Talk:An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything

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Does Wikipedia need this article and, if so, what form should it take?[edit]

A measure of the impact that a paper makes on the scientific community is the number of citations it receives in the scientific literature. The citations that Lisi's paper has received are: Google Scholar 46 including self-cites and cites in the ArXiv and ViXra and some blogs. In the authoritative Web of Science the paper appears to have zero cites (please correct if wrong) and in the high-energy research database Spires [1] 16 cites.

It should be noted that citation rates in physics vary between subfields and that citation rates for this subject, fundamental theory, are often very high. For two other people involved in this matter a Google Scholar search for Michael Duff (physicist) (as M J Duff) returns cites of 776, 609, 384, 336, 328...etc. and a search for Lee Smolin gives cites of 771, 712, 544, 514, 468, 434 ...etc.

In view of these numbers it is impossible to escape the conclusion that the impact of Lisi's paper on the mainstream science community has been very small. Lisi's paper is not fringe science or pseudoscience, as some have suggested, it is just worthy but rather unsuccessful mainstream science. By Wikipedia's usual standards it would not merit an article at all, even less such an extensive one.

However, due to the public relations activities of the paper's proponents, the paper has received publicity well beyond its scientific merit and has attracted a following of fans, some of whom have been writing the article in a blow by blow manner like a blog or a user group debate, inconsistent with Wikipedia's standards. The only justification that I can see for retaining the article in Wikipedia is to remove the mathematical material, which has proved to be of little interest to scientists, and concentrate on the sociological aspects of the public relations promotion and the fandom that it has generated. Xxanthippe (talk) 08:37, 9 January 2012 (UTC).

I think that the current version of the article reflects well enough the situation. I agree that it's not optimal and maybe it should be shortened again in the chronology section and made a little more understandable for the casual readers. In general, because the paper was about a physics theory, even if probably wrong, the main ideas of the theory must be stated in the article, no matter how many citations or importance it has had. The readers have the right to know briefly what the theory was proposing, what its main problems were and why it didn't go too far in the physics community. If there are sociological aspect well sourced they can be included. But let's not open again the discussion about erasing the page or cutting *all* the physics details. ~GT~ 98.244.54.152 (talk) 09:15, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, this paper must must must have a WP article. This is a pointless discussion. There are dozens of reliable sources that discuss the theory. That is sufficient to meet WP:GNG. And I agree with 98 that, even though the theory's main source of notability is the popular press, we do need at least a short summary of the theory itself. Personally, I recommend removing the "Algebraic breakdown" section (far too technicaly for a WP article), incorporating "Predictions" in a shorter form into the rest, and a shortening of the "Non-technical overview". The Chronology is probably also too long. but Xxanthippe is entirely, 100% wrong to say, "By Wikipedia's usual standards it would not merit an article at all." Wikipedia's standards for creation of an article are WP:N, WP:OR, and WP:NOT, all of which this subject meet in spades. As I said before, discussions suggesting that this article be deleted are becoming tendentious, and every time I see one I suspect off-wiki collaboration. If somebody wants this article deleted, take it to AfD, otherwise stop talking about it here. Qwyrxian (talk) 10:06, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
The article has no hope of achieving notability on the basis of the impact that the paper it describes has made on the mainstream scientific community. The only prospect of notability arises from the interest it has aroused among the fanboys who have flocked to its cause and who have contributed to this talk page. But the article has to be rewritten to empathise that any notability arises not from scientific but from sociological features of the situation. Any suggestion that I am collaborating with anybody on or off Wikipedia is completely wide of the mark and rather insulting. Please assume Good Faith. Xxanthippe (talk) 11:23, 9 January 2012 (UTC).
The article covers the issue in a nearly appropriate ratio. As I said, I think the science section should be trimmed, but it cannot be eliminated--that would make it impossible to understand what the theory is at all. And you're wrong on "fanboys": the subject is notable because it has been covered in dozens of independent, reliable sources. That is all. If you are not familiar with it, please read WP:N and WP:GNG--they explain WP's notability policies. Note that notability is a measure taken to decide if something can have its own article. Once we say "X is notable", we don't say "X is notable for reason Y, so we may only include things related to reason Y in the article." Otherwise, for example, no article about human being could contain info on their personal life, since that's almost never related to their notability. And I would assume good faith, if you weren't the umpteenth editor to come here recommending the article be deleted in violation of our fundamental deletion and notability policies. My apologies for taking out my exasperation on you, but this needs to stop. Pretty soon I'm going to just start collapsing every discussion that includes commentary about deleting this article, because it's disruptive to actual trying to do what really needs to be done: figure out how to trim/edit the article so that it's in better condition than in it is now. Qwyrxian (talk) 11:33, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
The threat by Qwyrxian to collapse contibutions that he does not approve of is unacceptable behavior for an editor and will be taken to Administrator's Notice Board if implemented. It will be in Qwyrxian's interest to redact this threat against other editors, which he has also made before in the Warning section. Xxanthippe (talk) 22:16, 9 January 2012 (UTC).
The problem is that this talk page has become worst than a forum. This page (including some of my contributions) aren't following very much wikipedia's policies on talk pages. Qwyrxian and I had often different ideas, and I've been one of the main opposers of Scientryst's style of editing and discussing. But the problem is that all the issues here have become cyclic. Nobody seems to fully respect standard WP:policies, there is a lot of sterile discussions, together with some productive ones. There should be no problem if we honestly state what Lisi's paper was about and why/where is considered wrong/incomplete. As long as we keep the page NPOV and don't over represent the theory I think we will be fine. If you want, you can help writing here a sort of initial statement regarding the sociological and promotional aspect. If it is well sourced and not overly long I don't see why it shouldn't be included. But let's avoid other long long discussions. ~GT~ (talk) 00:51, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes Xxanthippe, I agree. I have been collecting many such instances of Qwyrxian's abusive behavior, and will happily take them to the Administrator's Notice Board at some point. For instance, when Smolin/Woit distance themselves form Lisi, Qwyrxian says that this is not newsworthy, as it comes from blogs, even though Qwyrxian supports the plethora of blogs which laud Lisi, all of which are merely secondary sources reporting on the earlier words of Smolin/Woit et al. This selective, inconsistant editing, combined with Qwyrxian's repeated threats to collapse and ban entire IP ranges for posting Truth on Wikipedia, stand in strong violation of the Wikipedia project. I am making copies of all these pages/edits/notes, so that when Qwyrxian collapses them/censors IP ranges, we can share it all on the Administrator's Notice Board and let them deal with Qwyrxian in a just manner. Thank you for your courage, Xxanthippe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.106.167.55 (talk) 22:44, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I have shown above, on the basis of science citation databases, that the paper has made very little impact on the mainstream physics community. However, it has made an impact outside that community due to the public relations activities of its proponents. There may be a case for merging this article into the Antony Garrett Lisi article, which would be a more suitable place for developing the PR campaign/fanboy following/lifestyle guru aspects. Xxanthippe (talk) 01:28, 10 January 2012 (UTC).
OK, you have made your point. If you want I think you can start the process here or even at the Wikipedia:Proposed_mergers page. But even if my point of view is very similar to yours when it comes to the scientific analysis, I think that such a merging is hopeless because it wasn't just Lisi to get the attention, but it was Lisi coming up with a theory. So the theory was in some sense objectified, and so was the noise around it and the Distler-Garibaldi paper. This is why I don't think it'll ever pass as a merge. ~GT~ (talk) 04:15, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Objectified? Can't understand that. Xxanthippe (talk) 04:48, 10 January 2012 (UTC).
I just meant that it has become an independent object. People and newspapers treat Lisi and his theory as two separate things. ~GT~ (talk) 05:18, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Dear Qwyrxian--we feel your pain, and are sorry this most unfortunate situation has been thrust upon you. We are all suffering, alongside science, because of the reprehensible, irresponsible actions of a handful of posers, well-funded financiers/hypers, and ambitious bloggers who have wasted tens of thousands of hours in their concerted attempt to derail physics with well-financed, false media firestorms, coupled with sockpuppeting anonymity. What you are hearing from all the good people here, over and anon, is that Wikipedia is a place where the Truth must be promoted over maniacal tyranny, fiat-funded pump'n'dump hype that the hypesters do not even believe themselves, and Truth's very opposites. The Truth is, that a) the paper has had no impact whatsoever on the science community, and is, in fact, not science. The *only* reason the paper ever achieved "fame" was that Lee Smolin hyped it to the popular press while financing the theory, and now, in 2012, Lee Smolin is admitting that no physicist he knows ever gravitated towards Lisi and Lisi's ideas, with noted science-critic Peter Woit firmly backing this up. This has been well documented, even in professional journal articles penned by Michael Duff, as well as above and throughout the blogosphere (World-renown physicist Dr. Lubos Motl (prof. @ Harvard) reports, "Smolin, Woit throwing Lisi under the bus," -[2]). The problem with the article, as it stands, is that it does not promote the Truth of Reality, but rather, assimilates Lisi's non-theory with "science." As others have pointed out, Lisi's self-built-and-edited pages, deriving wholely from the fallout of the Smolin media firestorm (Whcih we now learn SMolin himslef never really believed in), are far longer than those of Nobel Laureates and Nobel Laureate physicists, which results in Wikipedia visitors being given the false, misleading impression that Lisi and his "theory," which are but a collection of the fallout from the nuclear kiloton media firestorm created by Lee Smolin, are tantamount to Nobel Laureate work. Dear Qwyrxian--please add the highly-pertinent Truth from highly-reliable sources to the article, so that Wikipedia readers can enjoy the Truth: "Lisi's Once-Main Proponents Lee Smolin & Peter Woit Now Abandoning Lisi/Lisipedia in 2012: "Lisi Theory NOT Accepted: New Developments! Lee Smolin is now also admitting, in 2012, that Lisi(Scientryst/SherryNugil) and his "theory" are not accepted by the physics community and never were: In 2012, Lee Smolin concludes, "No one I know of “gravitated to Lisi." [3] In 2007-2011, Lee Smolin funded/hyped Garret Lisi in numerous publications in an unprecedented media firestorm. Now, Lisi's once-chief proponent Smolin (worried about his name/legacy/reputation as a pumper'n'dumper of physics hype fueling lisipedia) is stating that not a single scientist has been attracted to Lisi's ideas, despite the massive, unprecedented Smolin media firestorm. Also, Peter Woit now agrees and states that Theoretical Physicists have taken NO stock in Lisi nor his "theory", writing at his blog in 2012, "Also, I don’t know why you think “so many people gravitated towards Garrett Lisi when he came out with his theory of everything. That’s not true if you’re counting theoretical physicists.": [4]"" Dear Qwyrxian--please add this truth to the article. Thanks in advance! Best in 2012! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.106.167.55 (talk) 15:09, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

To those above who are compiling a list of abuses by me and plan to take me to the administrator's noticeboard, I've gone ahead and done it myself. You all can find the thread at WP:ANI#An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything. Please feel free to comment there, including any calls for sanctions for my behavior. Perhaps I crossed the line and didn't notice it. But this talk page is mass of problems that have to stop. Qwyrxian (talk) 05:22, 10 January 2012 (UTC)


  • I object to any merger for very clear obvious reasons that anyone should be able to see. I can only conclude that any comments about non-notability are based on personal dislike of the subject, which means you really shouldn't have anything to do with this article in the first place. SilverserenC 21:30, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
This is an argument for an article on Antony Garrett Lisi not on his paper. Xxanthippe (talk) 01:40, 14 January 2012 (UTC).
No, because those sources are discussing the theory and only incidentally Lisi. That's the same as saying all info on books should be in the author's article. SilverserenC 11:55, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

This article is bad. Where are the equations and the diagrams? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.11.87.145 (talk) 14:55, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Critiques[edit]

Many Wikipedia articles on a theory one has heard of bu which may not be of the highest truthiness include a "Criticisms" section. This would seem appropriate here.

Crasshopper (talk) 10:03, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Who is Lisi?[edit]

Lisi did this, Lisi did that... But who the hell is Lisi? Name? Greets--80.187.110.69 (talk) 12:31, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Second sentence in the lead: "The paper was posted to the physics arXiv by Antony Garrett Lisi on November 6, 2007" - he's the guy who wrote the paper.--User:Salix alba (talk): 13:04, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Helpful till Highschool students.[edit]

This article is extremely Helpful till High school students. The information given here is very relevant as per college standards also. Bishalbaishya2012 (talk) 07:49, 7 June 2014 (UTC)Bishal Baishya User:Bishalbaishya2012

Update[edit]

I've attempted to significantly update and improve this article, mostly by elucidating the group theory involved, including making Distler and Garibaldi's objection to an "anti-generation" more mathematically explicit. I've also pulled in some relevant weight diagrams from the Standard Model and GUTs, cleaned up some references, and tried to clean the article up overall. Cheers!Dilaton (talk) 07:32, 15 December 2015 (UTC)