Last updated on December 1st, 2010
Garrett Lisi’s Campervan Theory of Everything
I love the way he’s freed his life of encumberances to allow himself time to think….
Garrett’s mind seems to hinge on symmetries and the resolution of everything into clearly recognisable patterns, which, as he states with his Galileo reference, harks back to earlier times and theories. He’s wrapped up everything into a pattern called E8. This produces an incredibly powerful, hypnotic and changing kaleidoscope of points. Like a snowflake. Recognisable but irreproducible in it’s exactness. But the mathematicians like it!
My gut reaction is to stick with Richard Feynman’s world of jiggling entities, be they simple hard analogies or fuzzy quanta…. But I have a completely open mind on it all.
Whatever standpoint is taken, my problem has always been the “dark labyrinth” of the mathematics which I’ve always struggled with, so I have to rely on other people’s interpretation of it and hope that their judgement is sound and secure.
Garrett alluded to this when he said that he’s discarded many theories and pet projects, which is good. He described the difficulty of doing so because of the personal work put in, etc. It’s important to remain objective and not be led down the path of theory protection, such as happened to Neils Bohr for instance.
As Feyman famously said, “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”