Gravity's Rainbow

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Scholarship is always political

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“Sokal Squared” is bad science. Its blatant manipulation of its own “data,” the lack of meaningful controls, and the disconnect between its methods and what it claims to prove are a remarkably poor model for nonpoliticized scholarship, even if it were true (as it clearly is not) that the hoaxers were any less driven by ideology than their targets. As historians and philosophers of science have long recognized, claims that good science is apolitical are routinely deployed in the service of very political end [Source: Orthodoxxed! | Online Only | n+1]

There are real problems with academia, with peer review and scientific publishing, with reproducibility in science. This hoax (which is not a hoax, but behavior ranging from misconduct to outright fraud) doesn’t get us any closer to fixing real problems and instead tries to use a the faux objectivity of scientific respectability to discredit political movements and ideas they disagree with.

I mean, look at who likes it – people like Jordan Peterson and Peter Pinker –

“It is hard to imagine a form of scholarship less rigorous, more motivated by nonscientific concerns, and more warped by political hobbyhorses than what these men practice.”

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