Wednesday, November 22, 2006


About two weeks ago I went for a beer in the Western bar on the great Western Road. There were three old drunk guys at the bar screaming at each other. One guy with dirty white hair shouted to the bar "the first principle of special relativity is E=m c^2". His crazy old friends nodded and worked on the important business of standing up. I was going to correct the guy, but as my mum says you can't argue with drunks. After showing his expertise in Einstein, he then started to shout "what the f**k does it mean that a physical constant is squared." This struck me as profound, and not your normal drunk speak. What did he mean? Perhaps this was some subtle power counting argument about matching to an effective field theory. Or perhaps he had some deep insight to physical dimensions of quantaties based on string theory only having one scale. Feynman claimed that his noble prize work was based on watching somebody throw a plate at Cornell. I don't mind so much that the guy was loud, drunk, and dirty, but how can I respect the opinion of someone who doesn't set c=1 in their equations? At a table close to me some people were talking about their job installing kitchen units. Some people know how to have fun. As I left the bar, I thought I need a new way to unwind after work. I wonder if I will end up like that drunk guy? Will my only audience for my physics theories be the happy hour crowd?