Our Official Non-Endorsement

Due to our inflammatory and, dare we say, privy-mouthed, comments, Dr. Peter Woit of the prestigious Columbia University, his legal council and advisors, have asked that Axes & Alleys officially refrain from endorsing the upcoming pro-science, anti-superstring proposition tome Not Even Wrong.

We at Axes & Alleys hereby claim that we are in no way affiliated with, supported by, or endorsed by Peter Woit, author of this sensational and groundbreaking new work. While we do support Dr. Woit’s ideas, again, we must say, that his lawyers have asked that we not officially endorse his work, ideas or publications.

Dr. Woit, brilliant though he may be, would rather not be seen with us. It’s understandable.

25 thoughts on “Our Official Non-Endorsement

  1. I’m not so sure that Columbia University should be called “prestigious.” After all, they did fire all of their Parapsychology Department faculty. Dr. Venkman, Dr. Stantz and Dr. Spengler are brilliant researchers who should have been able to continue their great work at Columbia. It’s just sad that they were let go.

  2. My attorney, Robert “Wild Bob” C., writing from somewhere in Asia (where he has been traveling recently, his law practice unfortunately interrupted by a misunderstanding with the NYPD over a perfectly legitimate transaction that took place on a street-corner near his home), wishes to clarify the following points:

    1. He’s my only attorney, thus a “counsel”, not a “council”

    2. While he asks that “Axes and Alleys”, (whatever the hell that is) not officially endorse my book, he has no objection to them advising their readers to exchange cash or other items of value for copies of the book, especially since he feels that he is entitled to a certain fraction of the royalties in exchange for his on-going legal advice and representation.

    Peter Woit

  3. The editors of Axes & Alleys apologize for the horrid state of our copyediting staff. All three copyeditors have been given pink slips as of this evening and shall be blacklisted throughout the tractor community.

    Axes & Alleys as yet has received no copy of Not Even Wrong for our review. As we plan on interviewing the author in the future, this is a major shortcoming. The entire staff hopes this can be rectified.

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  5. Say what one will of Peter Woit’s scientific positions, clearly the man ‘hangs’ with some of the foremost spellers of this century.

  6. Three things must be noted here:

    1. Notrad is not a correct spelling of “remelade.”
    2. Technically “council” is spelled correctly, it was merely that the wrong word was used.
    3. Our website copy-editor, Lucy Ramen (age 10), has been let go and replaced by a council of dachshunds with remarkable copy-editing abilities.

    Thank you for your commments though.

  7. I notice that the Pan-American Particle Physics Institute and Brothel is not affiliated with the International Icthyological Research Institute and Brothel, but I have to admit that – not being in the mainstream these days – I was not even aware of its existence.

    Can you tell me more about this institute?

    This is not necessarily for my own use, you understand: it is just that sometimes discussions about particle physics, especially those regarding the question of whether Superstring is a steaming pile of horse manure or not often get quite heated, and I am quite sure that if the participants had access to recreational facilities of the kind suggested here, then tempers would fray less frequently.

  8. Dr. Oakley,

    It is, indeed, rather unfortunate that the Pan-American Particle Physics Institute and Brothel is no longer associated with the IIRIB. You see, before 1990 they actually shared facilities and staff. However, due an outright brawl in the cafeteria 1990, the two institutes angrily split.

    The brawl’s impetus was a vitriolic discussion betwixt some biophysicists from the IIRIB and some physicists from the PAPPIB. The latter were attempting to elucidate on how loop quantum gravity might have played a role in molecular evolution. The biophysicists, of course, felt this was utter rubbish. One of the physicists also mistook one of the female biophysicists for one of the PAPPI’s call-girls, which finally ignited the melee.

    Since that time, unfortunately, PAPPIB has not followed the innovations of IIRIB, which in 1992 recognized that there were quite a few female scientists who might enjoy what its facilities had to offer. In the last few years they have provided resources for several alternative sexualities and fetishes, including last year when they hired an expert in Japanese rope bondage. PAPPIB is still woefully male-oriented and vanilla.*

    It would also be difficult to include string theorists in an institute such as PAPPIB due to the murky relationship between M-theory and particle physics. Many have proposed the creation of the String Theory House of Ill Repute and Laboratory, but there is as yet no great push for its creation. Some string theorists are still seen disguising themselves with false mustaches and glasses to on their visits to PAPPIB, causing undue amounts of tension. I fear a resolution is not in sight. If you have any insight to offer so far as helping to establish such facilities, we would be happy to hear them and help get the ball rolling.

    *In the interest of full-disclosure, we may have been remunerated for comments supportive of the IIRIB.

  9. Dear Lionel,

    Thank-you for the information regarding the said institute. As you are probably aware, Superstrings is an 10-dimensional theory that I believe is dual to Supergravity in 11 dimensions. Someone once said – perhaps wrongly, although I don’t want to get into that here – that it would require a particle accelerator the size of the solar system to test the theory.

    This need for extra-dimensional “Lebensraum” and huge experiments obviously smacks of megalomania, and I am wondering if it is possible that the girls themselves were the ones who engineered the exclusion of String Theorists from the PAPPIB. I don’t know the facts here, but it seems a small step from unreasonable, wild, domineering fantasy in the physics lab to unreasonable, wild, domineering fantasy in the bedroom. It may be that being tied up with (even) four-dimensional strings and beaten was too much for some of these ladies.

  10. Dr. Oakley,

    I’m sure you do not mean to offend the fine staff of PAPPIB. All the ladies and men employed there are highly-trained professionals. They are each greatly-lauded persons in their field, much like their clientele. Only the wheat becomes the bread of research-brothels. They would certainly have nothing to do with gravitinos.

  11. Lionel,

    String theorists dominate theoretical physics research departments nowadays, and they might have (perhaps justifiable) grievances about being excluded from PAPPIB without being given good reason. Permit me to explain:

    “Ja! Ja! Ja! Ja! JA! JA!”

    These words, familiar to every physics student, are those uttered by the late, great Erwin Schrodinger. He was puzzled as to how his student Louis de Broglie’s work on wave-particle duality could be used to generalise Bohr’s work on the Hydrogen atom. He came up with the wave equation. Did this happen in his office? No, it happened in a sleazy hotel in Zurich when he was bonking his mistress. I don’t know whether he disabused her of the notion that his exceptional enthusiasm that night was due to appreciation of her (no doubt) fine feminine charms, but surely this is an excellent example of the power of the nook to assist the creative process in science. Surely PAPPIB’s “it’s not physics” attitude towards String theorists makes their prophecy self-fulfilling. By denying some of our best creative scientific thinkers the use of their facilities, surely they just make sure that the killer idea needed to connect with reality will never be dreamed up.

  12. Chris,

    Very good points all. I still am not sure that string theorists would wish to be members of such a backwards organization as the PAPPIB. As I stated before, it has a pre-1992 mentality whereas the IIRIB has continued innovating in the last decade and a half. I would humbly suggest that the string theorists stay at the forefront of research-brothels just as they do the physics world and start their own along the lines of the IIRIB. At the least their very own satellite pornography channel might be in order, replete with double entendres about super string, folding and vibration. I’m sure the brilliant Dr. Witten would be able to establish an entire lexicon of super string pornographic terminology.

  13. Hi Lionel,

    I have to admit that I am not aware of any connection between research in Superstrings and the porn industry. One thing that might be relevant, though: the blog of String Theorist Lubos Motl


    is likely to engender the same queasy fascination as certain kinds of porn.

  14. No, he’s discussing the similarities between child pornography and RHIC!

    Alright, I’ll admit it, I’m just being sensationalistic. I have found Professor Lubos Motl of Harvard University to be entertaining and even informative from time to time since my introduction to his web log. However, I find his overdone indignation at Professor Peter Woit of Columbia to be, well, overdone and indignant.

    It would be much better if he simply purchased a tin of gooseberry jam, bought a train ticket down to New York, took the 1 train up to Columbia, entered the Math Department, and upended the opened tin upon Professor Woit’s head. At least that way there would be some content, albeit it nutritive, to the discourse.

  15. In my ever so humble opinion, Lubos needs professional psychiatric help. I would offer to pay myself, but Harvard seem to be so filthy, stinking rich that I think it is only reasonable to ask them to pick up the bill.

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