Which universities are leading the crusade against mathematics and beauty in physics?

Suppose a new student, seeking fame, fortune, and job security, wishes to hop on the “New anti-math, anti-beauty Physics” being pioneered by the likes of Hossenfelder and Woit? Which universities are best leading the crusade against mathematics and beauty in physics?  Woit’s Columbia perhaps?  Hossenfelder’s institution?

Peter Woit gushed about Hossenfelder’s bestselling book, blogging, “Sabine Hossenfelder’s new book Lost in Math should be starting to appear in bookstores around now. It’s very good and you should get a copy.”

The full title is:

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray

As jobs are scarce in physics, it seems that Woit and Hossenfelder et al. have pioneered a new niche profiting off the popular imagination while ridding physics of the beauty and math which have misguided it.

What are Woit and Hossenfelder planning to replace Math and Beauty with in the realm of their new physics? Well, it seems they wish to replace Math and Beauty in physics with surfer celebrity Garrett Lisi whom they both have spent decades heavily promoting, instead of promoting or publicizing any research of their own:

Sabine Hossenfelder blogs:


A Theoretically Simple Exception of Everything

Garrett Lisi, who was featured in our inspiration series back in August, has a new paper on the arxiv about his recent work

An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything

    • arXiv:

I met Garrett at the Loops ’07 in Morelia, and invited him to PI. He gave a talk here in October, which confirmed my theory that the interest in a seminar is inversely proportional to the number of words in the abstract. In his case the abstract read: “All fields of the standard model and gravity are unified as an E8 principal bundle connection,” and during my time at PI it was the best attended Quantum Gravity seminar I’ve been at. –http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2007/11/theoretically-simple-exception-of.html

Peter Woit blogs:

Surfing the Universe

This week’s New Yorker has a quite good article by Benjamin Wallace-Wells entitled “Surfing the Universe” about Garrett Lisi and the controversy generated last year by his paper An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything (which I wrote about here). Unfortunately the article is not available on-line as far as I know.

Recently, after railing against Math and Beauty and Naturalness in physics, Sabine Hossenfleder promoted Lisi as the true way forward:


Guest Post: Garrett Lisi on Geometric Naturalness

Thanks to Sabine for inviting me to do a guest post. In her book, “Lost in Math,” I mentioned the criteria of “geometric naturalness” for judging theories of fundamental physics. Here I would like to give a personal definition of this and expand on it a bit.
After tearing down traditional standards of Math and Beauty, it appears Woit and Hossenfelder are erecting the “Math” and “Beauty” of Garret Lisi in their place.  What drives them to do this?  Woit again gushes about Hossenfelder, who, much like him, does not seem to be performing any meaningful research:
Garrett Lisi has a new paper on the arXiv, with the rather over-the-top title of An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything. Sabine Hossenfelder has a typically excellent posting about the paper, and Garrett has been discussing his work with people in the comment section there.
What has this anti-beauty, anti-math, decades-long Lisi hype-fest lead to?  Sure they have sold thousands of books and made cool youtube videos, but how have Woit, Lisi, and Hossenfelder advanced physics?
Is there any possibility that maybe, just maybe, Lisi, Woit, and Hossenfelder are not all that good at math, truth, and beauty?
Then, perhaps it is not the fault of math, truth, and beauty that they have been unable to advance physics, but perhaps the problem lies deep within themsevles and their fallen, degraded, ignoble perception of math, truth, and beauty?  That would be a great question to contemplate, had they capacity for self relfection.  But I think we can bet on ten more years of them striving to replace math, physics, and beauty with Garret Lisi, for some ugly, perhaps unspeakable, reason.

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