Monday, November 15, 2004

some more mumbo-jumbo

today's favourite passage from francis wheen's how mumbo-jumbo conquered the world:

"Although much post-modernism may be nonsense, it is nonsense with a purpose: by using quasi-scientific terminology the po-mo theologians intended to explode the 'objectivity' of science itself. The fact that they knew nothing about mathematics, physics or chemistry was no obstacle. Luce Irigaray, a high priestess of the movement, denounced Einstein's E=mc^2 as a 'sexed equation', since 'it privileges the speed of light over other [less masculine] speeds that are vitally necessary to us'. In a similar vein, she protested at 'the privileging of solid over fluid mechanics, and indeed the inability of science to deal with turbulent flow at all', attributing this bias to the association of fluidity with femininity: 'Whereas men have sex organs that protrude and become rigid, women have openings that leak menstrual blood and vaginal fluids... From this perspective it is no wonder that science has not been able to arrive at a successful model for turbulence. The problem of turbulent flow cannot be solved because the conceptions of fluids (and of women) have been formulated so as to necessarily leave unarticulated remainders.'"



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