Why trust a theory?
I read in the same morning two opposite views about the talk String theory to the rescue of Joe Polchinski in the ongoing Munich workshop "Why trust a theory". Polchinski himself did not deliver the talk in person.
The first view is by Peter Woit . Woit uses citations from Polchinski's own text to reveal rather convingly what the situation in the field is. After having used 38 years to develop a unified theory starting as a generalization of super string model, I feel that I have some background to express also my opinion. I cannot but agree with Woit.
Second view is by Lubos Motl" and tells mostly about the mindscape of a phanatic who has lost the connection with reality. The earlier postings demonstrate this in many other areas of life: previous posting and earlier postings give a good idea how profound this loss of contact with reality is.
What is remarkable that both Polchinski and Lubos are very intelligent persons according to the standard measures. This shows how little intelligence matters when egos enter the game. In case of Polchinski it is easy to understand the situation: his lifework is about super strings and it is certainly extremely difficult to admit that the model which served as inspiration failed. Of course, mathematical aspects of his and others' work can be used by other researchers in future despite the fact that superstring model was not the theory: strings and holography are in well-defined sense also key element in TGD but emerge rather than being the starting point. Superstring community has all the technical skills needed to start doing real physics in TGD framework.
In the case of Lubos I find myself wondering why on Earth a relatively young person does not realize that he could do something useful instead of wasting his time as eternal superstring fan and producing hate talk about people realizing environmental and climate problems, women, "leftists", communists, black, moslems, etc.. Lubos could do better: I would use time to talk about Lubos unless he would not produce now and then about particle physics interesting pieces of text
For a summary of earlier postings see Links to the latest progress in TGD.