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July 11, 2006

Traffic Patterns

Chad Orzel decided to spice up one of his recent posts with a throwaway snipe about String Theory:

Neither of those [experiments at RHIC] is going to test string theory, of course, which demotes them to stamp collecting in the minds of some…

Unfortunately, this was not quite the non sequitur he intended it to be. And Clifford Johnson and Moshe Rozali jumped in to set him straight.

Chad responded that the remark was intended as a harmless bit of levity, and an “attempt to drive traffic (because I almost always get a bump in traffic when I talk tabout string theory…).” Which, as far as I’m concerned, is a matter between Chad, his readers and his conscience.

Ordinarily, I would, therefore, not even bring it up, except that it got me to thinking about the temptations of popularity. I was somewhat taken aback by the response to my recent post about Loop Quantum Gravity. With 150 comments (and still counting), the temptation is, clearly, to write a lot more posts about LQG, and fewer posts about the boring stuff I usually write about.

On the other hand, the desires to entertain and to inform are not necessarily congruent. Given the choice, I’m rather strongly in the “inform” camp. I’m afraid I’ve exhausted my current store of intelligent things to say about LQG and so I think I will return you to your regularly-scheduled programming.

In his response to Chad, Moshe pointed to some recent posts of mine on AdS/CFT and RHIC, which reminds me that I intended to post some more on that subject … soon.

Posted by distler at July 11, 2006 12:18 AM

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Re: Traffic Patterns

Hi Jacques, to be fair I don’t think Chad’s comments should be read too literally, I think it is meant more like a self-deprecating reference to the low-key nature of his blog. I agree with you and Chad that there is little point in attracting lots of people with no real interest in what you have to say, but it is known to happen from time to time…

Also, I think Chad really hadn’t heard about the relation to ads/cft (and how would he? there are no panel discussions or news stories about such “boring” topics). Ultimately I think he and his readers have a real interest in the physics, otherwise there is little point for me to leave a comment on his blog.

Posted by: Moshe on July 11, 2006 12:11 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Traffic Patterns

Please remain firmly in the “inform” camp!

Posted by: Arun on July 15, 2006 9:24 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

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