Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

whowhowho comments on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject - Less Wrong

167 Post author: lukeprog 16 January 2011 08:30AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (327)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: whowhowho 04 April 2013 08:56:42PM 0 points [-]

The majority of physicists working on those kinds of questions are using some form of M-theory of string theory. The next nearest rival is Loop Quantum Gravity. Other theories are minority views. M-theory is favoured because milage can be got out of it in terms of research. The metaphor or a random grab into hypothesis-space isn't appropriate.

Comment author: JohnWittle 06 April 2013 07:40:35AM *  1 point [-]

Without knowing anything in particular about the difference between Quantum Loop Gravity or why M-theory is useful, I concede the point, although I'm a bit annoyed that I feel obligated to leave my comment there to collect negative karma while the parent, whoever they were, felt no similar obligation and removed any context my comment might be placed in.

Comment author: whowhowho 06 April 2013 01:26:00PM -2 points [-]

What? I really didn't understand that.

Comment author: JohnWittle 06 April 2013 05:34:02PM 1 point [-]

To a non string theorist, string theory seems like a theory which makes few testable predictions, like phlogiston. That's the feel I got from it from whenever I read all the relevant Wikipedia articles, anyway. If it is not like phlogiston, but actually useful for designing experiments, then obviously I concede.

My annoyance came from the fact that my 06:45:05 comment got a few down votes, while the parent got deleted for reasons unknown. I can't remember who the parent was, or what it said, and it bothers me that they deleted their post, while I feel an obligation to not delete my own downvote-gathering comment for reasons like honesty and the general sense that I really meant what the comment said at the time, which makes it useful for archival purposes.

Comment author: whowhowho 06 April 2013 06:17:02PM -1 points [-]

To a non string theorist, string theory seems like a theory which makes few testable predictions, like phlogiston

it made testable predictions and was falsified for them. There are a lot of retrodictive and purely theoretical constraints on a candidate ToE, they have to be pretty good just to be in the running.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 10 May 2013 03:03:01AM 0 points [-]

it made testable predictions and was falsified for them

Do you have specific examples in mind?

Comment author: whowhowho 12 May 2013 02:42:09PM 0 points [-]

Phlogiston. Falsified because combusted materials gain weight.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 12 May 2013 03:33:02PM 0 points [-]

Ah, I was confused by your statement and thought that "it" meant string theory.