Skip to comments.Postmodernism and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
Posted on 07/24/2010 8:43:57 AM PDT by mattstat
Since I am, by nature, a compassionate individual, I had been thinking of how we might Sokal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). It is for their own good.
Alan Sokal: remember him? Hes the physicist who submitted the scam article Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity to the oh-so-prestigious postmodern journal Social Text.
Postmodernists are intellectuals who are so jealous of the success of real scientists, that they pretend that scientists accomplishments are nothing special. They are the sort of people who authoritatively state, There is no truth, or Truth is a social construction. You may find postmodernists in any university English or Sociology department, the New York Times editorial desk, and in the current administration.
Anyway, Sokal typed up an article of complete gibberish larded with science words, such as:
As Althusser rightly commented, Lacan finally gives Freuds thinking the scientific concepts that it requires. More recently, Lacans topologie du sujet has been applied fruitfully to cinema criticism and to the psychoanalysis of AIDS. In mathematical terms, Lacan is here pointing out that the first homology group of the sphere is trivial, while those of the other surfaces are profound; and this homology is linked with the connectedness or disconnectedness of the surface after one or more cuts.
Painful, right? Stuff no serious person would ever read, and only the insane would take seriously. That Sokal...
(Excerpt) Read more at wmbriggs.com ...
This reminds me of the MIT prank where some students created a scientific thesis generator that basically made up BS papers full of scientific terms and was able to get several published in major journals. You can still play with this generator.
I love it!
Otherwise,it is a continuation of many Marxist ideas, such as atheism, socialism, punctuated evolution, oppression and marginalization of classes and other minorities,and the socially constructed self.
Part of the problem, admittedly, is that Habermas was translated from German, which often translates turgidly. But I also suspect that there is an element of utter gibberish in this stuff, whether because the language itself becomes inadequate to the task or because the concepts are just too esoteric to be relevant (or because it's just a bunch of hoohaw) I don't know ...
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