Disclaimer:For those of you informed enough to understand where I am coming from regarding this topic, I ask that you let things be. Or, at least provide facts to further the discussion.
I am not out to embarrass anyone. I don't approve of how the author originally did things. Still, there is a certain emotional response based on the structure how this was done in the past that I want to explore explicitly. I do understand his motivations.
Perhaps, it will expose my own arrogance. I am exploring new strategies regarding how to deal with things I find ridiculous.
The article I want to discuss is a little bit of philosophy regarding how modern physics is upsetting the social order imposed by older physics:
Transgressing the Boundaries:Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity
It starts off....
What? What does feminism have to do with objectivity? This seems ridiculous to me. Science cannot assert a priviledged epistemological status with respect to counter-hegemonic naratives? What?There are many natural scientists, and especially physicists, who continue to reject the notion that the disciplines concerned with social and cultural criticism can have anything to contribute, except perhaps peripherally, to their research. Still less are they receptive to the idea that the very foundations of their worldview must be revised or rebuilt in the light of such criticism. Rather, they cling to the dogma imposed by the long post-Enlightenment hegemony over the Western intellectual outlook, which can be summarized briefly as follows: that there exists an external world, whose properties are independent of any individual human being and indeed of humanity as a whole; that these properties are encoded in ``eternal'' physical laws; and that human beings can obtain reliable, albeit imperfect and tentative, knowledge of these laws by hewing to the ``objective'' procedures and epistemological strictures prescribed by the (so-called) scientific method.
But deep conceptual shifts within twentieth-century science have undermined this Cartesian-Newtonian metaphysics1; revisionist studies in the history and philosophy of science have cast further doubt on its credibility2; and, most recently, feminist and poststructuralist critiques have demystified the substantive content of mainstream Western scientific practice, revealing the ideology of domination concealed behind the façade of ``objectivity''.3 It has thus become increasingly apparent that physical ``reality'', no less than social ``reality'', is at bottom a social and linguistic construct; that scientific ``knowledge", far from being objective, reflects and encodes the dominant ideologies and power relations of the culture that produced it; that the truth claims of science are inherently theory-laden and self-referential; and consequently, that the discourse of the scientific community, for all its undeniable value, cannot assert a privileged epistemological status with respect to counter-hegemonic narratives emanating from dissident or marginalized communities. These themes can be traced, despite some differences of emphasis, in Aronowitz's analysis of the cultural fabric that produced quantum mechanics4; in Ross' discussion of oppositional discourses in post-quantum science5; in Irigaray's and Hayles' exegeses of gender encoding in fluid mechanics6; and in Harding's comprehensive critique of the gender ideology underlying the natural sciences in general and physics in particular.7
I know that I only put in bold a section of this, as things I find explicitly ridiculous, but a lot of it reads like it says nothing, or more like nothing that can be made sense of. The whole piece is littered with non-statements and nonsense from my perspective.
There are so many excerpts that I find ridiculous. Here is a little ridiculousness on relativity(in bold):
Again, what? This was written in 1995, long after Einstein and Minkowski did their work, do people really believe that "traditionally" trained mathematicians have trouble because of the "nonlinearity"? What?It is in Einstein's general theory of relativity (1915) that the radical conceptual break occurs: the space-time geometry becomes contingent and dynamical, encoding in itself the gravitational field. Mathematically, Einstein breaks with the tradition dating back to Euclid (and which is inflicted on high-school students even today!), and employs instead the non-Euclidean geometry developed by Riemann. Einstein's equations are highly nonlinear, which is why traditionally-trained mathematicians find them so difficult to solve.33 Newton's gravitational theory corresponds to the crude (and conceptually misleading) truncation of Einstein's equations in which the nonlinearity is simply ignored. Einstein's general relativity therefore subsumes all the putative successes of Newton's theory, while going beyond Newton to predict radically new phenomena that arise directly from the nonlinearity: the bending of starlight by the sun, the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, and the gravitational collapse of stars into black holes.
The article just goes on and on in this form in this form of ridiculousness. But I am willing to see the light if people are willing to explain things to me.
I made another thread on what I should do in the face of ridiculous statements. This particular article represents a whole litany of ridiculous statements. So if you need an example that will likely not touch on something you hold dear, this article is great.