Talk:Eric Weinstein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biography (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.


I removed some nonsense. The page is entirely too self-congratulatory... anyone can call themselves a polymath or generously describe their work as high impact, but Wikipedia should not be written as a form of promotional materials. In addition, I removed the part about Weinstein's unusualness in not having an advisor. Clearly he has one as it is a requirement for the PhD. It may be that he didn't require the close supervision some students do, but there are actually many such independent people that get PhDs, so his situation is not so unusual. Additionally, I found his advisor was Raoul Bott (see list of PhD students in [1]). While Bott has had students like Stephen Smale that did not require much supervision, I think it's putting down the great man to view his mentorship as unworthy of even a mere mention. Advisors often do things that are not highly visible or readily appreciated by their advisees...could be a suggestion here and there, encouragement when things go badly, etc. --DudeOnTheStreet (talk) 20:48, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

I added a "peacock" tag for now. One current concern is that the article makes multiple claims of how few scholars can understand how great Weinstein's contributions are, due to their limited backgrounds... if this can't be adequately sourced, it needs to be removed. --DudeOnTheStreet (talk) 18:10, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Conflict of interest[edit]

I noticed that the uploader of the photo, who also wrote the article, claims to be the copyright holder. The photo is credited to Adil Abdulali; a Google search finds an "Adil Abdulali" who is a close associate of the subject of this article. This goes a long way to explaining the peacock language and credulity apparent in the article. I am only making this clear so that policy (WP:COI) will be followed here. I have no opinion as to the merit of the subject's work or appropriateness as a topic for Wikipedia. --DudeOnTheStreet (talk) 05:42, 13 June 2011 (UTC)


I see nothing in this article that asserts the subject's notability. The article only has 2 references, both by the article's subject and one of them is his PhD thesis! Searching the web I could find nothing on him except a Guardian article which appears to be by a friend of his. As it stands, the article seems to be a simple vanity page. Anyone who feels the page should stay (preferably not Eric himself, or a friend) needs to address these concerns, otherwise I will push for deletion. Ashmoo (talk) 11:39, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

I agree that this article does not pass notability, and should be removed. --DFRussia (talk) 12:41, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Article "Eric Weinstein may have found the answer to physics' biggest problems"[edit]

"Eric Weinstein may have found the answer to physics' biggest problems"

"On Thursday in Oxford he will begin to outline his ideas to the rest of the mathematics and physics community."

- Obviously, this is most likely to prove just an interesting failure, but I'm sure we'll all know soon.

-- (talk) 16:35, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

OK. So he has given his lecture and hasn't really made any big impact other than a few mild "unlikely to be true, but some interesting maths". This leads me to believe that he is not really notable enough for a wikipedia article. If 3rd party commentaries start appearing from people who aren't friends or colleagues then I think he should be reincluded in the article. As it is, most of the cites are direct links to his own papers, which is a major red flag for non-notability. Anyone notable enough for a WP article will have lots of 3rd parties referring to their work. Please see WP:NOT. Ashmoo (talk) 22:35, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
He is notable due to the amount of media interest in his ideas in the areas of economics and physics. References include The Economist and New Scientist.--Racklever (talk) 06:22, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, please supply these references. As the only references so far as two mentions in the Guardian, by his friends and two blog posts (New Scientist and a personal blog at Columbia). Anyone who supports inclusion is going to need to do better than that to maintain the article. Please read WP:BIO for help in what you need. Ashmoo (talk) 09:57, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
There are quite a few more press sources [2][3][4] most just repeating the guardian article, so not worth citing but contributing to notability.--Salix (talk): 10:33, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Getting there. Sadly, these sources fail the 'intellectually independent of each other,[4] and independent of the subject.[5]' clause of the Basic Criteria section, because they are all just commentaries on the initial report. Ashmoo (talk) 12:42, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
What's more 90% of the article ISN'T about the interest he received for his TOE claims. The mentions of his economic theories is all primary sources (if at all). As mentioned, this needs to be fixed up ASAP to avoid a Request for Deletion motion being tabled. Ashmoo (talk) 12:03, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Finance section[edit]

I am not an expert on Mr. Weinstein, but I do know his paper in Risk described in the Finance section. The write-up here strikes me as distorted to suggest that the paper anticipated or predicted the 2007 financial crisis. The paper proposes a method for risk-adjustment of hedge fund returns in which some of the positions have multiple noisy measurements of value (as opposed to assets with clearly-determinable price like liquid common stocks on the one hand, or little useful market information about price like real estate on the other).

Mortgage securities are used for the example, but the suggestions in the paper apply equally well to any position with moderate pricing uncertainty. Moreover the type of mortgage derivatives (inverse floaters, which have small credit risk but large interest rate risk) are only distantly related to the credit-based structured mortgage products (with large credit risk but little interest rate risk) which were so problematic five years later. Finally, the issues considered in the paper apply only to hedge fund reporting, not to large financial institution liquidity or solvency.

I don't think anyone reading this paper in 2002 would have been more likely to expect the financial crisis before it happened, nor to understand it better once it had. Therefore, mentioning that it was published five years before the financial crisis, and describing it as highlighting risks of mortgage derivatives, are misleading.

Since nothing is actually false and others may be more familiar with Mr. Weinstein, I will leave it alone for now. But if no one posts objections, or fixes it on their own, I will remove what I consider to be the misleading phrases.

AaCBrown (talk) 14:22, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Seeing no objections, I made the changes.

AaCBrown (talk) 13:44, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

While I was in the neighborhood, I decided to add a short section on financial crisis talks given by the subject, based on a chapter in James Weatherall's The Physics of Wall Street. This forms the basis for much of the subject's reputation and media coverage, so I thought it should be in the article.

AaCBrown (talk) 20:46, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the perspective. The article suffers from mostly being edited by friends of the subject, so a more neutral opinion by someone in the field is greatly appreciated. Ashmoo (talk) 11:34, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Article for deletion[edit]

racklever, if you read this talk page, I had talked about deletion multiple times and never received a satisfactory response. My old comments address the "17 references". Ashmoo (talk) 16:27, 12 March 2014 (UTC)