On his blog, “Jacques Distler”:http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/archives/000638.html wrote of how “arXiv.org”:http://arxiv.org/ e-Print archive starts to support trackbacks for individual articles. Which I think is very cool. Of course, we have systems that track paper citations, but one doesn’t always want to write another paper just to express comments about one. I might just want to say it’s a fabulous find, or simply crack.
I don’t really know how many physicists keep a blog (it’s more than mathematician or other kind of sciences anyway, to my knowledge. But this could, in theory, be implemented in greater scale. Say, a course webpage for a graduate class in quantum field, which sends trackback to articles that it discussed.
What I disagree with is the system that only allow incoming pings from _white listed_ sites. This is really backward and, of course, not scalable, and there exists many spam protection that doesn’t require more than an hour a week to keep accurate. And for the crackpots? I don’t see any difference in them compared to viagra or poker spams. Just mark them as spams and let the system blacklist the site in the usual way. If it takes more than a few second to decide whether one trackback is crazy, it’s probably worth keeping.
_Or am I being naive about the last point? Crakpots’ determination to voice their *theory* is sometimes as strong as sex drive._