On Aug 3, 2004, at 8:33 AM, david mosier wrote:
He questions whether or not Hawkin should have
conceded the bet. I'll wait for you to tell us how
accurate/relevant the article is.
I agree with some of Ginsparg's remarks as was clear from my reports directly from GR 17 last week. I do not agree of course with Ginsparg's blacklisting of dissident physicists on the Cornell archive who critique the M-string theory and loop quantum gravity "fashions" on empirical, conceptual, and mathematical grounds. Ginsparg is, in effect, creating a new kind of Lysenkoism. Like in Orwell's 1984, Ginsparg is destroying academic freedom whilst pretending to defend it. I suppose this is the trend of post-modern times in the aftermath of "political correctness", that in modern Academia translates to claques of back-scratching theoreticians taking over key parts of cyberspace. The Cornell archive is the "CNN" of physics on the web. Control of it will shape the course of the history of physics. I discuss this in my new book "Super Cosmos." As Roger Penrose pointed out at GR 17 and elsewhere, the extra space dimensions of M theory are unstable! When I asked John Baez, in front of the entire GR 17 assembly, if he, or Ashtekar could provide a clean formal limiting argument from spin foams to Einstein's field equations, he said no he could not do so. Note that he invoked those field equations at beginning of his talk to make an argument that he could derive black hole entropy. Baez's talk was strangely inconsistent and it appears that loop quantum gravity is a covering theory of classical Einstein gravity that fails to cover! Similarly for M theory that fails to cleanly limit to either standard lepto-quark/gauge force quantum field theory with 19 epicycles or to Einstein's field equations for GR.
Now as to the overblown Hawking-Susskind et-al debate of the last 20 + years:
On Paul Ginsparg's Op Ed in NY Times on Hawking's Biggest Blunder (like Einstein's premature giving up on the Cosmological Constant).
1. Lenny Susskind & Co have been worshiping the Sacred Cow of micro-quantum unitarity too long. It is inappropriate to the problem of cosmology. It is an over-extrapolation of scattering S-matrix theory for beams on targets to the universe and it presupposes the Born probability structure.
2. Macro-quantum theory has completely different rules from micro-quantum theory. Unitarity is out. Probability is out. Nonlocality is out (or hidden). BTW there is a deep connection of macro-quantum theory to Penrose's twistors - more on that anon. Order parameter is really a complex scalar function in 4 complex variables. The imaginary part of space-time is from the internal relative coordinates of the virtual electron-positron pair vacuum condensate. Extra space dimensions of M theory are out - they are unstable according to Penrose.
Unitarity is out. Conservation of probability of channels is out - it precludes the "More is different" ODLRO "condensed soft matter" obvious growth of complexity of organization from the initial smoothness of the universe to the emergence of stars, planets, and intelligent organisms. No one has shown how unitarity preserves information as meaning and what good is mangled information like shuffling the words randomly in the score of Beethoven's Ninth? Also who wants to wait an eternity for bona-fide quantum gravity observables? - utter nonsense! This whole debate between Susskind and Hawking et-al seems amazingly silly and Laputan to my mind. Over-extrapolation of micro-quantum theory beyond its proper domain of validity - quite obviously the Emperor has no clothes here.
Hawking was right the first time. More on this anon. Penrose calls this abuse of micro-quantum theory in cosmology "Faith" in his "Fashion, Faith and Fantasy."
What really happens is this. We have a pre-inflationary unstable false vacuum described by massless globally flat quantum electrodynamics (possibly with SU(2) & SU(3) but no electro-weak Higgs mechanism, all m = 0). The symmetry group is the 15 parameter conformal group closely related to Penrose's twistors. Everything is 3+1 no extra space dimensions. We are not afraid of tachyons. The inflationary phase transition is a Bose-Einstein condensation of the charged massless virtual electron-positron pairs and then we get to standard inflationary cosmology with a smooth low entropy initial condition for the arrow of time from the collapse of phase space volume in the vacuum phase transition. The Higgs mechanism emerges naturally from the partial vacuum coherence of the more stable curved space-time vacuum. Einstein's smooth GR emerges naturally from the ODLRO, a problem John Baez cannot solve. The dark energy and the dark matter also emerge naturally and there is an obvious reason why the cosmological constant is small but not exactly zero. This is a problem Ed Witten cannot solve. There is no such thing as top-down quantum gravity. Einstein gravity is bottom-up emergent from globally flat conformal field theory (i.e., massless twistors). Quantizing gravity is like quantizing elasticity. This is the Sakharov/Anderson idea of "More is different" from soft condensed matter physics. Curvature comes from Berry phase singularities in the partial vacuum coherence field. When you lose all vacuum coherence there is no quantum foam, all you have is conformal field theory. There will, of course, be some spin-2 micro-quantum zero point fluctuations on the background-independent dynamical smooth macro-quantum ODLRO curved space-time background on an equal relational footing with the U(1)xSU(2)xSU(3)/lepto-quark fields. All of The King's Men are Naked Emperors. :-)