Re: the arrogance of postmodern mumbo jumbo

Bruce Scott TOK (
16 Sep 1996 18:45:48 GMT

Stephen Barnard ( wrote:
: 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?

: 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.

Or, some of them are taking the piss. I sometimes think both Foucault
and Derrida were having a lot of fun with the people who tried to read

: 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
: constructs.

Not just science. You can hold onto all of your favorite myths and
ignore any contrary argument once you can look to dialectical contexts
and deconstruct anything inconvenient. The PM-ists are by far not the
only ones to do this. Just ask Brother Rush, or the Xian Coalition.
They just use different language.

Mach's gut!
Bruce Scott Congratulations to Ghada Shouaa,
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Plasmaphysik Olympic heptathlon champion!