FACTOID # 21: 15% of Army recruits from South Dakota are Native American, which is roughly the same percentage for female Army recruits in the state.
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Encyclopedia > Alan Sokal

Alan David Sokal (born 1955) is a physicist at New York University. 1955 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A physicist is a scientist trained in physics. ... New York University (NYU) is a large research university in New York City. ...

An unabashed leftist, Sokal went to the National University of Nicaragua to teach mathematics under the Sandinista government. Sandinista! is also the name of a popular music album by The Clash. ...

He is best known to the general public for the Sokal Affair of 1996: in an attempt to "defend the Left from a trendy segment of itself", Sokal submitted a secretly parodic paper to the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text to see if they would publish any nonsense which "flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions". The journal published it and Sokal revealed the hoax in Lingua Franca, citing, among others, Noam Chomsky to argue that the left and social science would be better served by intellectual underpinnings based on reason. This, together with Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt's book Higher Superstition, can be considered to be the beginnings of the so-called Science wars. The Sokal Affair was a famous hoax played by physicist Alan Sokal upon the editorial staff and readership of a leading journal in the academic humanities, in 1996. ... 1996 is a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... In contemporary usage, parody is a form of satire that imitates another work of art in order to ridicule it. ... Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century... Cultural studies combines sociology, literary theory, film/video studies, and cultural anthropology to study cultural phenomena in industrial societies. ... Social Text is a humanities journal published by Duke University Press. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is Institute Professor Emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ... Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels With Science is a book by biologist Paul R. Gross and mathematician Norman Levitt. ... The Science wars were intellectual battles in the 1990s between postmodernists and Realists (neither camp would likely use the terms to describe themselves) about the nature of scientific theories. ...

He followed this up by co-authoring the book Fashionable Nonsense with Jean Bricmont in 1998 (originally published in French, a year before, as Impostures Intellectuelles). The book accuses other academics of using scientific and mathematical terms incorrectly and proponents of the strong program for denying the value of truth. The book had mixed reviews, with some lauding the effort, some more reserved, and others pointing out inconsistencies and criticizing the authors for ignorance of the fields under attack and taking passages out of context. Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals Abuse of Science (French: Impostures Intellectuelles, published in the UK as Intellectual Impostures) is a book by professors Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont. ... Jean Bricmont is a Belgian theoretical physicist and a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain. ... 1998 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... The Strong Program/Programme is a variety of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (SSK) particularly associated with David Bloor, Barry Barnes, and Bruno Latour. ...

In physics, Sokal's research interests include statistical mechanics, quantum field theory, mathematical physics, and computational physics. Statistical mechanics is the application of statistics, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. ... Quantum field theory (QFT) is the application of quantum mechanics to fields. ... Mathematical physics is a scientific discipline aimed at studying and solving problems inspired by physics within a mathematically rigorous framework. ... Computational physics is the study and implementation of numerical algorithms in order to solve problems in physics for which a quantitative theory already exists. ...

External links

  • Alan Sokal's professional page
  • Alan Sokal on the Social Text Affair (with very extensive links)

  Results from FactBites:
Sokal Affair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1019 words)
The Sokal Affair was a hoax by physicist Alan Sokal on the editorial staff and readership of a leading postmodern cultural studies journal called Social Text.
On the day of its publication, Sokal announced in another publication, Lingua Franca, that the article was a hoax, calling his paper "a pastiche of left-wing cant, fawning references, grandiose quotations, and outright nonsense", which was "structured around the silliest quotations I could find about mathematics and physics" made by humanities academics.
Sokal argued that this was the whole point—the journal published articles not on the basis of whether they were correct or made sense, but simply because of who wrote them and how they sounded.
Alan Sokal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (382 words)
Alan David Sokal (born 1955) is a professor of physics and faculty member of the mathematics department at New York University.
Politically leftist, Sokal previously taught mathematics at the National University of Nicaragua during the Sandinista government.
Sokal A. Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity".
  More results at FactBites »



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