On "Not Even Wrong"

In a previous post I was perhaps too optimistic about finishing Woit’s Not Even Wrong. Today I found myself skimming over a whole bunch of pages where the author lost me with his discussion of how mathematical theories of symmetry were instrumental in particle physics, in particular in the creation of the “standard model” of particle physics. And to think I love math! Maybe the only serious way to catch up with the physicists for me would be to set aside some serious time to read Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality, which languishes on the bookshelf since I bought it shortly after it was published in 2004. The prospect of reading a big, fat book with diagrams, equations and exercises for Pete’s sake is daunting, but it may be the only way to really get some idea what’s up in theoretical physics. Maybe I’ll need to wait until I’m retired to find the time; there are already two fat but very intriguing volumes on the Enlightenment by Jonathan Israel that I’ve started. I should at least finish those, as they have no exercises (yeay!). Why is vita so brevis when ars is so longa? Time to go to bed before any more Englatin finds its way into my post.


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