Hoaxes can be fun but they can also make serious points. Fraud tends to be thought of as financial but there are whole swathes of quasi-intellectual posturing which qualifies. Social Text is one excellent example. The perpetrator was #Alan Sokal, a professor of maths and physics who wrote a paper claiming that gravity is a social construct rather than a solidly provable fact. It worked. Social Text published "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" which was total rubbish. Anyone who imagines that gravity is just a mass delusion is deeply silly and ignorant. See #Sokal Affair
That is how it is with Global Warming, Psychiatry Is A Boondoggle et cetera.
Ern Malley Hoax
Ern Malley was the name of a non-existent poet whose output was given to Angry Penguins, a modernist magazine. The editor, a pretentious fool called Max Harris swallowed it, hook line and sinker. He proved that Degenerate Art is a reality run by chancers. One perpetrator, James McAuley went on to found Quadrant, a literary magazine.
PS The Wikipedia lists 105 Literary Hoaxes, which demonstrates that there are rogues & fools, marketing Degenerate Art.
Affirmative Action Hoax
It is run by liars. Stephen Gould, the author of Mismeasure of Man is one of the most effective.
Was big in psychology and thought to be 90% charlatan. I would be surprised if he were anything else.
This is a fraud with major consequences running into billions. Various ignoramii are pushing this one hard. Governments are swallowing it for reasons good, bad and indifferent.
The hoaxer extraordinaire.
Psychiatry Is A Boondoggle
See the Rosenhan Experiment for more and better evidence on this one.
Sokal Affair ex Wiki
The Sokal affair (also Sokal's hoax) was an experiment by physicist Alan Sokal perpetrated on the editorial staff and readership of the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text (published by Duke University Press).
In 1996, Sokal, a professor of physics at New York University, submitted a paper for publication in Social Text, as an experiment to see if a journal in that field would, in Sokal's words: "publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions." The paper argued that quantum gravity is a social and linguistic construct.
The paper, titled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity", was published in the Spring/Summer 1996 "Science Wars" issue of Social Text, which at that time had no peer review process, and so did not submit it for outside review. 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 [he] could find about mathematics and physics" made by postmodernist academics.
The resulting debate focused on the relative scholarly merits or lack thereof of sociological commentary on the physical sciences and of postmodern-influenced sociological disciplines in general, as well as on academic ethics, including both whether it was appropriate for Sokal to deliberately mislead an academic journal, as well as whether Social Text took appropriate precautions in publishing the paper.
This does not quite prove that all sociologists are posers, third raters or patter merchants but it is highly suggestive.
Alan Sokal ex Wiki
Alan David Sokal (born 1955) is a professor of mathematics at University College London and professor of physics at New York University. He works in statistical mechanics and combinatorics. To the general public he is best known for his criticism of postmodernism, resulting in the Sokal affair in 1996.
Sokal’s research lies in mathematical physics and combinatorics. In particular, he studies the interplay between these fields based on questions arising in statistical mechanics and quantum field theory. This includes work on the chromatic polynomial and the Tutte polynomial, which appear both in algebraic graph theory and in the study of phase transitions in statistical mechanics. His interests include computational physics and algorithms, such as Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for problems in statistical physics. He also co-authored a book on quantum triviality.
Sokal is best known to the general public for the Sokal Affair of 1996. Curious to see whether the then-non-peer-reviewed postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text (published by Duke University Press) would publish a submission which "flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions," Sokal submitted a grand-sounding but completely nonsensical paper entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity."
The journal did in fact publish it, and soon thereafter Sokal then revealed that the article was a hoax in the journal Lingua Franca, arguing that the left and social science would be better served by intellectual underpinnings based on reason. He replied to leftist and postmodernist criticism of the deception by saying that his motivation had been to "defend the Left from a trendy segment of itself."
The affair, together with Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt's book Higher Superstition, can be considered to be a part of the so-called Science wars.
Sokal followed up by co-authoring the book Impostures Intellectuelles with Jean Bricmont in 1997 (published in English, a year later, as Fashionable Nonsense). The book accuses other academics of using scientific and mathematical terms incorrectly and criticizes 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 alleged inconsistencies and criticizing the authors for ignorance of the fields under attack and taking passages out of context.
In 2008, Sokal revisited the Sokal affair and its implications in Beyond the Hoax.
But why did I do it? I confess that I'm an unabashed Old Leftist who never quite understood how deconstruction was supposed to help the working class. And I'm a stodgy old scientist who believes, naively, that there exists an external world, that there exist objective truths about that world, and that my job is to discover some of them.
Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. (I live on the twenty-first floor.)
So he is a leftie but he did well.
Involved the admission of healthy 'pseudopatients' to twelve psychiatric hospitals. It worked. The alleged professional's could not tell the difference between real lunatics and imposters. It also worked in reverse when they were told that there were imposters when there were none so they kicked genuine loons out.
The most amusing thing is that the genuine inmates realised that it was a stitch up.
The Rosenhan experiment was a famous experiment into the validity of psychiatric diagnosis conducted by psychologist David Rosenhan in 1973. It was published in the journal Science under the title "On being sane in insane places." The study is considered an important and influential criticism of psychiatric diagnosis.
Rosenhan's study consisted of two parts. The first part involved the use of healthy associates or "pseudopatients" who briefly simulated auditory hallucinations in an attempt to gain admission to 12 different psychiatric hospitals in five different states in various locations in the United States. All were admitted and diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. After admission, the pseudopatients acted normally and told staff that they felt fine and had not experienced any more hallucinations. Hospital staff failed to detect a single pseudopatient, and instead believed that all of the pseudopatients exhibited symptoms of ongoing mental illness. Several were confined for months. All were forced to admit to having a mental illness and agree to take antipsychotic drugs as a condition of their release.
The second part involved asking staff at a psychiatric hospital to detect non-existent "fake" patients. The staff falsely identified large numbers of genuine patients as impostors.
The study concluded, "It is clear that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane in psychiatric hospitals" and also illustrated the dangers of depersonalization and labeling in psychiatric institutions. It suggested that the use of community mental health facilities which concentrated on specific problems and behaviors rather than psychiatric labels might be a solution and recommended education to make psychiatric workers more aware of the social psychology of their facilities.
The Rosenhan experiment was a famous experiment into the validity of psychiatric diagnosis conducted by psychologist David Rosenhan in 1973. It was published in the journal Science under the title "On being sane in insane places." The study is considered an important and influential criticism of psychiatric diagnosis
The alleged experts who came unstuck were not amused.
SCIgen program: In an event which has been compared to the Sokal affair, a paper randomly generated by the SCIgen program was accepted as a non-peer-reviewed paper for presentation at the 2005 World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI). The conference announced the prank article's non-reviewed acceptance even though none of the article's three assigned reviewers had submitted a response. The three MIT graduate students responsible for the hoax said they were unaware of the Sokal affair until after they had submitted the article. Bogdanov Affair: an event in theoretical physics once called a reverse-Sokal controversy. Jan Hendrik Schön: published not one but 28 papers in Nature, Science and Physical Review that were pure frauds, although they were logical and consistent with the data he fabricated. Rosenhan experiment: involving the admission of healthy 'pseudopatients' to twelve psychiatric hospitals. The Report From Iron Mountain: a hoax report purportedly leaked from a government think tank. Project Alpha: hoax by James Randi on a psychic foundation. Atlanta Nights: a similar hoax by a group of pro authors on a vanity press. Ern Malley: a similar hoax involving modernist poetry. Disumbrationism: a similar hoax involving modern art. Spectra: A Book of Poetic Experiments: another hoax involving modernist poetry. Nat Tate: a hoax on the art world by William Boyd in 1998. At Face Value: a book by Donald Akenson suggesting that Canadian MP John White was actually Eliza McCormack White, John White's sister, and thus the first woman elected to the House of Commons. The book was a hoax and transparently based on Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders.
Errors & omissions, broken links,
cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever; if
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Updated on 24/01/2018 16:35