My 2022 EU travel-blog is now at an end, and as I did at the end of my 2021 blog, I shall now spend a bit of one episode discussing theoretical physics stuff, a la Geoffrey. I can no longer do this very often, for the futility of it is debilitating, and even many of TP’s major stars, having had their work of over 40 years been proven wrong, are sauntering off into subjects still being funded, pretending this is where they’d intended to go all along. The party is over, and …
Imagine, if you will, you have spent decades discovering the mathematical framework that, in your madness, you are convinced is an essential component for building a true Theory of Everything … like I have done (spoiler alert: it isn’t madness; and it is real), and so you’re now past your prime, younger people, 30 years after you founded the field, are taking elements of your work (often without a hint of acknowledgment that I was there decades earlier), and mostly putting them together wrong (Mr. Potato Head’s nose does not go on his butt, for example), but it’s all too late, because the mainstream – without whose beneficence and approval no idea will ever receive nourishing attention – these guys (and they are mostly guys) are wandering in circles (like those Mongolian sheep I recently saw on the intertubes, pursuing each other for days in a circle because they’re incapable of looking beyond their immediate neighbors, in a vain hope, I suppose, that the sheep butts right in front of all of them know where they’re going), because their hope of having their very complicated, but ultimately simple, ideas proven correct has evaporated. Wow, super long sentence. The point is, there you are (I am) with a correct mathematical foundation to describe reality, and simultaneously the party is over. No one will ever care. It is now 2022.11.18, and Peter W’s last two blogs concern the trials of young people trained in maths and HEP theory as they search for jobs outside of these academic disciplines. Finance is high on the list. Quants help rich people get richer, and the quants themselves able to retire at least semi-comfortably (as happened to me).
Anyhum, there hasn’t been any reason to stick with theoretical physics for some time (nor even the ability, in my case), hence this erstwhile maths/physics blog has transmogrified into a travelogue, and yay, so much more fulfilling. Tired discussions of well worn orthodoxy are the meal of the day for many, but I’m in my mid 70s now. I’ve done my thing, I did it right, and nothing can prove me wrong. Please put that on my tombstone. Until then, bars and cafés have supplanted colloquia. I haven’t been to a colloquium in years. I’m either uninterested, or certain they’re wrong. Dark and Stormy, please.
The trouble right now is that my next trip with my wife is not scheduled until May 2023, and it is presently November 2022. I’ve already started my 2023 travelogue, and chapter 1 will appear in a couple of weeks. I don’t want to spoil that right now, so …
It’s end of semester for Francesca (again, not her real name), so she is very busy. Last week, Thanksgiving week, she was largely free. We went to the beach, patted many dogs, took some pictures. But you know, the surf web cam at The Wall in New Hampshire is very high quality, and many of my best beach photos are screenshots from that cam.
Years ago, when I used to share surfing stories with Facebook friends, one of them was aghast that I’d never done a dawny – getting in the water as the sun comes up and beating the crowds to good waves. I was entirely immune to his indignant chagrin, and continued to frowst about in bed in the wee hours in all the years since. The dawn picture above was taken from my bed. (That Facebook friend, when I displayed a political flexibility that meant I occasionally harbored opinions orthogonal to the rigid orthodoxy to which he ascribed, ceased to be any kind of friend at some point, and we’re both better off for it.)
Surfing happens less frequently than it used to, and it’s been over a year (2?) since I’ve been able to pop to my feet, so I’ve become a kneeboarder mostly now. The ADT drugs I’m on have messed with my strength and sense of balance.
Our favorite surf shop had to close for a time due to a fire in the adjoining restaurant. They had some outdoor sales to get rid of inventory, and to raise money, and at one of these I espied a longboard skateboard, and bought it.
I used to skateboard a lot, but when I first tried to stand on this beast (3x the length of the one I already owned), I was extremely shaky (euphemism for I couldn’t do it for the life of me). A few weeks later and I’m able to push off slowly and do a little route on a gentle slope of our upper driveway. Feels great, I must say.