Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Almost everything

In Surfing the Universe, Benjamin Wallace-Wells surveys the controversy over Garrett Lisi's work. Towards the end Wallace-Wells quotes Betram Kostant of MIT who is "unaffiliated in the string theory wars":
Columbus made mistakes and thought he was in India. [Garrett] Lisi made a few errors, but this pales into insignificance to his possibly opening up a whole new world for exploration...E* is like North America, South America, and the Pacific Ocean all rolled into one. No one in Europe knew anything about it...Lisi's daring possibly creates an agenda for scientists for the next hundred years or more.
P.S. 24 July: Vaguely relevant may be Roger Penrose and Keith Tyson on the limits of reason.

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