New anti-crackpot on the block

Just when I thought I’d managed to chase away the anti-crackpots by ridiculing them with the anti-crackpot index, a new one pops up! JBL is a maths graduate working on combinatorics.  His unusual tactic for criticizing viXra submissions is to quote their abstract with a link and no further comment. Most anti-crackpots at least manage some rhetoric but for JBL just saying nothing seems to be enough. It has to be said that this level of criticism makes it hard to respond with any kind of defense. It was not until yesterday when he started to explain his actions that he was identified as yet another anti-crackpot.

JBL admits that he does not understand much physics so he just looks at a few of the viXra articles, yet he claims to have shown that viXra is a failure. This is despite the fact that viXra has very modest aims to allow anyone to freely publish their work. I like to think that my series of article on “crackpots” who were right shows why this is needed. With over 1800 articles in under two years it can hardly be said to have failed. Of course not everything on viXra is the highest quality of research, but there is a lot here that is of value to science and the goal is to ensure that nothing that might be of value will be lost. The professional scientific community as a whole hates censorship and suppression, until they get to the work of amateur scientists. JBL is typical of a sector of the academic community who thinks that the work of outsiders without access to an endorser for should not be allowed to publish their work in any form. Happily there are others who support the role of viXra and other organisations such as FQXi where the work of independent scientists is allowed to feature along side that of professional researchers. By the way, six of the 35 authors who made the final round of the latest FQXi essay contest have used viXra to archive examples of their work in the past.

JBL’s poor level of scrutiny is indicated by his odd belief that viXra:0812.0004 was the first publication on viXra. He also claims in another post that the amount of citations used by authors on viXra is next to zero. Anybody who looks through a random sample will quickly find that only a small minority lack any references and most have a very reasonable number. It seems that he thinks he can just spout any rubbish without risk of anyone checking it.

Indeed, given his rather poor level of debate you might wonder why I even bother to point him out. The answer is that sadly some people will read what he says and believe it without checking any further. It also has to be mentioned that despite his serious accusations on his blog which at some points cross the line between nonsense and slander, he has not yet allowed my responses to appear there. I will just have to hope that people who read them will also find this. He hopes that viXra will die but I am happy to report that it is thriving and it is the anti-crackpot blogs like his that are fading away.

Update: JBL has since appologised for his postings by email and removed them from the blog.

56 Responses to New anti-crackpot on the block

  1. Ulla says:

    I am sure that in the turbulence after an eventual failure of LHC to find Susy (BTW it started once as a trial to show Susy was wrong, I read somewhere) then the viXra archive will be most valueable. It is the brainstorm:)

  2. Kea says:

    No doubt he is on the road to success, through the emulation of the rhetoric of his Superiors on The Ladder of The Mighty. Who is that falls, again?

  3. Kea says:

    Lol, I just saw his closing paragraph.

    Websites like viXra are founded on the premise that the lack of a platform from which cranks can speak is the problem, when in fact a far more compelling explanation for why crank ideas die is the failure of their proponents to listen to and to learn from others.

    Ah hah, hah! What was it I said before about the irony meter exploding?

    • Ulla says:

      That was in reality credity for viXra, and he blaimed the bad listeners, but I suppose he meant something else:)

  4. JBL says:

    Well, I guess the days of my weak pseudonymity are over :). I’m curious how I came to your attention — my blog has received a total of about 20 views in its short life. Anyhow, I don’t think you should worry yourself too much about the opinions of some random person on the internet — certainly, there are many of us, and most of us are mistaken about many things. Would you prefer that I not continue to post abstracts from viXra? (I don’t plan to do any commentary beyond the post you’ve linked, though I may edit it in the future.)

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      I have to watch out for people maligning viXra so I monitor it as a keyword on Google blog search via RSS. You may think that your opinion does not matter but people read stuff like this and believe it without checking the details. It just needs to fit their preconceived ideas and they will look no further. The result is groupthink leading to people just assuming anything on viXra is automatically wrong just because people have said so. I try to squash that kind of thing before it gets started.

      We do welcome links to viXra sunmissions and any comments , including negative ones, so long as they stick to valid criticism. Nobody likes anti-crackpot style rhetoric and sarcasm or argumentum ad hominem. If commentators can avoid anything of that sort they will be appreciated.

      • JBL says:

        Hi Philip,

        Thanks for your response, and for respecting my request. I think *in my particular case* that the view that my blog-postings influence anyone is mistaken, since before you linked to me there were literally 23 total views, but I understand why you would be vigilant in protecting the reputation of your creation. Obviously, this is a moot point now in any case.

        By the way, one totally unimportant correction — you refer to me as a first year graduate student, but this is not correct. Did I leave a false description of myself somewhere that I should correct?

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        I thought I saw somewhere that you were first year, but I can’t trace it. Probably my mistake, we all make ’em. Sorry for that 🙂

  5. JBL says:

    By the way, Kea, I like to think that I come to my opinions via my own rational mind, just as most people do. In particular, though I think many of the people who post to viXra (and a great many other people who I know only as pixels on a screen) are some combination of wrong and crazy, I think they come to their views honestly; it seems to me that this would be a reasonable assumption to make about me, as well.

  6. Kea says:

    Sorry, dude, but just because everyone has their delusions of rationality does not excuse any particular instance of mind blowing stupidity.

  7. JBL says:

    Hi Kea, you’re welcome to think of me or my post as stupid — I don’t make any claim to it being more than my random thoughts. But “being stupid” is rather different than “emulati[ng] the rhetoric of [my] Superiors on The Ladder of The Mighty.” Anyhow, I don’t have any particular pretensions to being more than a random person seeking to enjoy his life, and I hope I haven’t interfered with anyone else’s enjoyment of their own lives.

  8. JBL says:

    Sorry to continue posting quite this much. I enjoyed the anti-crackpot index (and actually am not overly fond of the crackpot index); is point 8 really common? (If so, I would consider that a great shame.) How many points do you score me as? (Clearly I’ve committed 16 repeatedly, and my reliance on this particular mode of non-discourse means I don’t engage in most of the others on your list; I see arguments that I’ve committed 14 and 27, though obviously my pseudonym didn’t take you long to decode, but that seems like it to me.)

  9. Kea says:

    Dude, if you slander so many people, after so little research into the subject of your post, you should expect to be severely chastised. If you want to call yourself a mathematician, then when somebody calls you out on your stupidity, as Phil has done here, you should Listen, as you yourself have advocated, and consider doing some further research into the subject matter. If, on reflection, you find that you may have been somewhat mistaken about the true state of affairs, you might then consider either (i) writing an online apology to all concerned or (ii) explaining the true state of affairs in another blog post.

  10. JBL says:

    Hi Kea, your comments aren’t responses to mine, so I’m not going to engage any more.

    Philip (I just realized I’ve been using an abbreviation of your name; I hope I haven’t further offended), I would still be happy to hear your responses.

  11. Kea says:

    Yeah, dude, my comments were in fact responses to yours. Perhaps you think I don’t know about the little blue button? Anyway, there is no need for you to say anymore, if that is what you prefer.

  12. some says:

    i assume it’s ok to quote and comment articles, and link them too.

  13. Luboš Motl says:

    I just quickly read “On Cranks” by JBL, and I agree with it. Be sure that it’s not because I co-authored a paper with his advisor. 😉

    The only thing I disagree with is his claims that the cranks platforms are guaranteed to die and fail. They will thrive, exactly because cranks far outnumber people who have any idea about the subject.

    While this blog is one of the blogs I appreciate, it’s very obvious that an overwhelming majority of the commenters – and arguably also readers – are unquestionable crackpots. Greetings to Kea, Ulla, and others.

    Do you really fail to see it, Phil? Do you really fail to admit that the reasons why such Ullas and Keas can contribute at most 0 to the humanity is not because of the evil repression against them and censorship of their ideas? Is that really politically incorrect for you to say that they’re poultry that is unable to think, calculate, read, and listen to others?

    • Ulla says:

      Thanks, Lubos.

      It is almost an honour to get that attention from you. But I think I do listen very well, also now and then I visit your lumpy and aggressive blog, and SOMETIMES, but very seldom, there are anything worth reading. Most of it is badly deformed. But you seem to have many poultry readers, to use your word. Gratulations.

      As a non-physicist I have to listen and think, and I do not bother about your ‘evil repression’ when I know it is just nonsense and big words. Not much more than a crank on my skin. If there would be any essence I would listen.

      I do hope I can contribute ‘to the humanity’ a little, by linking biology and physics. Matti has showed me the way, and I think few physicist know more biology than him. I am convinced the new physics contain much biology. Especially alternative biology. I have not yet contributed to viXra, but I think I will in future.

      According my comments here it is Phil determining, and on your blog you usually delete them when I am not of the same opinion as you. You should think of listening a bit more, Lubos.

    • enoy1 says:

      I am a man with higher education within economic, and I am also interested in physics. Among all, I have both read your blog and vixra’s blog and many of vixra’s articles. My assessment of your blog (Lubos Motl’s blog) is that it is appealing to many both because you are extremely competent in the field of physics, and because you ridicule people who in your opinion is wrong about something that interests you. But it looks like you’re not able to go beyond what you already have learned in school and from your peers. And that is sad. You said in your post here that you agree with the criticism that JBL has targeted against VIXRA. In light of the fact that you are somewhat stuck in your field and that you like to make fun of others who are wrong, your criticism of vixra reveal that you are both scared and actually a bit “stupid” when it comes to the ability to judge reasonable. You are scared that your reputation amongst your peers will drop if you pursuit something deeper than the mainstream within quantum physics…, because this of course will set your daily bread at stake. And if you should try to go beyond you fear that you both will loose friends, peers, the daily bread, and that you in the worst scenario also will fail to see anything deeper than what you today can see, and that this not only will lead to the above mentioned loss but that it also will bring out the Authorities in your field to ridicule you in public. And that will be the end for you in the field. People that are beeing scared of something that they can watch from a safe place often laughs. That’s why you criticize vixra and laugh of many contributors to vixra. But of course, we all have a dream of finding something new, interesting and important that both can give ourself the joy of new insight and that we also can published and achieve a prize for. And you are not different concerning this. As a matter of fact the world is in real need for such findings. If we shall be able to achive these findings, we must let everyone give it a try. And, now, these facts reveal that your ability to judge reasonable levels an immature child. Children in the childrengarden that is beeing told that something is correct will most often try to do this the correct way. The children who tries to find a new and better way will be bullied by those children who find safety in doing what the parents tell them, until one unexpectedly found a better and more correct way. Then somebody will be jealous and hit the child who found it. When the parents in the garden tells everyone to do it the new way, there will be peace at least for a litle time. When you criticize vixra, you also criticize people for not doing it the way that the “parents” tell them. The parents are your peers. And you are among the children who finds safety in doing it the way your parents are telling you. And you lack the ability to judge reasonable between what the benefits of your parents orders are and what the benefits of your own independent thoughts are. In the end this leads you to a point where you no longer have any ability to see any value of anything that others outside the parents control is doing.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      Lubos, I would be disappointed if you did not make such a comment 🙂

      There are of course many papers in viXra that I would judge to be plainly wrong, but I have explained my position on that many times and it is not my place as viXra admin to discourage people. In any case Kea’s work in viXra is not an example of that. Her work on the Kiode matrix and such is very interesting. It may turn out to be a series of numerical coincidences but we can’t be sure.

      Ulla has not published in viXra yet, but my impression is that she is not pretending to know more than she does. She just likes to have a go at thinking for herself and writing about it. I don’t see the harm in that.

      In any case there are even a few areas in physics where we strongly disagree (e.g. the laws of thermodynamics in cosmology). Very few physicists agree on everything, In fact these areas of disagreement can be more interesting than the places we do agree. That is why I would never want to stop anybody saying something just because I think it is wrong. I realize that the level and quantity and disagreement varies enormously, but I don’t feel the need to draw a line.

      • Luboš Motl says:

        Dear Philip, maybe you can’t be sure whether the numerology can make any sense in science. But smarter people than you *can* be sure. What I am bothered by is that you haven’t even considered the possibility that by giving an amplifier to the deluded pseudoscientists, you’re actually hurting the actual scientists because you’re doing your best to obscure the difference between science and pseudoscience. You know, there are people – some of them at the stage of being students, like JBL – who see that complete hacks are being given pretty much “analogous” room to the bright folks such as JBL who know much more and who have also studied it for many years. Your activity’s very goal is to de facto claim that the real truth, real expertise, real results, and real intelligence don’t matter. Any kea or ulla can spit her garbage and find some advocates who will say that it’s perhaps on par with Einstein’s discoveries – you can’t say. Except that it’s not. I can say it. You’re doing pretty much disservice to science, to the smart people who live on Earth today, and to the future of humanity.

      • enoy1 says:

        Lubos ! Let us wait for what LHC can find. If no Higgs is found then LHC at the same time found the real cranks – what you Lubos are calling the “actual scientists”.

      • Lawrence B. Crowell says:

        I must confess I have a hard time seeing vixra as some force that is so devistating to the future of humanity. It is not too hard for me to think of some far more dangerous things going on. Beside, why take humanity that seriously anyway? When you think about it, the only thing we accomplish in the long run is to make garbage. Everything we make and do ends up in the landfill. In a million years we doubtless will have gone the way of T-rex, but damned! there will be a lot of stuff we leave behind in future geological layers!

        Don’t take this and other things so seriously!

      • Luboš Motl says:

        My comment wasn’t meant as a request to be overwhelmed by an additional pile of aggressive crackpots – enoy, Lawrence. But one often gets what he doesn’t want. You’re deluded morons. Each of you is irrelevant and I wouldn’t take you seriously but there are so many of you that you have begun to influence lives of people whom I care about.

      • Ulla says:

        If you look at this from my view, what can I then do? I have no other option than reading and thinking for myself, and of course I need feedback, specialized. I do NOT ACCEPT just a statement it is garbage. If you say so you must be able to say WHAT is wrong too. Otherwise I see it just as topriding me, and THAT is ‘evil repressions’.

        Nobody get the physics with the breastmilk. Not even you, Lubos. Students have to learn. In fact the whole life is about learning. Also yours. And I do not write anything before I am pretty much sure of what I say. I have looked at my essay. No comment yet from you. ‘Quite enjoyable’ is the last statement.

        If you go on like this, then you consider Nima Arkani-Hamed a crackpot too, and then YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. The only one that is enough for you is when you look in the mirror? In mythology there was such a guy, and it ended badly.

        I am not afraid of you, and Kea think maybe it is of no use discussing. Why? There are no ears listening.

      • Lawrence B. Crowell says:

        I would say that with respect to crankiness Motl’s take on climate science and related matters puts him in crank territory. I am not able to argue the fine details of that science, but I am sufficiently in contact with the broader scientific community to know that his perspective is a minority report and in league with cranks. So in some sense we have the pot calling the kettle black here.

        As for Kea, who seems to be a big target here of Lubos’ venom, in one sense the work on Koide matrix is interesting as is the related work with braids. However, Kea’s rejection of all physics going back to the 1968 proposal of the Higgs field seems overdrawn. All of this has reference to some topology that might have relevance to physics, such as with Yang-Baxter theory, but it does not preclude all QFT.

      • Ulla says:

        Lubos seems to take this seriously, really. But he just continues the blaiming today on his blog. No listening.

      • Ulla says:

        Exactly what I thought. Deleted. But I did give him a chance. My comment.

        a bit too much, isn’t it?

        Have you thought of HOW those eminent physicists are created in a sensored world? HOW could they become critically thinking? What you suggest is an impossibility. Who would say what is the right solution? You? M-theory seems indeed to be in troubles. Soon only a miracle can save it? It is not my fault.

        I am never trying to be anything else than I am. A biologist, and never have I said either I am so brilliant. I just ask. This is just another example of your ‘evil regressions’.

      • Kea says:

        Lawrence, and your ignorance of modern twistor techniques for QFT, which are used at the LHC, puts your criticism of me in quite a different light. You belong with Lubos in the dustbin of history.

      • Lawrence B. Crowell says:

        I am familiar with the recent twistor conjectures with E_6 or E_{6(6)}. It is not clear that this obliterates SUSY or Higgs. At least Witten, who started much of it, has not indicated so.

        A crank is not somebody who is wrong. A crank is somebody who insists on something, which can be some physical “theory,” or it can be about conspiracies, or political extremism, or religious stuff, where no matter how clear it is this thing is wrong the person never relents. I think more than anything that is the hallmark of a crank.

        The “Reference Frame” Lubos writes is good for some updates on things, which I check up on about once a week. Lubos writes a decent review of papers and the like. The climate change and political posts are pure balderdash and I skip that stuff. Lubos’ stuff on climate change often has conspiratorial ideas, and he seems to uphold the “climate gate” as evidence of scientific misconduct. These allegations have been demonstrated to be wrong, just as the 9/11 conspiracy theory ideas have been found to be wrong. Yet crankiness is found when a person refuses to give up their cherished idea no matter how wrong it is.

        This may be evidence of some anger with the Communist period, where I have known E. Europeans who think the extreme right wing in America is a good change from the far left. At best this is about not falling on one’s face by falling on one’s butt, or maybe falling on one’s face to avoid falling on the butt. The right wing in the US has drifted increasingly into fascist territory of late. The following is interesting:

        where Huckabee, a fundamentalist Christian preacher and GOP Presidential runner 2008 and maybe next year, touts a guy who writes about America’s theocratic roots. Anyone into this stuff is basically a fascist, or what Umberto Eco calls an Ur-fascist.

      • Kea says:

        The Higgs doesn’t disappear because of mathematics (although the re-writing of the Higgs mechanism in emergent geometry suggests it does). It disappears because it is unphysical. Many respectable physicists are of this opinion, so you cannot pooh pooh the opinion on these grounds. Witten is a great mathematical physicist, but not a great phenomenologist. Sometimes, one needs to pay attention to the phenomenology.

  14. i agree with Dr Gibbs at 100%

    the purpose of viXra is to encourage people to investigate new points of view in science….new ideas new potentials…Dr Gibbs says it is preferable to have papers that perhaps may not be 100% correct but still these same papers can perhaps enlight new points of view because perhaps a paper that is only 60% correct can trigger a new development in science

    while submitting papers to viXra since i was a “blacklisted” scientist from arXiv i got the opportunity to read papers on viXra by other authors and many of these are very interesting

    i already mentioned the quest between Einstein and Robert Millikan…this time i bring another scientist

    Louis Victor De Broglie…he was the first to propose the duality of wave-particle….the referees of his work were not sure if he was right or not(suppose one of his referees as an arXiv moderator and De Broglie would be rejected) and they called Einstein to examine the theses

    Einstein approved

  15. Jin He says:

    Dear JBL,

    I believe you are a rational non-crackpot.
    Would you please help me (in fact help the academic society) prove the math proposition:
    The superposition of rational structures is still rational for spiral galaxies.
    Please go to the following for relevant definitions:

    Click to access 1103.0110v1.pdf

    If you prove me right then you may earn a Fields medal.
    Or if you prove me wrong then you are helping the elites to clear out crackpots!

    You can prove your integrity by answering my quest.
    Currently I believe the academic elites have no integrity as the tokyo electric power does not.

  16. Jin He says:

    Dear Luboš Motl,

    I have known you fame for a long time, however unfortunately, it is a negative one!!

    You can correct your fame by answering the following that is the same as above:

    I believe you are a rational non-crackpot.
    Would you please help me (in fact help the academic society) prove the math proposition:
    The superposition of rational structures is still rational for spiral galaxies.
    Please go to the following for relevant definitions:

    Click to access 1103.0110v1.pdf

    If you prove me right then you may earn a Fields medal.
    Or if you prove me wrong then you are helping the elites to clear out crackpots!

    You can prove your integrity by answering my quest.
    Currently I believe the academic elites have no integrity as the tokyo electric power have not.

  17. Bill K says:

    Dear Jin He,

    Don’t ask, I’ll let JBL and Luboš handle it.

  18. quoting Dr Gibbs
    so he just looks at a few of the viXra articles, yet he claims to have shown that viXra is a failure. This is despite the fact that viXra has very modest aims to allow anyone to freely publish their work. I like to think that my series of article on “crackpots” who were right shows why this is needed. With over 1800 articles in under two years it can hardly be said to have failed. Of course not everything on viXra is the highest quality of research, but there is a lot here that is of value to science and the goal is to ensure that nothing that might be of value will be lost. The professional scientific community as a whole hates censorship and suppression, until they get to the work of amateur scientists.—is typical of a sector of the academic community who thinks that the work of outsiders without access to an endorser for should not be allowed to publish their work in any form
    end of quoting
    Louis Victor De Broglie would never won the Nobel Prize in 1978 if arXiv exists in 1929 when he proposed the wave-particle duality
    quoting Dr Gibbs again
    . Happily there are others who support the role of viXra .
    end of quoting
    perhaps a very good new…

    Google yes the mighty powerful Google supports viXra

    anyone can submit a URL to Google in the part of Add a URL to Google

    but exists another Google

    the Academic Google ..a scientist browsing common Google for a topic finds often many pages that are not of scientific interest and he(or she) lost time filtering the pages..Google created a version for scientists where additions of URL’s are not allowed….Google Academic browse scientific sites and points links to the papers .if Google Academics consider the site of scientific value

    i give an example very familiar to me … imagine that the reader of this blog is a researcher working in a solution of the Einstein Field Equations of General Relativity called “Warp Drives” if the reader go to common Google and browse “Warp Drive” the links to scientific works of arXiv and viXra appears mixed with pages related to the science fiction novel “Star Trek” and filtering the scientific pages from sci-fi pages demands lots of time..a very good example why Google created the Google Academic

    Google Academic do not points “Star Trek” pages but the reader of this blog can go to Google Academic and browse for Natario Warp Drive

    arXiv as a scientific site will appear(of course!!!!)

    ….but look to the other scientific site that appears in the query

    yes Dr Gibbs…viXra is a success Google Academic reckognizes viXra

  19. —————————————————
    Louis Victor De Broglie won the Nobel Prize in 1929 not in 1978
    the year of 1978 is associated to a speech he made taken from the page
    The history of science teaches that the greatest advances in the scientific domain have been achieved by bold thinkers who perceived new and fruitful approaches that others failed to notice. If one had taken the ideas of these scientific geniuses who have been the promoters of modern science and submitted them to committees of specialists, there is no doubt that the latter would have viewed them as extravagant and would have discarded them for the very reason of their originality and profundity. As a matter of fact, the battles waged, for example by Fresnel and by Pasteur suffice to prove that some of these pioneers ran into a lack of understanding from the side of eminent scholars which they had to fight with vigor before emerging as the winners. More recently, in the domain of theoretical physics, of which I can speak with knowledge, the magnificent novel conceptions of Lorentz and Planck, and particularly Einstein also clashed with the incomprehension of eminent scientists. The new ideas here triumphed; but, in proportion as the organization of research becomes more rigid, the danger increases that new and fruitful ideas will be unable to develop freely.
    Let us state in a few words the conclusion to be drawn from the foregoing. While, by the very force of circumstances, research and teaching are weighted down by administrative structures and financial concerns and by the heavy armature of strict regulations and planning, it becomes more indispensable than ever to preserve the freedom of scientific research and the freedom of initiative for the original investigators, because these freedoms have always been and will always remain the most fertile sources for the grand progress of science.

    Nobel Laureate Louis de Broglie, April 25, 1978

  20. Virtually all Nobel laureates were initially considered crackpots,

    Science in the 21st century: social, political, and economic issues

    See also the next interview where Murray Gell-Mann emphasizes how he was considered a crackpot by his colleagues: A lot of people thought the quarks were a crank idea

    And before the existence of the Nobel Prize the situation was similar. Issac Newton was considered a crackpot by many mathematicians and physicists of the epoch. Newton’s hesitance to publish his revolutionary work, due to his overwhelming fear of criticism (Newton was mocked several times by the self-proclaimed ‘experts’ of the epoch), is well-known.

    Gell-Mann is aware of the difficulties surrounding scientific discoveries. He says:

    Most challenges to scientific orthodoxy are wrong,” he emphasizes. “A lot of them are crank. But it happens from time to time that a challenge to scientific orthodoxy is actually right. And the people who make that challenge face a terrible situation.

    Of course, many experts resist the idea.

    “For some reason, in this country and in Western Europe, most tenured professors of historical and comparative linguistics hate the idea of distant relationships among human languages, or at least the idea that those can be demonstrated,” Gell-Mann says. “They put a tremendous burden of proof on anyone who wants to say that languages are related in this way, by this common descent.” And so once again Gell-Mann faces what he calls the “negative principles of the establishment.”

    This is the true reason for the existence of sites as Vixra. Not because the 90% of the works archived are right and will become part of 21st century science, but because some few could be the next scientific revolution, and because in the current academic status (guided by popularity rather than by scientific soundness) those revolutions would be rejected by the self-proclaimed ‘experts’ (aka the establishment). Vixra is a help for what Gell-Mann considers a terrible situation

  21. ervin goldfain says:

    Kea says on the Higgs:

    “It disappears because it is unphysical”

    There are indeed well documented pros and cons on the Higgs mechanism and many believe that a null Higgs signal at LHC will trigger a long-awaited paradigm shift in theoretical HEP. Challenges related to the absence of Higgs are also well known (origin of EWSB and the true source of massivation in SM, restoration of unitarity in WW scattering, explanation of parity violation in weak interactions). Higgs-free models addressing these challenges have been already developed, yet virtually nobody is taking them seriously at this time.

    We’ll find out in a couple of years.

  22. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    The absence of the Higgs field would be a bit of a puzzle. I am not that impressed with most non-Higgs models, the principal one the Technicolor scheme. The Higgs field is really just an elementary particle version of the Curie point or condition for superfluidity and other physics. The physics is just the Landau-Ginsburg potential, which BTW gets adapted for string theory.

    It is curious that an alternate form of phase transition has emerged; the quantum critical point. High temperature superconductor phase appears to be related to this in some systems. So if the Higgs field is absent, it might be that this sort of physics is the source of the EW breaking.

    • ervin goldfain says:

      An example of a predictive non-Higgs model is the one where EW breaking amounts to a second order phase transition in the Landau-Ginzburg-Wilson theory. The mass hierarchy for both gauge bosons and fermions, along with Yang-Mills couplings, are reproduced in the most natural way from critical behavior in continuous dimension (epsilon = 4 – D). Massive gauge bosons emerge as condensates at the Wilson-Fisher fixed points of the Renormalization Group flow. No need for any Higgs scalar and no fine-tuning required.

    • Ulla says:

      Well, let us agree on the fact that the right Teacher is Mother Nature and not ‘her humble correspondent’ Lubos, nor M-theory. She will let us know – if she wants to. If no Higgsis found there are always higher energies. But LHC is not the only place he is sought for. Why not look at other candidates too? As atoms. The whole picture is meaning something too. There vixra is important.

      Mother Nature herself is a big Teacher – also in biology, and why not look there? Superconduction is almost certainly one tool she uses for living matter. This Matti has realized long ago, and others with him. Vitiello is a Cern physicist. Is he a crackpot too?

      And why me, Lubos? The most unimportant person of all?

    • Lawrence B. Crowell says:

      The Landau-Ginzburg-Wilson theory predicts that states with distinct broken symmetries are separated either by a first-order transition. This is related to the theory of Landau points. This theory is usually applied to discrete systems, such as lattices. In some ways this is not that dissimilar to Higgs type of theory. There are also cases of second order transitions which break lattice symmetries but not spin invariance. As a result the theory is continuous with a field parameter (eg a B field coupled to spin) to first order. The Higgs mechanism is second order, where the Lagrangian or Hamiltonian is continuous across the field variation, but the vacuum state is not.

      The Higgs theory is likely an approximate theory. It is possible there is some general theory of quantum critical transitions which might replace a lot of current theory. This could include the Higgs theory as well. However, it is my suspicion that the Higgs theory is a fair to decent approximation in the TeV range. I give it a 50% chance of being correct as a charged Higgs theory in SUSY, or in broken (partial) SUSY.

      • Ervin Goldfain says:


        There are two key ingredients in Higgs-free models based on the Landau-Ginzburg-Wilson theory:
        a)the Wilson-Fisher point becomes the unavoidable source for massive gauge bosons and fermions.
        b)transition to chaos of Renormalization Group flow naturally explains the hierarchical pattern of masses and coupling charges.
        It is important to recall that these key ingredients are simply absent in any Higgs based theories of EW symmetry breaking.

  23. Gloria says:

    Following the crackpot index, especially points 2 to 6, which are true in almost any of his posts and comments, and also following point 33 (which should also include “communists” along with “nazis”) Motl is a full-blown crackpot.

    A satirical summary is by nemo at:

    • Lawrence B. Crowell says:

      One has to be somewhat careful about the label crackpot. Don Page has done some top rate work with GR, and he is also a fundamentalist Christian. Now Christianity, as with religions in general, defines truth according to hopes and fears. In science we tend not to think that way, but some people compartment their minds in various ways so they can do both science and religion. Others do some mixing, such as Tipler. Tipler has come up with all sorts of zinger ideas, and in a way has a crack pottery element to him. So is Don Page a crack pot? Maybe a little bit, and to that extent maybe we are all a little crack potted.

      Motl is a pretty bright guy, and he has done some erudite work. He managed to make a lot of enemies at Harvard and got thrown out, or at least this is in a nutshell how I understand things. He is also into a pretty far right winged set of ideologies. Now it is my general observation that people on the far right are often rather unhappy and angry types of people. They also tend to fit into Adorno’s scheme of the authoritarian personality. The authoritarian personality in extreme forms is a mark of various personality disorders. The extreme left trends along a similar path, and it should not escape our attention that in both cases some pretty serious psychopaths have emerged from both.

      The capitalist right in its pure form tells us all sorts of neat stuff, such as how rational it is, and if we all rationally pursue our economic goals that society will work out for the best, and so forth and so on. It can all sound good in the rarified air of a university economics department or the halls of one of these right winged think tanks that have come to ring Washington DC like a forest of weeds. In its most extreme form you have Ayn Rand, who was frankly I think a sociopath, and early on idolized a serial killer for pursing his “heroic aims” with no regards for society. In a curious way this right winged stuff has all the annoying tone and timbre of listening to a Marxist prate on about the proletariat and dialectics and so forth.

      Of course the real world does not work this way. For one, most people do not have full knowledge of economic conditions. The guy sitting behind a desk with 6 computer screens with minute by minute tracking data on stock trends has a better idea of what is going on than some guy with his 401K that he gets monthly updates on. The other, is that we do not make rational decisions, we make decision in the same way decisions are made in a casino or card game. Thirdly, those with a lot of leverage are often tempted to game the system by immoral and illegal means. Reality can be a bitch for any ideological true believer. The world does not work the way Republicans and this latest incarnation of tea potters want to tell us is does.

      So in general this all seems to be a quirk of a personality type. I think the best thing everyone can do now and then is to TAKE A BATH! By this it is probably good to make a review of what one is doing, how the machinery is working in the cranium, and to review the tunes you are playing up there. If it honestly does not look good it might be wise to adjust things a bit.

      Cheers LC

  24. Bill K says:

    It was one of my great disappointments upon reaching maturity to discover that scientists do not think or act rationally, any more than other people. Primate behavior is quite close to the surface in all of us.

    “It is my general observation that people on the far right are often rather unhappy and angry types of people.”

    As you go on to point out, although anger seems to characterize the right today, this has not always been the case. In the 60’s and 70’s the leftists were the ones unable to speak a paragraph without shouting. These attitudes are contagious and cyclic, and ultimately inherent in all of us.

    “Most people do not have full knowledge of economic conditions.”

    Incredibly, lack of knowledge only encourages people to develop strong opinions and voice them. They will vigorously debate the minimum wage, sales taxes vs income taxes, how to stimulate the economy, etc, questioning the patriotism and sanity of anyone who does not agree with them, despite hardly knowing what these things mean.

    Did we stray off the subject and into economics and politics? Well these comments apply equally to physics and physicists too.

    • Lawrence B. Crowell says:

      It is my general observation that politicians are highly mediocre people, and those are the better ones. It is the rare occassion when there is some very outstanding individual who rises to the top of leadership. It is also fairly common that leaders are utterly abysmal, and these are often from the ranks of the most extremist ends of the spectrum.

      About every 100 years there seems to be an upsurge or episode of some sort of collective socio-pathology. The last period of this was 1914-45, and we appear about due for the next one. The insane rhetoric flying around these days makes me wonder if the disaster that hit Europe in the last century is coming to roost in the United States.

      Cheers LC

    • j he says:

      I proved the FIELDS MEDAL theorem:


  25. felix says:

    Philip, what’s your relationship with ViXra? I thought you were not related to the website, except for using the same name for your blog.

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