The Sokal Hoax

The workings of the Universe.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 5774
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

The Sokal Hoax

Post by Christopher K. »

When we consider the nature of the Universe and our place in it, those thoughts and speculations delve directly into existential hopes and fears. They can't help doing so. It would seem very important to not only treat another's beliefs with as much respect and empathy as possible, but to also (if a professional who decides to contribute to the conversation, especially via the taxpayer dollar) actually create something inherently valuable which will contribute to this human investigation. That is why it was both hilarious and troubling when an academic journal accepted a paper regarding quantum gravity which was so obviously a cross-subject mishmash of paradigms as to be nigh-useless as to its stated purpose and (if read as objectively as possible) most certainly a spoof of out-of-control, over-the-top, self-reverential academic thought and procedures.

That's exactly what happened during the now-infamous 1996 event which saw physics professor Alan Sokal submit an "academic paper"--in the loosest sense of the concept--riddled with verbal bilge, logic gaps and sundry nonsensicals...and saw the hoax accepted for publication apparently with little question. That this could have happened at a major academic institution supposedly installed with reasonable checks and balances, and staffed by supposed professionals trained in objective fairness, should shake and question our sense of higher institutions as locations that do not have to be watchdogged as much as it tickles our funny bones.

More information:
http://www.skepdic.com/sokal.html
https://physics.nyu.edu/sokal/weinberg.html
https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~abhishek/sokal.html
https://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/philo/fac ... g_tls.html
Christopher K.
Posts: 5774
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Sokal Hoax

Post by Christopher K. »

Zounds! Did they do it again? Is it a case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same"? In what has been called Sokal Squared mathematician James Lindsay, Peter Boghossian (assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State) and Helen Pluckrose, (English literature scholar) penned several dummy papers on a variety of subjects. One of the paper apparently argued that astronomy was inherently sexist and colonial. Many of the papers were accepted for publication.

Binoy Kampmark (who has also penned an article on mining operations on the Moon, has some intriguing thoughts...
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/01 ... l-studies/
https://musaalgharbi.com/2018/10/16/sok ... dies-hoax/
http://peterboghossian.com/grievance-studies
https://thehill.com/opinion/education/4 ... al-justice
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