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Fwd: Dan Smith in San Francisco, Robert Laughlin & Lenny Susskind in Stanford

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  • Jack Sarfatti
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2006
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      Begin forwarded message:

      > From the second edition of Super Cosmos in preparation:
      > Robert Laughlin’s Different Universe
      > “We physicists are fully aware of our own sententious tendencies
      > and go to great lengths to keep them under control.” p.x
      > Robert Laughlin and Lenny Susskind are both physics professors at
      > Stanford University and they are at odds with each other on some
      > key fundamental issues about the nature of information loss down
      > black holes. Susskind won a recent victory at GR 17 in Dublin (July
      > 2004) where Stephen Hawking rolled over and admitted defeat in his
      > twenty year debate with Susskind. On the other hand, Laughlin won
      > the Nobel Prize in 1998 for his work on the fractional quantum Hall
      > effect in thin films where the electrons attach to quantized
      > magnetic vortices to form “anyons” with fractional charges, like
      > the quarks, and a weird kind of quantum statistics like
      > Schrodinger’s Cat both dead and alive, these anyons are neither
      > bosons nor fermions and can morph into one or the other as control
      > parameters like applied magnetic field are varied. The makes
      > entirely new phases of matter including the possibility of high
      > temperature superconductors – really high at maybe a thousand
      > degrees Kelvin or higher. This has not been achieved in the lab
      > although some think that the alleged alien flying saucers use this
      > nanotechnology. The intellectual conflict between Susskind and
      > Laughlin must make life interesting for the students like the
      > creative tension between Feynman and Gell-Mann at Cal Tech. They
      > had the same secretary with offices on opposite sides of her office
      > if I remember correctly from 1968?
      > What are some of Laughlin’s key ideas? He comes from the tradition
      > of P.W. Anderson’s “More is different” as a general theory of
      > emergence of levels of physical reality beyond naïve mechanical
      > reductionism in which the higher level is largely independent of
      > the lower but not entirely of course. This is already in Bohm’s
      > quantum potential landscape from which classical fields and
      > particles get their marching orders. The quantum potential is form-
      > dependent beyond the classical forces. The Bohm quantum potential
      > landscape is Wheeler’s “BIT” or QUBIT to be more precise that is
      > physical and organizational yet non-material. It is indeed the
      > “élan vital.” The Bohm theory stops short of adaptive conscious
      > spontaneous self-organization because it is the test particle
      > approximation in which the classical fields and particles do not
      > directly modify the landscape on which they roll. Indeed the same
      > can be said for Lenny Susskind’s cosmic landscape theory. This two-
      > way relation tolls the death knell for unitarity and signal
      > locality. In fact, like in Carlo Suares’s “two-way” equation of
      > Qabala shown to me by him in Paris in 1973, there is both a bottom
      > up and a top down flow of influence in the Great Chain of Being and
      > Becoming from possibly “spin foams” to curved space-time to the
      > creation of quarks, leptons and gauge force bosons in the reheating
      > of the big bang to the creation of galaxies from the stretched-out
      > quantum gravity foam fluctuations, light atoms, molecules, stars,
      > heavy atoms spewed out in super nova explosions, formation of
      > planets, on to life and beyond to what to God perhaps? Don’t forget
      > the Angels and Aliens? Or is the Mind of God always about in the
      > quad dabbling here and there in the affairs of humankind? Does God
      > make mistakes? Getting back to Laughlin’s ideas, here are some key
      > quotations from his book:
      > “The laws of nature that we care about … emerge through collective
      > self-organization and really do not require knowledge of their
      > component parts to be comprehended and exploited.” p. xi
      > “I was having the same conversation with colleagues about Brian
      > Greene’s ‘The Elegant Universe’ … but the subject always seemed to
      > drift to … the pointlessness of making models of the world that
      > were beautiful but predicted no experiments.” p. xii
      > Physics as Art for Art’s sake - is it one more sign of the Decline
      > and Fall of Western Civilization under the retro-grade barbaric
      > Islamo-fascist onslaught?
      > “Moreover, it was an ideological dispute: it had nothing to do with
      > what was true and everything to do with what ‘true’ was.”
      > “Organization can acquire a meaning and life of it’s own and begin
      > to transcend the parts from which it is made.” p. xiv
      > “The distinction between fundamental laws and the laws descending
      > from them is a myth, as is the idea of mastery of the universe
      > through mathematics alone.”
      > Dan Smith, AKA “Chicken Little” from the UFO Aviary recently came
      > to San Francisco in January 2006 to promote his Panglossian idea
      > right out of Voltaire’s “Candide” that we live in the “Best of All
      > Possible Worlds” and that the “core story” in the book “Exempt from
      > Disclosure” by former USAF spooks Robert Collins and Richard Doty
      > (essentially we have been visited by aliens from another star
      > system) proved “Intelligent Design” and the Apocalyptic Coming of
      > the “Eschaton” that sounds something like being eaten by the aliens
      > in a party arranged by Hannibal Lector playing Titus Andronicus.
      > There would be a green tractor beam lifting all the faithful, Usama
      > Bin Ladin & Co hopefully among them, up to the microwave ovens on
      > board the Mother Ship. Well, Dan’s attempt to gather a following
      > here in San Francisco, home of The Two and Jonestown in the New Age
      > past, did not meet with success -- too many lions I suppose? What
      > makes this story of more than passing interest is that Dan is the
      > scion of a prominent family. His father was an aide to Ike on D Day
      > and ran the IRS. His sister is a close friend of the President’s
      > mother, Barbara Bush. Dan knows influential people high up in USG
      > Intelligence. Dan is a Throop the family that donated the campus of
      > Cal Tech. His mother gave a speech at the installation of John
      > Baltimore as President of Cal Tech in 1999. Dan read my book “Space-
      > Time and Beyond” in 1977 and completely flipped out as a result
      > leaving a promising physics career at Princeton and Stanford.
      > Indeed he had a contact with an alien named Sophia very similar to
      > Joe Firmage’s contact that led him to form ISSO. This was
      > unfortunate for the country because Dan was being groomed by Mumie
      > to be President of the United States and because of me he did not
      > make it and we got George Bush instead! J The point of this story,
      > and there is a point believe it or not, is that when I tried my
      > Sigmund Freud act on Dan to try to get him to see the absurdity of
      > his position, he told me that I should read Robert Laughlin and
      > that he was correct because he was using “logic.” In other words
      > Dan Smith thinks he can master the secrets of reality by “logic”
      > alone. This was not logical because Dan also spoke derisively of
      > my use of mathematics not realizing, it seems, that Bertrand
      > Russell deduced the foundations of Victorian mathematics from logic
      > alone. However, Dan seems to have missed Laughlin’s
      > “Physical law cannot generally be anticipated by pure thought, but
      > must be discovered experimentally, because control of nature is
      > achieved only when nature allows this through a principle of
      > organization.” p. xv
      > This omission by Dan is perhaps explained by the fact that when I
      > gave him Lenny Susskind’s book he said he understood it all by
      > reading only the last chapter.
      > Indeed, Lenny Susskind laments the lack of such a principle of
      > organization for M-Theory formerly called string theory but
      > extended now to a brane new world. However, Lenny seems recently to
      > have found the Lost Chord in his cosmic landscape with eternal
      > inflation populating its every nook and cranny giving us 10^500
      > parallel pocket universes, which is quite enough to explain the
      > fine tuning of the cosmological constant out to the 119 decimal
      > place in terms of the Weak Anthropic Principle. What of God, the
      > Intelligent Designer? Lenny quotes Laplace to Napoleon “I have no
      > need of that hypothesis.”
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