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April 11, 2005


We had the great pleasure of having Lenny Susskind visiting last week. He gave a regular seminar on whether one might be able to see the imprint of Coleman-de Luccia tunnelling (from some false vacuum into the initial state of the inflaton) in the CMBR. I think the upshot was, “not too likely.” At best, it is yet another explanation for the dearth of power in low (l=2,3l=2,3) multipoles seen by WMAP.

Thursday, he gave a brown bag talk on his paper about wormholes. It was a rather illuminating discussion, in which various flaws in his argument were revealed. The next day, he put out a rebuttal paper. Which was kinda amusing, though I liked Aaron Bergman’s more quantitative argument better.

Posted by distler at April 11, 2005 12:51 AM

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Re: Wormholes

Good job, Jacques. After Stephon’s paper that’s the second one in a few weeks you have ripped apart. Well, you clearly have the knowledge and strong arguments on your side.


Posted by: Michael on April 11, 2005 11:20 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Jacques the Ripper?


Neither Stephon, nor Lenny, have any complaints. (I’ve spoken with both of them.) Pointing out flaws in a paper isn’t “ripping [it] apart.” It’s part of Science. In Lenny’s case, he published a critique of his own previous paper. Since it’s so short, I haven’t even bothered to summarize the argument.

What’s your complaint?

If you want to see me in “attack mode,” see the the previous post, on Intelligent Design. Sorry, but I don’t do that with serious scientists, like Stephon and Lenny.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on April 11, 2005 11:37 AM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this


To be really clear about this (since I think the point is an important one), I am striving, here at Musings, for a high quality and informative discussion of physics. The only way to maintain that is to uphold a level of civility and mutual respect.

You won’t find, here, the polemics, straw-man arguments, and personal attacks that can be found at some other physics weblogs.

I work hard at that. I hope my commenters will, too.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on April 11, 2005 12:50 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: Wormholes

Hey Jacques,

did I complain?

Concerning Stephon’s paper, I thought your argument was as strong and clear as it gets. Quality blogging.

And Lenny, rebutted his own paper after talking to you. (At least, you are #1 in the acknowledgements.)

Don’t worry, physics does not care about politeness. And even if it did, I don’t know that you weren’t nice to everyone.


Posted by: Michael on April 11, 2005 9:52 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Wormholes

PS: Your attack on Lubos is entirely unnecessary. You don’t like his blog: Don’t read it. I find it to be one of the best sites online.

Posted by: Michael on April 11, 2005 9:54 PM | Permalink | Reply to this


Interesting that you should have decided, on the basis of my description that it was Luboš’s blog that I was talking about.

I never said whose blog I was referring to.

I will leave it as a puzzle for you “Kremlinologists” to figure out

  1. Whether I was talking about a single blog or more than one.
  2. Whether Luboš’s blog was (among the) one(s) referred to.

In any case, regardless of the policies, or lack thereof, of any other Physics-blogs, either existing or imagined, I have my policies, and I intend to stick to them.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on April 11, 2005 10:16 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: Wormholes

Come on, Jacques, who are you kidding?

Yes, you don’t like Peter’s blog too much either, but it’s Lubos’ honest and unorthodox ways you have problems with.

I have to say that you come across as two orders of magnitude smarter when you talk about physics, as opposed to what we are talking about right now. Please don’t be insulted by my saying this.

Anyway, my original intention was to compliment your recent blogs, which were quality reading.


Posted by: Michael on April 11, 2005 10:34 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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