- Regarding rumors that he's working with Steven Spielberg:
I’m working on a science fiction film with Steven that’s based on a treatment I coauthored with the producer Lynda Obst. I will be an executive producer on the film, basically focused on bringing good science into it. I expect that nothing in the film will violate fundamental physical law, and all the wild speculations in the film will spring from science. The working title is Interstellar, but it’s unlikely that will be the final title. It is a story in which the warped side of the universe plays a major role.
- Regarding the merits of string theory:
It shows many signs of being on the right track toward a correct quantum theory of gravity. It has given rise to a number of very important ideas that have a good shot at being correct, such as higher dimensions, such as the possibility of forming mini-black holes at the LHC [Large Hadron Collider, a new particle accelerator that may be up and running next year], and thereby probing higher dimensions. String theory is now beginning to make concrete, observational predictions which will be tested. Claims that it is just theorists playing mental masturbation are, I think, nonsense.
Interestingly, the article provides a link with the words "mental masturbation" to an article about Peter Woit's book, though it's not perfectly clear (to me at least) that Kip is refering to "Not Even Wrong." Not to mention the fact that both Woit's and Smolin's criticisms don't really reduce to that particular alliterative phrase. Have either of these two, or anyone else for that matter, used such a criticism?
(via It's Equal, but It's Different)