Monthly Archives: January 2014

MIT Cosmologist Confesses that His New Book Is a Hoax

TegmarkDuring an interview about his new book Our Mathematical Universe, famous cosmologist and MIT physics chair Max Tegmark unexpectedly burst into tears, crying “I can’t stand your stupid questions any longer!“ The interviewer had asked him about the meaning of the four ‘levels‘ of multiverses mentioned in his book. The author blubbered: “Oh God, this is just crazy! The idea of the level I universe is blatant nonsense. Don’t you see that?“ when asked for explanations as why he had embarrassed so many colleagues, the respected scientist, with much regret in his voice, explained: “It all began a couple of years ago. I wanted to make fun of some of my colleagues after I realised that they parroted too much. Thus I wrote a paper with the ironic title Shut up and Calculate. Quite unexpectedly, it was taken seriously by my peers. If one of them at the time had had the courage to tell me to shut up, I would have stopped! But nobody did. You know, people were expecting more and more, publishers knocked at the door… and the disaster took its course. To top it once and for all, I invented the most absurd nonsense about multiverses and wrote this goddam manuscript. I am so embarrassed!“

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When the interviewer interjected that the book had received great reviews, Tegmark shouted: “If it had gone unnoticed at least!“ But the Financial Times and even the string critic Peter Woit, a bit starry-eyed as he is, took it seriously! Now I will be regarded as an utter fool forever. My only hope is is that the rest of physics might become indistinguishable from such hoaxes. But surely we are a long way from that yet…“