"I wish I understood string theory": The song


18 Responses to “"I wish I understood string theory": The song”

  1. Sapa says:

    Only reason that anyone can’t do anything is because they haven’t learnt how imo

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, yeah, but some things really are exceptionally difficult for some people – multi-dimensional differential equations take more than just lots of reading to truly understand.

      • Sapa says:

        Depends what you feed your brain with you mean?

        • Scurra says:

          I don’t think it’s that easy. I can’t believe that the problems I have in remembering which is left and which is right are solely down to not learning it properly when I was small enough for it to make a significant difference.

          All I know is that I know enough science to know that I don’t understand science, and enough art/music to know that I don’t understand art/music. Now that really sucks.

  2. pjcamp says:


    String theory is wrong so what’s the point in understanding it?

    Go forth and do something important with your time.

  3. MauiMaker says:

    skip string theory – wrap your brain around E8 theory of everything. At least that can be tested – Do the predicted missing particles appear in LHC under right circumstances?


    Gareth Branwyn assigned me to read a 480 page book about particle physics, string theory, branes & stuff. I paid close attention and was only completely bewildered by about 3 things. But after all that I have only the sketchiest outline of the subject. Maybe enough to sound knowledgeable to a drunk, ignorant person.
    But it was entertaining.

  5. Ocker3 says:

    pah! You’ve all missed the Whole Point of the Song! What part of the entire song is actually possible? He’s just fishing for an invite to the LHC…

  6. noen says:

    If something cannot in principle be made coherent then it isn’t worth investigating, it’s just theology. And given how in their latest book Mlodinow and Hawking basically claim that the laws of physics somehow reached back before the big bang and invented themselves I think the connection to theology is complete.

    Maybe Einstein was right after all.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about, “I Wish I Understood Why an Idea (That is Not Really a Theory) is so Popular with Scientists even Though There is no Test to Prove or Disprove It”.

    I’d like that song.

  8. Chaoskitten says:

    Right there with ya, man. If we add some bolognaise theory we might end up with a flying spaghetti monster though, which would bring ultradense physics, satirical religious farce and ancient eastern philosophy into a thematically complete, neatly counterpointed right-brained conceptual whole.

  9. Rick York says:

    Great song. The only thing that could improve it would be that instead of OH-OH-OH in the chorus, he had written OH-OH-ONE-OH.

  10. KidDork says:

    I don’t understand anything, but I did tap my foot to this.

  11. alllie says:

    There are some things about which it is not true to say that every man has a right to his own opinion. I do not have the right to an opinion about acausality in the small world, or about black holes or other universes beyond black holes in the large world, for I cannot do the mathematics. Physics, deep and beautiful physics, can be spoken only in pure, unaccented mathematics, and no other language exists for expressing its meaning, not yet anyway. Lacking the language, I concede that it is none of my business…Lewis Thomas, Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Night Symphony.

  12. Noodle says:

    I’d have to add that most physicists don’t understand string theory either, only the string theorists really do ;)

    • AnthonyC says:

      I very much doubt that string theorists understand string theory. If they did, modern physics would be very different.

  13. redsquares says:

    There’s a physicist out there who wishes he could understand how to write a song every day…

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