90 Miles From Tyranny : Down a Black Hole

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Down a Black Hole


Even the hard sciences are no longer immune to the ongoing racial hysteria.
Physicists at MIT and SUNY Stony Brook recently announced findings that the total surface area of two black holes was maintained after the two entities merged. While this research was a welcome confirmation of both Stephen Hawking’s work and the theory of general relativity, it failed to address a crucial matter: what were its racial implications?

That is a lacuna that an astronomy course at Cornell University aims to prevent. “Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos” asks the question, “Is there a connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness?” Anyone familiar with academia’s racial monomania knows the answer: of course there is! Though “conventional wisdom,” according to the catalog description of “Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos,” holds that the “‘black’ in black holes has nothing to do with race,” astronomy professor Nicholas Battaglia and comparative literature professor Parisa Vaziri know better.

Battaglia and Vaziri puncture the “conventional wisdom” by drawing on theorists such as Emory University English professor Michelle Wright. Wright’s book, The Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology, invokes “Newton’s laws of motion and gravity” and “theoretical particle physics” to “subvert racist assumptions about Blackness.” The Cornell course also studies music by Sun Ra and Outkast to “conjure blackness through cosmological themes.”

In 1996, New York University physicist Alan Sokal published a paper, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” in one of high theory’s holiest of shrines: Social Text. Sokal’s article drew on efforts among comparative literature and American studies professors to deploy scientific concepts toward a postmodern end: showing science to be a mere power play designed to silence “dissident or marginalized communities,” in Sokal’s words. “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” cited such postmodern giants as Andrew Ross and Luce Irigaray on topics like “oppositional discourses in post-quantum science” and “gender encoding in fluid mechanics.” The paper itself proposed a new theory of quantum gravity that could serve as the basis for a “postmodern and liberatory science.”

Sokal’s paper was a hoax. Like the high-theory sources it cited, it mauled the underlying science while obscuring its scientific illiteracy with vast clouds of theorese. Yet it was accepted for publication, apparently without raising a scintilla of doubt among Social Text’s editors:




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1 comment:

Doom said...

Wait until they find out the only real black holes are in Africa, or from there.