Scenes:Storm In A Teacup
Originally Posted by Hercules Rockefeller
(Personal USC home page)
(Faculty USC home page)
I met Johnson at a talk he gave on string theory and had him autograph my copy of his book D-Branes
(Cambridge Monographs on Mathematical Physics; Cambridge University Press, 2003). When I handed him the book he expressed some surprise that anyone actually bought it. It's a good book, I think, but you really have to be into that mathematical physics thing or it looks like a foreign language. I am not really surprised that Johnson would come out on top of such a debate, as I think I could probably out debate either Woit or Smolin on string theory and I know far less than any of them do about it on a technical level. But I understand the history and I think I understand the real weakness of the positions that Woit & Smolin take, and that weakness is philosophical more than technical, both of them being in the "give up and quit" camp for insufficient reasons.