... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

241: A Transverse Methodology ...

A Transverse Methodology for Rewriting Nonlinear Depth/Trajectory Injunctive in a Quasi-Hubristic CLUNGE-Network
Sea Captain Archibald Archibald
Nora Harmsreach, MPhil
The Rt. Hon. Kevin Bradshaw, King of Scotland

The standard model for de-branding and re-truncating current noids of epistemological CL-Rx traffic systems through a tox/retox docking port no longer satisfies a thronging mass of prehensile do-droids.  This healthy system stop/re-stop post-partum Patum Peperium depression can be performed while all systems still retread as if the goal remains par-sectional manifold.  A cultural heuristic re-imagining can be prompted to reject or infiltrate the ongoing Spodian grand tableaux.  The benefit of this is, of course, dripeptic.


Good god that was hard work.  For no good reason I was trying to generate from the top of my head what can be done automatically with the click of a mouse by The Chomskybot, SnarXiv, SCIgen, or the Postmodernism Generator.  They generate nonsense in the style of, respectively, Noam Chomsky, physics papers, computer science papers, and of course postmodernist philosophy (puke!).

Actually working to come up with this crap off the top of your head is pretty hard going, but it’s not a patch on actually trying to read any of the stuff it’s mocking.  I had intended to write the entire post in that meaningless techno-babble, but it drained me like casting my first patronus charm.  Still at least I’m not back at uni, being expected to actually read it and give a shit.

This has been prompted by my suddenly remembering the (so-called) Sokal affair, in which Professor of Physics Alan Sokal submitted a complete stream of postmodern bullshit to the ridiculous journal Social Text.  The elitist idiots at Social Text were so overjoyed to receive what seemed like actual scientific confirmation of their meaningless chatter, that they happily published “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”.

On the same day his spoof paper was unwittingly published, he published an article in another magazine, Lingua Franca (now defunct) revealing the paper as a hoax.  He mocked their willingness to publish something they did not understand simply based on his qualifications and the paper’s dense and obscure language.

Postmodern philosophers fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of language, and desperately try to emulate the language of science in order to pretend to academic and actual knowledge.  Scientific language can sometimes be complicated, but always strives to explain things as simply as possible.  If it seems complicated that is because the subject is, not because the language is making it.  Postmodern philosophy (art theory, etc) is intentionally over-complicated, and wants to seem big and important when it is actually trivial.

An Amazon review of Sokal’s book Intellectual Imposters sums it up nicely:  “Fashionable French intellectuals in the fields of social and cultural studies - Jacques Lacan, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Francois Lyotard and Luce Irigaray - habitually misuse scientific concepts and terms. Unable to produce genuine science in their own fields, Lacan et al import concepts from the physical sciences - typically, chaos theory, fuzzy logic and the uncertainty principle - to try to impress. They regard science, evidence, reason and knowledge as oppressive. [WP]”

The art-lover in me hates this because it makes art seem even more elitist and pretentious, and the science-lover in me hates this because it adds to the confusion about what science is and what it does.  Curses.  Thank fuck I'm not at uni anymore! 

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