Re: the arrogance of postmodern mumbo jumbo

Len Piotrowski (
Fri, 20 Sep 1996 16:09:38 GMT

In article <> Stephen Barnard <> writes:

>[cat fish are biting]

>Len Piotrowski wrote:
>> In article <> Stephen Barnard <> writes:
>> >[snip]
>> >Jargon is only a small part of it. The really embarassing aspect of
>> >Sokal's article, for the editors of Social Text, is that they swallowed
>> >his technical references hook, line, and sinker. Why wouldn't they at
>> >least have run this by someone who was qualified to make a judgement?
>> >Sokal says that he encouraged editorial criticism in the review process.
>> >The only conclusion I can draw is that they were so delighted to have a
>> >physicist with excellent physics credentials apparently endorsing their
>> >political agenda that they didn't really care. They were, in the end,
>> >so awed by Sokal's white-coat physics reputation that they took him as
>> >*the* authority, which makes their compemptuous PM stance toward the
>> >physical sciences ridiculous.
>> On the contrary, the ethics behind scientific "authority" are what has
>> suffered the most from this hoax. If science can fake "technical reference"
>> in support of a false agenda, how does this example differentiate science from
>> any other socially-constructed, narrowly contingent, and politically arbitrary
>> view of the world?

>There were no faked references. All his citations were accurate, so far
>as I know. I was using "reference" in the common sense -- that he
>"referred" to technical things, such as Einstein's general theory of

I was using "reference" in the sense of authoritative credentials, which was
your implication for Sokal's acceptance as "genuine," thus, enabling fakery.

>Furthermore, it was a hoax in only a gentle sense.

versus your harsh hoax, no doubt. Ho-hum!

>There was no actual
>attempt to deceive the editors about anything other than his intentions,

... and his sanction to speak as authority.

>which were made clear as soon as the article was published.

You're right! He faked his intentions and faked his "scientific" authority to
justify publically pronouncing on his duplicitous intentions. That presents a
moral and ethical problem for "science."

> As Sokal
>put it, the article was an experiment, and the outcome confirmed his

Hogwash! No theory was presented, no hypothesis to test the validity or
falsifiability of the theory was developed, no "scientific" results were
forthcoming. The exercise took place in a socially contingent context, with
results quite embarassing for a scientist claiming "science" made him do it.

>The extreme gullibility and credulousness of the editors, who pose as
>sophisticated skeptics, is delicious.

Not as "delicious" as your pissing pose disguised (faked/hoaxed) as legitimate



"If you can't remember what mnemonic means, you've got a problem."
- perlstyle