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The Sciences

Friday Random Ten: iPod Tells the Future of String Theory?

Cosmic VarianceBy cjohnsonJuly 22, 2005 3:32 PM

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I'd like to continue the tradition started by Sean of using the ipod as a divination device. In view of the varying opinion about the state of string theory, regarded by some (I've heard) as the last, best hope for fundamental physics (going to get myself into trouble here), discussed wonderfully, passionately, and I hope continually on this very blog (e.g. here and here), it might be worth sitting back, letting the pod do its thing, and tell us the future. I'm new to this, so please bear with me. I ask the ipod oracle to tell us the future of string theory, then I turn on the pod, set it to shuffle songs, and see what the first ten are. I then put them alongside the Tarot-like categories and interpret using the key given here. Well, I get: 1. The Covering: iTrip_98-1 2. The Crossing: iTrip_92-3 3. The Crown: iTrip_104-9 4. The Root: iTrip_94-7 5. The Past: iTrip_90-3 6. The Future: iTrip_93-5 7. The Questioner: iTrip_98-9 8. The House: iTrip_96-7 9. The Inside: iTrip_105-1 10. The Outcome: iTrip_102-1 And they all seem to be by "Griffin Technology", from the album "iTrip". Bugger. Said I was new to this. Um...help! -cvj ;-) P.S. Ok. So I was in my "iTrip" in-car broadcast stations playlist, not "All". Well, hey, maybe we should run with this anyway. There's a lot of important numerology in string theory (number of dimensions of spacetime, light families of subatomic particles, etc). Maybe the ol' pod knows something about that. Perhaps they're Hodge numbers (i.e. topological data) telling us the correct manifold on which to compactify to get our four dimensional world with all the observed physics. Any experts care to take a stab at interpreting? Perhaps they are years in which key papers were written that can help, or key Strings conferences. Perhaps they are part of www.arxiv.org/hep-th/yymmnnn paper numbers and if we could work out the code we'd know which vital papers to read? The pod could be on to something here.

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