Thursday, February 24, 2011

How can this be a dissertation defense?

Susie Vrobel is a member of the editorial board of Mohamed El Naschie and Ji-Huan He's new crackpot journal Fractal Spacetime and Noncommutative Geometry in Quantum and High Energy Physics (FSNGQHEP). So of course I am finding out as much about her as I can. In the course of my investigations I came across this video.

It shows Kerri Welch - now apparently Dr. Kerri Welch - defending her doctoral thesis at the woo-woo sounding California Institute of Integral Studies on 12 February 2010. There are nine parts, each about ten minutes long. I watched the first three. Part one is embedded above.

Here is the slide deck she was using in case you want to follow along:

A Fractal Topology of Time

As she explains in the first video

What I've done with this dissertation is I've based it off of three main thinkers. Roger Penrose... Laurent Nottale... and the third thinker is Susie Vrobel who is a German thinker who has developed a model of fractal time...

That's the connection with Susie Vrobel about whom we shall have more to say in another post.

To me it is simply appalling that one can get a PhD for this display of unmitigated bullshit. California Institute of Integral Studies even provides a convenient online form to apply for federal money for tuition, managing simultaneously to rip off both the taxpayers and the recipients of their useless degrees. Notice that she clearly has no understanding of the math or physics she tries to use. She devotes one slide to explaining y=|x| is not differentiable at zero. Which is true. But the fact that she thinks it merits a slide is a huge red flag. On another she tells us that log(0)=1. And so it goes, on and on. The parts of her presentation that involve no math or physics are all either trivial or meaningless.

Here is Dr. Kerri Welch's thesis itself.

The chairman of her thesis committee is Brian Swimme, author of a DVD called The Powers of the Universe.

His description:

How are the powers of the Universe alive within you?

How can you align yourself with these powers?

Experience the joy of recognizing that you are the Universe

Develop a deeper intimacy with Earth, an erotic relationship with Life.

"The cosmological powers of the Universe are coursing
through us moment by moment. To become aware of
these powers is to touch the source of Life"

Only $120.00. Act now while supplies last.

Translate English to Arabic
محمد النشائى El Naschie Watch محمد النشائي El Naschie News محمد النشائى محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائى


  1. OMFG, crackpottery par excellence!

  2. I am really outraged that this is an accredited institution with the right to grant degrees.

  3. Even Shawn Halayka could get a PhD there. Probably.

  4. At 2:15 in the 5th video, she says her approach will "enrich quantum mechanics".

  5. I've always considered interdisciplinary science which mix physics and philosophy (not to mention religion) dubious, no matter how credible it may sound or/and who (e.g. Penrose) is dealing with it. Welch's PhD field and topic speak for themselves.

  6. Agree completely. I have watched all nine vids now. In the latter ones she answers questions. What a load of bollocks.

  7. Haha, cute, but probably not. I'm pretty dumb.

  8. Perhaps shrink can agree...

    All the talk about ADHD and schizophrenia in the document is a little presumptuous. She didn't talk about Williams people, who commonly have hyperacusis and learning disabilities. Despite these superficial similarities with ADHD and schizophrenia, Williams people are magically brilliant at music -- a subject where timing is critical.

    Not f**king impressed.

  9. Thank you, Shawn.

    As a learning-disabled hyperacusive schizophrenic with ADHD, Shawn knows whereof he speaks.

  10. Haha no, I'm just dumb. Pay attention!

  11. As long as I hold the dealer chip, I guess I'd like to say that Williams is a deletion of repetitive genomic data, and thus an optimization in terms of information content per genome. The heightened specialization of the abilities of Williams people is evidence of this optimization.

    We only needed our genome to be general in the caveman days when strength and smarts were both needed.

    This is why I feel that I am an inferior human -- I am clever but also extremely strong and agile. I wish I were just clever like a Williams person.

    Apologies for the eccentricity.