Sokal hoax reversed!?

Looks like the Semioticians have struck back:

“We all laughed when Alan Sokal wrote a deliberately silly paper entitled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”, and managed to get it accepted by a refereed journal of social and cultural studies, Social Text.

But now I hear that two brothers have managed to publish 3 meaningless papers in physics journals as a hoax – and even get Ph.D. degrees in physics from Bourgogne University in the process! The theses are available in PDF format online, at least for now:

Igor Bogdanov

Grichka Bogdanov
(Quantum fluctuations of the signature of the metric at the Planck scale)


Guide to the Government from The Times

Guide to Government

Cabinet Office
Culture, Media and Sport
Education and Skills
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Home Office
International Development
Law Officers
Lord Chancellor’s Department
Northern Ireland Office
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Privy Council Office
Scotland Office
Trade and Industry
Wales Office
Work and Pensions

Job Loss Didn’t Make the Underclass by John H. McWhorter

From the Arts and Letters Daily – “Some black neighborhoods in Indianapolis have been turned into war zones. How to explain it? Racism? Failed industry? Bad bus service? John McWhorter wonders…” The conventional excuse for the Urban underclass:

In the sixties, the blue-collar jobs that supported previous generations of urban blacks moved out of town, beyond the reach of public transit. Left behind by this ìdeindustrializationî was a core of ill-educated young blacks. With little hope of finding employment, these young people understandably became skeptical of the value of work. With an attitude problem imposed upon them by forces beyond their control, they then frightened off any potential employers who might be willing to set up shop in the inner city, thus completing the vicious circle.

Those who hold this view see the self-destructive behavior of todayís black underclass as a natural response to an economically unjust and institutionally racist society. The only humaneóor realisticósolution: a radical restructuring of society.

McWhorter debunks this myth thoroughly.

…history makes it painfully clear that what really did in the cityís poor blacks was not a dearth of jobs but instead a destructive cultural mix: equal measures of the blame game and the formulaic rage that goes along with it, the welfare dependency that a sense of black grievance fostered, and the condescending ìbenevolenceî of white liberals who championed rage as admirable and dependency as justice.


Communist Psychological Warfare (Brainwashing)

Consultation with Edward Hunter, Author and Foreign Correspondent, COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

ìI have been watching developments under communism in other parts of the world, and now I see exactly the same developments here in America.î

These developments, he continued, include, first of all, the penetration of our leadership circles by a softening up and creating a defeatist state of mind. This includes penetration of our educational circles by a similar state of mind, in addition to one other thing the long-range perspective of the professor who is above anything that is happening here and now, and considers himself as an objective spectator in a long, long vista of history.

[ Compare: “Philosophy professors, or so at least Bernard Williams seems to think, have techniques to stand outside history and judge truth.” Arts and Letters daily comment on this article]

ìI see, primarily, as part of this softening up process in America, the liquidation of our attitudes on what we used to recognize as right and wrong, what we used to accept as absolute moral standards. We now confuse moral standards with the sophistication of dialectical materialism, with a Communist crackpot Communist crackpot theology which teaches that everything changes, and that what is right or wrong, good or bad, changes as well. So nothing they say is really good or bad. There is no such thing as truth or a lie; and any belief we actually held was simply your being unsophisticated. They donít say this in so many words, except to those who are already indoctrinated in communism.

ìWhat they do say to the rest of us is to be objective; and then they twist that word ëobjectiveí into meaning what they mean by dialectical materialism.î

ìWar has changed its form,î Mr. Hunter declared. ìTheCommunists have discovered that a man killed by a bullet is useless. He can dig no coal. They have discovered that a demolished city is useless. Its mills produce no cloth. The objective of Communist warfare is to capture intact the minds of the people and their possessions, so they can be put to use. This is the modern conception of slavery that puts all the others in the kindergarten age.


Brainwashing & "Education Reform"

Strategies used in China and other Communist countries as described by Edward Hunter in his 1956 book: Brainwashing: The story of the men who defied it.

“Brainwashing is a system of befogging the brain so a person can be seduced into acceptance of what otherwise would be abhorrent to him. He loses touch with reality. Facts and fancy whirl round and change places…. However, in order to prevent people from recognizing the inherent evils in brainwashing, the Reds pretend that it is only another name for something already very familiar and of unquestioned respect, such as education or reform.” Edward Hunter, Brainwashing (New York: Pyramid Books, 1956), pages 185-186)

"Ah consensus Ö the process

“Ah consensus Ö the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?” ó Margaret Thatcher