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← Is this another Sokal Hoax?

Is this another Sokal Hoax? - Comments

DavidJGrossman's Avatar Comment 1 by DavidJGrossman

My vote is that this is a computer generated text similar to the ones created and submitted to scientific journals in the past (and occasionally accepted).

Or, it could be a hoax article. Or, the author could be a raving lunatic. Or, the author is a genius and I am just too dense to understand it (and/or too lazy to put enough effort into trying to understand it).

- Dave

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 21:57:00 UTC | #26626

waxwings's Avatar Comment 2 by waxwings

If ya can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit.

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 22:07:00 UTC | #26627

PsyPro's Avatar Comment 3 by PsyPro

It can't be a Sokal hoax, as he signed the last one, submitted it for publication, and had it accepted *without review* in one of the (if not THE) top journal in this sadly demented field. This missive is not even as entertaining as that hoax, however polite it may be (who can tell?) because it emanates from, sadly, a Canadian university. The Sokal hoax at least used English, and claims that were demonstrably false. The impenetrability
of the prose in the current missive has not even the virtue of being false; it is not even coherent.

Still, I loved this line opening a paragraph of equally nonsensical bilge: ``Anyone who understands the ways of native hypertext knows that the point is not to struggle against hypertext.'' Really? I guess I don't know the ways of native hypertext, whatever the hell that might mean! But, to be honest, I do struggle against hypertext, such as this POS, obtained as hypertext.

Poor RD: even his hyperbole gets tested in the most ironic fashion. All the more warning: never say that ``even the most idiotic and stupid would never say that x...''---you are inviting just such a pronouncement.

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 22:14:00 UTC | #26628

Quine's Avatar Comment 4 by Quine

Something tells me this was set for April 1st publication.

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 22:22:00 UTC | #26630

Alovrin's Avatar Comment 5 by Alovrin

If you open as many browser windows as you can on your 'puter does that mean your a hypertextualist?

And when the programme crashes is that a "spot of indeterminacy"?a "struggle, a chapter of chances,? a chain of detours,? a series of revealing failures in commitment out of which come the pleasures of the text?" or a "demolition epic"????
This is hilarious I might write my own book about the spatio-temporal perspectiveless subjects and subjectless perspectives.
It will be a narratological construct ..............I cant keep from laughing

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 22:25:00 UTC | #26631

lpetrich's Avatar Comment 6 by lpetrich

Reminds me of this Postmodernism Generator:

The server generates randomized fake postmodernism papers.

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 22:26:00 UTC | #26632

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 7 by the great teapot

looks like they have found Alistair McGraths phd submission.

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 22:57:00 UTC | #26633

thickslab's Avatar Comment 8 by thickslab

Let's be fair here, people. If you read the first chapter, she says:

I have read extensively in math and the sciences to find a discourse to speak about the new media; I am not, however, a scientist and it is important to note that I do use these principles in metaphorical ways.

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 22:58:00 UTC | #26634

BathTub's Avatar Comment 9 by BathTub


Sun, 01 Apr 2007 01:18:00 UTC | #26646

Jiten's Avatar Comment 10 by Jiten

What a beaut! A parody of this article would be identical to it.One thing is clear though-only an educated person can write like this.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 01:33:00 UTC | #26649

Paul Creber's Avatar Comment 11 by Paul Creber

This site operates on Pacific Time, eight hours behind GMT. I strongly suspect that when this was posted, perhaps from the UK, the GMT clock had passed midnight, and it was no longer March 31.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 01:36:00 UTC | #26650

drive1's Avatar Comment 12 by drive1

It's not an April Fool's joke .. someone linked to this article a couple of weeks ago from the Religion forum (IIRC). I managed a whole paragraph then. I managed two paragraphs this time. Still inpenetratable.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 02:06:00 UTC | #26652

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 13 by Cook@Tahiti

It's not just philosophy that produces this drivel (hoax, fool's day or serious), but art criticism, literary criticism, much of economics and a lot of the social sciences.

There's too many academics for too little new knowledge.

Genuine new knowledge comes slowly, painstakingly, and with increasingly industrial-sized research projects (dark energy, LHC, human genome project, etc), but every day there are hundreds more PhDs with pressures to publish.

It's analogous to 24-hour news channels - journalists end up interviewing each other with speculations as to what the Vice-President meant by using that word last week, etc.

Too many journals, too many journalists, too many academics, too many content-producers, etc for actual number of genuine new ideas and data.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 03:21:00 UTC | #26656

Richard Morgan's Avatar Comment 14 by Richard Morgan

Shall I fetch your coat?

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 03:50:00 UTC | #26657

Jared's Avatar Comment 15 by Jared


This is the sort of stuff that drives me up the wall. I end up encountering a lot of it in the literature from my field (film studies), and it never manages to make any sense. As this sort of material becomes the intellectual 'norm' in liberal arts academia, I find myself begrudgingly turning more and more anti-intellectual.

As Chomsky has implied about Derrida, it COULD be that I just don't understand this school of thought. But I'd like to think that I'm intelligent enough, and that its incumbent upon the authors to demonstrate what bearing the things they say have on practical reality. For me, that's the key issue: WHY is anything these people say necessarily so? I've yet to find a sufficient answer.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 04:27:00 UTC | #26662

steve_kap's Avatar Comment 16 by steve_kap

If this is a joke, someone went way out of there way to create a fake internet presents. I'm afraid that this word soup passes for deep thought in some quarters.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 04:35:00 UTC | #26664

cassdenata's Avatar Comment 17 by cassdenata

"Genuine new knowledge comes slowly, painstakingly, and with increasingly industrial-sized research projects (dark energy, LHC, human genome project, etc), but every day there are hundreds more PhDs with pressures to publish."

I disagree with your statement. There is lots of amazing science going on in other fields, at smaller scales in topics that aren't as exciting to the general public but are for their current discipline. You are just listing the most popularized forms of science. You are like the person who goes to the Amazon rainforest and spends the whole time looking in the trees to see a few monkeys but doesn't notice the amazing plant-life all around you.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 04:39:00 UTC | #26667

Yorker's Avatar Comment 18 by Yorker

I never read it all, did anyone? Bullshit of the highest order is easily recognised.

13. Comment #28988 by Rtambree

"There's too many academics for too little new knowledge."

I like that one!

Carolyn, you need to get laid...BADLY!

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 05:52:00 UTC | #26677

Yorker's Avatar Comment 19 by Yorker

Just to be sure, I've just subjected myself to full reading of it, quite a feat, I assure you!

This is either a joke, I'm an idiot, or the author needs to get laid by a sperm whale before being deified as a God of postmodernist metatwaddle.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 06:11:00 UTC | #26680

poppythinks's Avatar Comment 20 by poppythinks

if this aint a hoax what is it?
i read it twice to find a nanoparticle of sense
but nothing emerged.
and if this is truly the work of a feminist trying to make a serious point or two about connectedness, she needs to find another language if she really wishes to communicate.
finally, what has gender got to do with space, time, and cyberspace?? using the words 'womb' and 'quilt' in order to 'feminise' space and time
is a nonsense. 'empowerment' gone haywire.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 06:23:00 UTC | #26681

sane1's Avatar Comment 21 by sane1

Carolyn G. Guertin:

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 06:26:00 UTC | #26682

sane1's Avatar Comment 22 by sane1

I just googled her and found:

It appears she actually exists and has a job!

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 06:29:00 UTC | #26684

J Steven's Avatar Comment 23 by J Steven

This can't be a hoax, mainly because there appears to be a (barely) discernable point. The article seems to be saying that there are feminist (non-?)narratives that the web typifies. That is, linearity = male, nonlinearity = female.

Or maybe it's (a la the gratuitous reference of Heisenberg) classical, "totally" definable = male, "intuitive", ineffable, not totally definable = female.

I suspect no one with a girlfriend or wife would doubt this.

Anyway, just more drivel. Perhaps being a provocateur, but it seems that besides the postmodernists, few disciplines border on the parody of "Christian physics, Islamic mathematics" etc. as often as feminism seems to, i.e. there is scientific knowledge and then there is Woman Knowledge!

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 07:23:00 UTC | #26691

jonecc's Avatar Comment 24 by jonecc

I've tried to translate the first paragraph. This is what I've come up with.

Connectivity is a feminist value, so the Internet works well for women. Quantum feminism is the network of feminist discourse online. The Internet gives the discourse a structure and a means of navigation.

There is a problem with the old-fashioned Internet, which is that because there is no physical journey in hypertext, it emphasises each stage on the Back/Forward procession, rather than the space between them. This is unfair on those spaces, which are cruelly neglected just because they don't really exist.

So it isn't actually impenetrable, it just doesn't repay penetration. Which in itself is a metaphor she probably wouldn't like very much.

It should be admitted that while nothing is actually learnt, there is a kind of poetry to it. In places it's a bit like a Zen koan.

Does anyone fancy doing the next paragraph?

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 07:43:00 UTC | #26697

Donald's Avatar Comment 25 by Donald

From Guertin's sponsor's description:
"The McLuhan Program's mandate is to encourage understanding of the impacts of technology on culture and society from theoretical and practical perspective"

Guertin has either not noticed the word "understanding" or doesn't have a clue what it means. But she scores highly on vocabulary and superficiality. If she doesn't make tenure as an academic in media studies, perhaps she could become a feminist theologian?

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 08:01:00 UTC | #26702

Bookman's Avatar Comment 26 by Bookman

If this is not an April Fools joke, then it's seriously disturbing. The University of Toronto has a prestigious reputation, but, obviously, a loony has been ensconced in a salaried position there.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 08:33:00 UTC | #26705

pault's Avatar Comment 27 by pault

My personal filter when reading papers such as this, is that if the word quantum is used by anyone other than a mathematician or a physicist, it's bullshit.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 10:10:00 UTC | #26715

phiwilli's Avatar Comment 28 by phiwilli

Jared sez: "As this sort of material becomes the intellectual 'norm' in liberal arts academia, I find myself begrudgingly turning more and more anti-intellectual."

But, happily, it isn't becoming the norm. There's less of it now than 10 or so years ago because it's been so widely riduculed. It just tends to get undue attention because it's so bizarre.

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 10:37:00 UTC | #26717

He'sAVeryNaughtyBoy's Avatar Comment 29 by He'sAVeryNaughtyBoy

WTF? Parle vous Englais?

@Sane1 - love the quote from a brilliantly stupid film.

@Richard Morgan - sorry but I've got to ask as it has been bugging me for about a month now. Are you THE Richard Morgan, author of the Takeshi Kovacs books?

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 12:34:00 UTC | #26738

atkinson's Avatar Comment 30 by atkinson

Dr. Johnson put it well: "I have indeed, not read it all. But when I take up the end of a web, and find it packthread, I do not expect, by looking further, to find embroidery." [Boswell: Life]

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 14:12:00 UTC | #26755