Re: the arrogance of postmodern mumbo jumbo

Stephen Barnard (
Sun, 15 Sep 1996 20:49:57 -0800

Bryant wrote:
> Stephen Barnard <> wrote:
> >
> >>In May, 1996 Alan Sokal, a physicist at NYU, published a paper in
> >>_Social_Text_, a leading journal of cultural studies. The title of this
> >>paper was "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative
> >>Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity."
> I've wondered if the collapse of socialism played a role in the
> development of nihilistic postmodern deconstructionism in the academic
> left. Is the timing of this school's emergence right for that explanation?
> Bryant

I don't really think so, Bryant. Postmodernism predates the collapse of
socialism. My own take on its popularity in academia is that it
provides a virtually inexhaustible source of publishable (though largely
unread) papers. That's the absurd thing about academia these days:
Everyone is writing papers and no one is reading them.

Another irresistable feature of the postmodern view of science is that
every math-disabled humanities professor who can't even balance his
checkbook can be skeptical and comtemptuous of the most abstruse
technical subjects, because, after all, they are just arbitrary social

Steve Barnard