Thursday, January 15, 2015

Satire of reductionism run amok

The "cartoon" below appeared at CERN.
I learnt about it from a commenter on Peter Woit's excellent blog, Not even wrong.

Note, "The problem of condensed matter: they still don't get it".


  1. I must confess that as a cond-mat physicist I don't even get the joke...


    1. Hi Adam,

      It is subtle. I probably only appreciate it because I follow Peter Woit's blog. He does an excellent job exposing/critiquing string theorists who seem to claim SuperSymmetry (SUSY) and string theory is true, regardless of what experiment says.

      The poster is a nice parody of many issues that come up on Peter's blog.

      I take the comment about condensed matter to be a dig at theorists who just don't get the idea of emergence and think that reductionism is the answer to everything. I also take it to be a possible dig at the AdS/CFT crowd who claim string theory is going to solve condensed matter problems; and are bemused that some of us don't share their excitement or buy into their hype.

    2. Hi,

      I know Peter's blog (I saw the poster in the comments there too), it's just the joke on cond-mat physicists that I found cryptic. But your explanation makes sense.