were physics/0402065 and physics/0402069) ... has been removed upon a notice from our moderators, who determined it inappropriate for the physics archive. ...". I responded to arXiv "... Please give me specific detailed reasons as to why each of my two separate submissions ... were determined to be "... inappropriate for the physics archive ..."and removed. As to what other archive might be appropriate, I would suggest that physics/0402065 might be put in gr-qc since it deals with gravitation and cosmology and also might be put in astro-ph since it deals with WMAP observations and that physics/0402069 might be put in quant-ph since a significant part of it is rebuttal to arguments made by Tegmark in quant-ph/9907009. ...".
As of now (25 January 2005) I have not received any substantive reply to my request for a statement of reasons for removal of my papers on 13 February 2004. .(I do not consider automated acknowledgements of receipt of a message to be substantive replies.)
13 April 2004 - When I attempted to upload a new paper to arXiv ... I received a message that said: "... arXiv Error The following error has occured: User email@example.com is not currently permitted to upload. ... The operators of arXiv have been notified. ...". I responded, saying: "... The last previous time [in February 2004] I attempted to upload a new paper was after the new endorsement policy, and I was then allowed to upload the paper, although after review by moderators posting was denied. Since this time the upload itself was denied, the paper never reached moderators for review. Is this, as the message stated, some sort of error in the arXiv system? If so, when do you expect it to be corrected? ...". arXiv then responded; "... Subject: Re: arXiv Error ... According to our records your submission privileges with the system have been suspended. ...".
14 April 2004 - I responded to arXiv's latest13 April 2004 message, saying: "... Please tell me why ...[arXiv's]... records show that my "submission privileges with the system have been suspended.".
16 April 2004 - arXiv responded, saying: "... a) No recent publication record b) No legitimate endorsements from current users ...".
17 April 2004 - I responded, saying: "...
With respect to (b), I have a question: Will you guarantee that persons who endorse me will not be victimised by having their arXiv privileges withdrawn?
With respect to (a), I note that the arXiv endorsement system, with respect to the paper physics/0207095, says: "... Frank Smith Jr.: Is registered as an author of this paper. ... Frank Smith Jr. is qualified to endorse. ...". Therefore, it seems that my publication history is satisfactory with respect to the objective standards of your endorsement system. Furthermore, I note that during the past year I have written three new papers, which are published on my web site at:
I am prepared to defend the content of those papers, as well as the content of physics/0207095, before any reasonable forum. A reason that I have not submitted any of those papers to any "traditional" journal is that, with respect to the fields of physics relevant to my papers, I agree with Paul Ginsparg's statement at http://arXiv.org/blurb/pg96unesco.html "... These archives ... have already supplanted traditional research journals as conveyers of both topical and archival research information. ...".
In light of the above, I request that your suspension of my submission privileges be terminated, and that I be given full submission privileges to all relevant archives, including astro-ph, gr-qc, hep-th, hep-ph, hep-lat, quant-ph, and physics. ...".
As of now (25 January 2005) I have not received any substantive reply to my request of 17 April 2004. .(I do not consider automated acknowledgements of receipt of a message to be substantive replies.)
8 October 2004 - The CERN Scientific Information Policy Board (SIPB) closed the CERN CDS EXT preprint series, thus depriving me of preserving my work by posting it on EXT, as I had done with some papers that blacklisting had barred me from posting on arXiv, including:
The CERN page at http://documents.cern.ch/EDS/current/access/action.php?doctypes=NCP on which the closure was announced states: "... Authors are encouraged to submit their papers to the relevant class at arXiv. ...". However, I am blacklisted by arXiv and therefore unable post papers there. I have been unable to determine exactly why I have been blacklisted by arXiv, other than that "reader complaints" might be involved. Although I have asked arXiv who complained, what was the subject matter of any complaints, and for an opportunity to respond to any complaints, arXiv has not given me such information or opportunity. Since being blacklisted by arXiv, the CERN EXT-series has been the only widely read and permanently archived place for me to post papers. Since closure of the EXT-series, I have only posted my latest work on my personal web site, and contributed papers to the April 2005 APS meeting in Tampa.
Some have suggested that a reason for the CERN SIPB action closing the EXT-series might be that the EXT series was using too much of CERN's resources. Since, according to the CERN CDS web page at http://cdsweb.cern.ch/?c=Preprints&as=1&ln=en the total number of preprints is about 311,238; while, according to their web page at http://cdsweb.cern.ch/search.py?as=1&ln=en&m1=a&p1=EXT&f1=reportnumber&op1=a&m2=a&p2=&f2=&op2=a&m3=a&p3=&f3=&search=Search&d1d=&d1m=&d1y=&d2d=&d2m=&d2y=&sf=&so=a&rg=10&of=hb&cc=Preprints (the result of a search for EXT in the "report number" field) the total number of preprints in EXT was about 509, I find it incredible that the "resources" consumed with respect to 509 preprints is anything like a significant part of the "resources" consumed with respect to the entire collection of 311,238 preprints. My opinion of why EXT was terminated is that arXiv coerced (perhaps by threatening to withdraw permission for CERN to include arXiv preprints in the CERN CDS preprint system) and/or colluded with the CERN SIPB to terminate EXT so that arXiv's blacklist would be more nearly absolute worldwide.
November 2004 - Some of the blacklisted people set up an Archive Freedom web site to describe arXiv's blacklisting and some of its consequences. When Brian Josephson submitted a letter to Nature abour arXiv's blacklisting, Jim Giles of Nature objected, saying: "... We couldn't link to the archivefreedom site for legal reasons. You make specific accusations about arXiv that could be considered libellous (I say "could" -- they seem fine to me but you know that lawyers have to cover their backs). Internet law is a grey area -- a link to a libellous site could itself be deemed libellous, according to our lawyers. ...".
I then compared the deference of Nature's lawyers to arXiv with the treatment I received with respect to a 2003 article about me by Steve Farrar in the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES). The THES article said:
"... Mr Smith insisted each paper should be judged by researchers on its individual merits. His argument has been backed by Nobel laureate Brian Josephson, professor of physics at Cambridge University, who also investigates quantum consciousness. The second suit has been filed in Tennessee on the basis of "religious discrimination". An archive moderator said both claims would "only result in wasted time". "Someone who has neither current institutional affiliation nor has ever published in a conventional journal is indistinguishable from a middle-school student writing on a perpetual-motion machine or a refutation of special relativity," he [the unnamed arXiv moderator] said. ...".
When I complained about the THES article, saying
"... The article is factually inaccurate. For example: It is not true that I have never "published in a conventional journal". In fact, my publications include the following: Int. J. Theor. Phys. 24 (1985) 155-174 Int. J. Theor. Phys. 25 (1986) 355-403 The full name of that journal is the International Journal of Theoretical Physics. Further, I consider the description of me as being "indistinguishable from a middle-school student writing on a perpetual-motion machine or a refutation of special relativity ..." to be inaccurate and libelous. I hereby demand (by copy of this e-mail message), and expect to receive, from both arXiv and THES an apology and published retraction for the inaccuracy and description. ..."
the response of Steve Farrar and THES was
"... I have considered further your request for a correction in respect of the article published under my name on 6 December last year. The quote to which you object was made by the arXiv moderator in response to the fact that you were intending to sue the archive. He was expressing an opinion in stating that you had not been published in "a conventional journal". You say he was wrong and that you have, indeed, been published in conventional journals. You also dispute the accuracy of other comments he made. I do not believe that in reporting forthcoming litigation such as yours against arXiv we are obliged to dissect and, if appropriate, refute or support every element of every quote made by the parties to such litigation. We endeavoured to give both sides of the argument and I do not believe the article contained any material inaccuracies which require correction. I am arranging for a copy of your complaint to be filed with library copies of the 6 December article and will also have it removed from our on-line edition. I do not believe any further action is necessary. ...".
It is obvious to me that the UK libel law is being interpreted by UK publications quite inconsistently, in that anything said by Cornell / arXiv / Ginsparg is considered to not contain "any material inaccuracies which require correction" while any statement by blacklistees about the same subject matter is considered to be "accusations about arXiv that could be considered libellous".
When I saw that arXiv had allowed in January 2005 a paper "The Speed of Light and the Einstein Legacy: 1905-2005" by Reginald T. Cahill to be posted as physics/0501051, I found that its abstract said in part :
"... the foundations of physics require significant revision. ... both Newtonian gravity and General Relativity are also seriously flawed ... the centenary of Einstein's Special Relativity turns out to be also its demise ...".
When I looked closely at the details of the paper, I saw that it was flawed in that it analyzes the air Michelson-Morley experiments with air refractive index n =/= 1 by considering that n is constant for the entire experiment and that "... The Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction effect causes the arm ... parallel to the absolute velocity to be physically contracted ..." and that for all parts of the experiment "... with n the refractive index of the gas present ...". In short, Cahill used a constant air refractive index n =/= 1while ignoring the change in n due to the changed density of air due to the "physical ... Fitzgerald-Lorentz ... contract[ion]" of the system with respect to the "arm ... parallel to the absolute velocity".
It is interesting that arXiv allows posting of such a flawed paper declaring "... the demise ... of Einstein's Special Relativity ...", while some others and I are blacklisted from posting papers that are consistent with not only Einstein's Special Relativity but also the Standard Model and currently known experimental results.
I do not advocate blacklisting Cahill, at least in part because I did learn some things by studying his paper and seeing th e nature of a flaw in its analysis, and because studying such flaws helps me keep my mind open to new ways of thinking and to do a better job of distinguish realistic thoughts from unrealistic thoughts.
I do think that it shows that the arXiv establishment may be willing to allow flawed unconventional papers to be posted, perhaps so that they can point to such papers as proving that unconventional physics ideas are always wrong and the conventional physics ideas are always correct,
the arXiv establishment remains so extremely fearful of unconventional papers that might be correct (at least in part) (such as my physics model) that they must be banned lest they lead to change in the world of physics, which change could lead to the current set of "experts" being superseded in jobs, grants, etc.
Max Plank, who (about a century ago) first showed the Physics Establishment that Quantum ideas were necessary,
( Note that at that time it was obvious to some people outside the Physics Establishment that Quantum ideas were necessary. For instance: Iron when heated glows: red to yellow to blue. Classical Physics was wrong, Cooks and Blacksmiths knew. )
said in his A Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers:
"... A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. ".
However, the present-day conventional string theory community has done such an effective job of indoctrinating so many young physicists (for example, Harvard Assistant Professor Lubos Motl) that even Planck's statement may be unrealistically optimistic. It seems to me that the conventional string theory community has learned from such groups as the Jesuits that if they get to indoctrinate people during their initial learning process then the doctrine will in most cases be believed for all the life of the indoctrinee.
An even more pessimistic aspect of the situation is that the level of maturity and objectivity of the people of the Physics/astronomy Establishment is indicated by the following quote from a 2 February 2005 review in The New York Times by William Grimes of Simon Singh's new book, "Big Bang":
"... When Martin Ryle, a British radio astronomer, was presented with a photograph disproving his theory that celestial radio waves emanated from stars, not galaxies, he threw himself face down on a couch, in full view of his colleagues at a conference, and burst into tears. Then he got up, dusted himself off and began plotting revenge. ...".
In his blog, David Guarrera, a MIT physics graduate student, asked:
"... Most of the communication between the stringists, the loopists, and and the anti-stringists seems to amount to the latter two calling the former stupid or foolish, and vice versa. Do you guys really think that a large portion of academia is "stupid"? ...". ... What's the matter with all of you? ...".
In a comment on David Guarrera's blog, I said:
"... Theoretical particle physicsists in the USA are far from stupid, but they are human and suffer from the vices of selfishness and greed.
The amount of grants and jobs is pretty much flat or slow-growing, and about 90% of them are "stringists", 10% "loopists", with others being negligbly small.
Since there is not much growth in grants and jobs, the only way the "stringists", "loopists", etc., can grow is to take away from the others. Since the "stringists" have about 90% of the grants and jobs, the "loopists", etc., attack the "stringists". Since the best defense is a good offense, the "stringists" attack the "loopists", etc. (This is the same reasoning that produces USA political campaigns that are very low on substantive discussion but very high on personal attacks.)
Since grants and jobs in the USA are to a great degree politically determined (the SSC was alive as long as Texas Bush I was president, but non-Texas Clinton allowed it to die), the level of debate is pitched to bureaucrats and politicians, who don't understand physics, but are influenced by PR voices saying "the other guys are just stupid crackpots". That is why departments and laboratories have Public Relations groups who issue press releases and dumb things down and sensationalize in order to influence the bureaucrats and politicians, leading to things like big New York Times etc headlines saying "LAB X DISCOVERY MAY SHOW NEW PHYSICS", when, if you wait a few months and read technical journals, you will see (no big NYT article) a small paper saying "reanalysis of LAB X data shows anomaly was statistical error" (or maybe due to a + or - sign error in a calculation). The resulting mess is "What's the matter".
Unfortunately, the leaders of these groups (who are quite aware of what is going on, even though it is unlikely that they will ever admit it) will probably not adopt your very reasonable method of cleaning up the mess: "... a conference where all string theorists, loop gravity, and anti-string people get together. ...", because the "stringists", being currently dominant, do not want to give a forum to the less powerful "loopists", etc., because any such forum might show that the "loopists", etc., might have some valid approaches, and funding such approaches would (due to flat funding) mostly come out of the pockets of the "stringists".
Many years ago I thought that "... the beauty of physics ...[was that it was objective search for]... a right answer. ...", but over the years I have sadly come to believe that my summary above is really true in the USA, and that in the ruthlessly capitalist USA money is more important than truth.
That does not mean that there are not a few individuals (like Peter Woit) who see things realistically and would like to change things. Unfortunately, he is only one professor, and you would have to be a math grad student at Columbia to study under him ... One professor who was very independent and fiercely honest at MIT was Irving Segal, but unfortunately he died a few years ago. If you ask around about him, you will find out about someone whom I admire in math and physics.
If my summary is correct, which I unhappily think it is, then there is the career alternative of doing stuff like financial derivatives etc. In the present dollar-dominated world, there is a lot of money to be made there.
As to whether the world's financial system will remain that way for more than a few more years, or whether somebody else like China will institute a new and different system in which Wall Street plays a relatively minor role, time will tell. ...".
In two subsequent comments, String Theorist Lubos Motl said:
"... you don't appreciate the serious aspects of the situation. All of us can agree that string theory may or may not be a theory of the Universe around us. We can even agree that there is some probability that even loop quantum gravity may be "correct" in some sense, although I can't imagine what it could mean. ...
The society just can't afford to fund too many crackpots and the whole institutes of crackpots - the society simply does not generate an infinite amount of resources. It's always important to try to decide reasonably what kind of research should be supported - it cannot be *any* idea.
...[to]... propose something like - let's divide the resources etc., give 1/10 (or even 1/2?) to loop quantum gravity, and make sure that they won't lose it. I think this is completely unacceptable.
The probability that LQG is correct is infinitesimal, its picture has been ruled out more or less ...
I strongly think that they're not doing the right physics and
I will oppose statements that they are very smart simply because these statements are not true. ...
If a string theorist is drunk, of course that he can say that there are great ideas in loop quantum gravity. But physics is usually not done when you're drunk: physics is usually made by somber people, and once they're somber, they just know that LQG is crappy. If one is somber, he sees these people propose ideas that simply ARE silly. ...
... you overestimate the battles on the internet. If you saw our contacts in real life, you would see that we're friendly towards each other. Lee is a nice guy. ..."
I then commented
"... Many of the points in my earlier comment in this blog thread are clearly illustrated by the comments of Lubos Motl, such as:
"... I think this is completely unacceptable ...[to]... divide the resources etc., [to] give 1/10 ... to loop quantum gravity ... The probability that LQG is correct is infinitesimal, its picture has been ruled out more or less ... I will oppose statements that they are very smart ...".
Lubos is a protege of Ed Witten, the godfather of string theory, and Lubos's present position in the string mafia includes acting as internet enforcer: that is, not only does Lubos advocate and publicize string theory on usenet groups, blogs, etc., but he also attacks and tries to dismiss all alternative points of view.
Lubos is no more likely to openly discuss with an open mind an alternative to conventional string theory than is Rush Limbaugh likely to discuss openly and fairly a criticism of President Bush.
Note that, after his first comment in which Lubos says that the LQG "picture has been ruled out", and that giving resources to LQG is "completely unacceptable", and that advocates of LQG are not "very smart", he has the gall to say in a subsequent comment, about LQG advocate Lee Smolin "... we're friendly towards each other. Lee is a nice guy. ...".
With friends like Lubos, Lee doesn't need any enemies. ...".
In his blog, Peter Woit, math professor at Columbia, said, about a Boston Universtiy student newspaper article:
"... Glashow ... makes the analogy between Einstein's failed unification efforts and string theory ... Glashow said, "but now, we have the string theorists, thousands of them, that also dream of explaining all the features of nature. They just celebrated the 20th anniversary of superstring theory. So when one person spends 30 years, it's a waste, but when thousands waste 20 years in modern day, they celebrate with champagne. I find that curious." ...
... Cumrun Vafa of Harvard ... managed to marginalize Glashow, get more string theorists hired, and consolidate power around them. ... He completely ignores the argument that string theory has not predicted anything and thus is not science, calling people who make this argument "childish". His arrogant attitude towards those who don't believe what he does is pretty breath-taking, matched only by that of his younger colleague Lubos. ... If you're a theorist who might someday have to deal with him as someone evaluating your grant proposal, deciding whether to hire your student, etc., do you think you might think twice before making a "childish" ... public comment about what is going on in string theory these days? ...".
In a comment, Lubos Motl said:
"... Theoretical high-energy physics in 2005 without string theory is like quantum mechanics without Hilbert spaces. ... Cumrun is ... right, of course, that the question for today, 2005, is not "Whether we should study string theory at all?" ... The question is ... "What is the right next important step that will be done in string theory?" ...".
In a subsequent comment, Fabio said:
"... Vafa's fanatasism has not been softened by near total domination of the field ... There must be something about having near absolute power but knowing that it's built upon such flimsy foundations which causes one to obsessively squash dissent. ...".
In a subsequent comment, Chris W. quotes a paper by Beatriz Gato-Rivera at physics/0308078 that says:
"... If there exist thousands, or millions, of parallel universes separated from ours through extra-dimensions ... (presumably half of these would be of matter and the other half of anti-matter), and many of the corresponding advanced civilizations would master the techniques to travel or 'jump' through (at least some of) the extra dimensions. This opens up enormous possibilities regarding the expansion of advanced civilizations simultaneously through several parallel universes ... resulting in multidimensional empires.... Regarding anti-matter universes, the intelligent anti-observers would not send colonizers ... although they could send unwanted anti-prisoners, their arrival being known as gamma-ray bursts. .... At present we are still in a very premature phase in the study of brane worlds and we do not know whether these ideas are in fact realistic. Cumrun Vafa thinks that the fact that we do not see aliens around could be the first proof of the existence of brane worlds: all advanced aliens would have emigrated to better parallel universes ...[(]... C. Vafa, private communication. ...[)]...".
It is perhaps ironic that the paper at physics/0308078 quoting String Theory Mafia leader Cumrun Vafa is dedicated "... To the memory of Giordano Bruno ...", and says:
"... Innumerable suns exist; innumerable earths revolve around these suns in a manner similar to the way the seven planets revolve around our sun. Living beings inhabit these worlds. - Giordano Bruno, 1584 ... Giordano Bruno, in the 16th century ... claimed that the Sun was only one star among the many thousands, and therefore, like the Sun, many other stars would also have planets around and living beings inhabitating them ... he lived at the time when more than 99% of the intellectuals believed that the Earth was the center of the Universe, and a few others, like Copernico and Galileo, believed that it was the Sun, instead, the center of the Universe, the stars being some bright heavenly bodies of unknown nature ... For these and other ideas Giordano Bruno was imprisoned eight years and finally burned at the stake in Rome, in piazza Campo di Fiori, the 17th February 1600. The catholic church, which some years ago apologized for the treatment given to Galileo, has never apologized, however, for the treatment received by Giordano Bruno ...".
I wonder when, if ever, Cumrun Vafa might apologize for what Peter Woit calls his "... arrogant attitude towards those who don't believe what he does ...".
In his blog, Peter Woit said, about a paper entitled "Gravity and Strings", hep-ph/0501080, by Steven Giddings:
"... string theory ... has given up any claims to being a legitimate science and has taken on the characteristics of a cult. ... I just can't believe the way essentially the entire particle theory establishment, including many people I have the highest respect for, continue to allow this situation to go on without public comment. ... Postdocs and untenured people can't take on the fight against this garbage unless they want to commit career suicide. It's up to the tenured people. Where are they? ...".
In a comment on Peter Woit's blog, I said:
"... There have been notable physicists such as Richard Feynman, who said in Davies and Brown, Superstrings, Cambridge 1988, pp. 194-195): "... I do feel strongly that this is nonsense! ... I think all this superstring stuff is crazy and is in the wrong direction. ... I don't like it that they're not calculating anything. ... why are the masses of the various particles such as quarks what they are? All these numbers ... have no explanations in these string theories - absolutely none! ... " and Sheldon Glashow, who said at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/view-glashow.html "... superstring theory ... is, so far as I can see, totally divorced from experiment or observation. ... string theorists ... will say, "We predicted the existence of gravity." Well, I knew a lot about gravity before there were any string theorists, so I don't take that as a prediction. ... there ain't no experiment that could be done nor is there any observation that could be made that would say, "You guys are wrong." The theory is safe, permanently safe. I ask you, is that a theory of physics or a philosophy? ...".
They have declared that the String Emperor has No Clothes, but they seem to be dismissed by the current physics establishment as being dead or senile reactionaries, to be pitied for their inability to perceive the beauty of String Theory.
I am reminded of Kipling's Gods of the Copybook Headings which says in part"... we worshiped the Gods of the Market Who promised ... that Wishes were Horses ...[and]... that a Pig had Wings. ... But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy ... Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tounged wizards withdrew, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: 'If you don't work you die.' ... And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to belive it was true That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four ...".
So it seems to me that the smooth-tongued String Theory Wizards have historical precedent and will eventually withdraw, but I might not live to see that day.
Lest anyone think that I am opposed to any form of string theory, I will refer to my paper at CERN CDS EXT-2004-031 which is also available from my web pages at http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/E6StringBraneStdModelAR.pdf It is an outline of a construction based on the E6 Lie algebra and an interpretation of strings as world-lines (as opposed to little stringy subparticles), which construction gives concrete structures consistent with the Standard Model. Maybe my construction is valid and realistic, and maybe it has faults that may or may not be remediable, but it is interesting to me that the String Theory establishment seems to have very little interest in serious exploration of such a model that, although somewhat complicated, actually might be a way to connect String Theory with the Standard Model. ...".
In another comment on Peter Woit's blog, Aaron Bergman said:
"... If, all of a sudden, this starts to affect hiring patterns, then maybe that's a big deal, but I haven't seen anything like that. ...".
My comment in reply said:
"... Since the current String Theory movement started out about 20 years ago, it has grown so that for years the hiring/funding for theoretical particle physics has been about 90% String Theory and 10% Loop Quantum Gravity with other approaches being miniscule. Since String Theory already has 90% of the pie, of course you "... haven't seen anything like ... all of a sudden ...[effects on]... hiring patterns ..." during the recent past. You would have to look at the early part of the last 20 years to see when "anything like that" took place.
As of now, a point related to Peter's post is that String Theory may be choking out alternative approaches and that such elimination of alternatives may be tolerable if the dominant approach (String Theory) actually does produce realistic models, but if the dominant approach (String Theory) is sterile, then the field (theoretical particle physics) stagnates.
Perhaps String Theorist should admit that they have had their chance. Two decades of the smartest people on earth working on an approach with no realistic results indicates to me that the approach is unsound, otherwise all those smart people would have already announced realistic results.
It is time to let 1000 flowers bloom and try lots of alternative approaches with equal hiring/funding and see which approach works best. ...".
My Physics Model Flowers are motivated by, and quantitatively consistent with, experimental observations. What about Conventional String Theory ?
Here is my short version of the history of the acceptance of the Standard Model by physics community:
During the 30 years since the physics community accepted the Standard Model, it has been experimentally tested in great detail, passing all such tests. The data generated by such experiments include not only the identification of the particles and forces, but also their relative masses and strengths.
I started with the structure and data of the Standard Model plus a MacDowell-Mansouri formulation of Gravity, and proceededto construct my D4-D5-E6-E7-E8 VoDou Physics Model noticing that:
My approach is fiundamentally "bottom-up" in that it begins with noticing some unusual symmetries among the known characteristics of particles and fields, but it leads to a unique real generalized hyperfinite Type II1 von Neumann algebra factor that might be called a Unique Theory of Physics at sub-Planck energy levels.
On the other hand, conventional String Theory is an attempt to construct a "top-down" physics model. However, even with high funding levels and 20 years of work by many very smart people, it has not been extended "down" in any unique way that explains the voluminous data available from Standard Model experiments. With no unique connection with experimental data, conventional String Theory seems to be primarily faith-based, on the faith that a theory of vibrating strings as "the fundamental entities" must be the One True Theory of Everything (the initial physical motivation for constructing strings, that is, seeing them as models for quark confinement, having been thrown away).
In other words, conventional "top-down" string theory has deliberately thrown away the only physical motivation that it ever had, and its practitioners severely disparage interpretations of strings as anything other than The Fundamental Entities (for instance, my interpretation of strings as world-lines is something that conventional String Theorists dismiss and ignor, even though it is consistent with my VoDou Physics Model and therefore with the huge mass of Standard Model experimental data.
Something maybe even more harmful than the arrogant ignorance of the String Theory Establishment is the possible deterioration of
Jack Sarfatti and I have physics models that indicate possible ways to control and use the Dark Energy that WMAP has shown to be the dominant ingredient in our universe. Our models have contact with experimental observations, including the anomalous acceleration of Pioneer spacecraft beyond the orbit of Uranus.
I am puzzled why people in the USA Black Projects community have not realized the possibilities of ideas like Jack's and mine (especially if they are looking at Ken Shoulders's EVOs,which are in my opinion most naturally explained in terms of dark energy phenomena).
Has the USA Black Projects community so degenerated that it can think of nothing more imaginative than nuclear spacecraft, which are useful and should be deployed, but are really based on 50 year old ideas and (if ideas like Jack's and mine pan out) will be small potatoes easily defeated by an adversary using ideas similar to Jack's and mine ?
Jack, commenting on the apparent absence of USA Black Projects on such Dark Energy ideas, said: "... The discovery of dark energy 1998-2003 has completely changed the picture. None of the people you talk to [in the USA Black Projects community] know anything really deep about that. ...".
I think that Jack put his finger on a fundamental problem. Compare the Manhattan project under Groves as (in my opinion benevolent and necessary) dictator. Back in the late 1930s and early 1940s the person most analogous to Jack and me today was Lise Meitner. Only she realized that the data from the Berlin group meant that uranium could produce sustained nuclear chain reactions, just as Jack and I now realize that dark energy can be useful. However, there the situations diverge. Here are some very significant differences:
Although Jack and I seem to be in a position similar to that of Meitner, and President Bush might act in a way similar to Roosevelt, factors i, ii, and iii explain why the USA black community seems to be stumbling around lost in the dark, unable to do anything beyond having some committees or other meet and send memos to each other.
When I read messges saying things like "... scientists and officials from the CIA, America's armed forces and the departments of energy and commerce convene a special meeting ..." to study new ideas, I realize that some committee or other is looking into such stuff, I think G-d help the USA, because the only way to do stuff like that right is to have somebody (ONE person, NOT a committee) in charge (like Rickover with Nuclear Navy and Groves with Manhattan).
Unless the present situation is corrected soon, it seems to me that whichever of Japan/China/Russia wins the race for dark energy will rule Earth for the forseeable future, and the USA will become just another also-ran backwater.
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