There’s a lot of discussion about the usefulness of String Theory. What is it for? Is it Science? Physics? Philosophy? Mathematics? Performance Art? (Check this out!) Has it lost its way, or are people just attacking it because it is now the biggest and easiest target out there? Well, I don’t know for sure but I have my own position. Maybe I’ll talk about it later. Look at Peter Woit’s blog if you want to get a jump start on the matter.
Right now, I want to offer the thesis that one definitely known use of string theory (and other related endeavours) is to give employment to frustrated (but nonetheless enthusiastic) musicians. I give you Brian Wecht, Brook Williams, Nelia Mann, Ted Erler, Matt Lippert, and Nick Jones singing the Strings 2005 song, via the website of Jacques Distler, where I found the mp3 file. Wow!
Before rushing to unkind judgement, be aware that the standard was set by a very large portion of the String Theory community at Strings 1998 in Santa Barbara, where we all (350 of us or so!) sang and danced to Jeff Harvey’s song “The Maldacena” to the tune of “The Macarena”, as described in this article. The person who “blurts out an adequate rendition of the popular Latin tune on his trumpet” (my italics) is me, and it’s also me in silhouette with the weirdest finger positions. Let me be the first to say that my playing was awful, but everybody (except it seems, the reporter) was very kind.
P.S. If anyone who went to Strings 2005 has a picture of the above people singing at Strings 2005, please send it if they’d like it posted here!