Dennis Hackethal’s Blog

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A Comprehensive Guide to Eric Weinstein’s Paper on Geometric Unity

Eric Weinstein recently published a working draft of a paper on a theory he first proposed in 2013, called “Geometric Unity.” It is supposed to be a “unified theory of physics.” As far as I know, this is the first thing he has written about his theory.

So that you don’t need to read all 69 pages, here’s the comprehensive guide:

  1. Read the opening quote of the introduction, i.e. the problem statement, and be delighted by its clarity:

    “What really interests me is whether god had any choice in the creation of the world.” -Albert Einstein to Ernst Strauss

  2. Read the first sentence of the introduction, if you can, and be startled by its obscurantism:

    In the beginning we will let X4 be a 4-dimensional C manifold with a chosen orientation and unique spin structure.

  3. Realize that Weinstein is not in the business of solving problems but impressing his peers. Stop reading and resume whatever you were doing before.

What people are saying

I just realized that Weinstein published his paper on April 1st, so… I hope it’s not just an April Fools’ joke 😂

Dennis | 2 months ago

This is quite common in theoretical physics. Here’s the first sentence of Ed Witten’s most cited paper, for instance: “To understand the large N behavior of gauge theories with SU(N) gauge group is a longstanding problem, and offers perhaps the best hope of eventually understanding the classic strong coupling mysteries of QCD.” Technical papers are aimed other physicists, not the general public. I have no idea about the actual merits of Weinstein’s paper, but calling it obscurantist misses the mark.

ben | about 2 months ago

Technical papers are aimed other physicists, not the general public.

I don’t think Weinstein is addressing physicists. In a footnote on the first page, he writes:

The Author is not a physicist and is no longer an active academician, but is an Entertainer and host of The Portal podcast. This work of entertainment is a draft of work in progress […]

He calls his paper a “work of entertainment”. Hence it is aimed at a general audience, specifically the audience of his podcast, most of whom he knows won’t understand him. I think “obscurantism” captures it aptly.

Dennis | about 2 months ago

What are your thoughts?

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