Thursday, April 24, 2008

Duke's hoax-believers & "Sokal's hoax"

Yesterday I posted concerning an article published in Social Text, a Duke University Press journal. ( Duke faculty hoax-believers are rewriting their history )

The article's authors are three Duke professors who were stout supporters of the Nifong/Duke trustee OK'ed trashing of the lacrosse team, the frame-up attempt of three innocent Duke students, and the ongoing cover-up of the frame-up attempt.

The three professors - Robyn Weigman, Wahneema Lubiano, and Michael Hardt - - raised no objection to rogue DA Mike Nifong's conduct which led to his disbarment.

They raised no objection when the CASTRATE and GIVE THEM EQUEL MEASURE banners were waved by a hate-filled crowd at the wall of East Campus.

And the professors raised no objection when white male Duke students were endangered by crowds on Duke's West Campus distributing Vigilante posters and shouting threats.

Given all of that and much more that could be said about the shockingly disreputable actions and inactions of professors Weigman, Lubiano, and Hardt, you might reasonably think the purposes of their article were to explain and apologize for all they did to enable the Duke Hoax frauds and injustices.

But they did no such thing.

Instead , they did what I reported yesterday:

[The three] faculty hoax-believers are now busy rewriting the history of what they did.

It's all very Orwellian. They present their fictions as facts.

And as you'd guess if you know the Duke faculty hoax-believers, the sorrow they feel is for themselves, whom they view as the real victims of the frame-up attempt they helped launch and sustain for almost a year.
Weigman, Lubiano and Hardt's article should remind anyone who cares about Duke that the University must examine why so many of its faculty not only embraced a wildly improbable hoax and engaged in odious behavior, but why so many of them still endorse that behavior, and are upset by what decent people think was only fair: the exoneration of the three falsely indicted players?

There's something else the publication of Weigman, Lubiano and Hardt's article in Social Text brings to mind: "the Sokal hoax."

When Social Text and Duke were hoaxed in 1996, President Nan Keohane promised procedures would be put in place to assure that something like that would never again happen.

But now we have not only the Duke Hoax set off by Crystall Mangum and Mike Nifong's lies, but Weigman, Lubiano and Hardt's article rewriting the history of those lies to cast themselves in a "kinder, gentler light."


Duke needs truth, especially when "Dick's senior team" and The Chronicle's editorial board tell us to MoveOn.Duke.

For any of you who don't know about the Sokal hoax, here's a start below taken from a Wiki entry. I also plan to send KC Johnson and Liestoppers a link to this post.

I'm sure they'll have much more to tell us about the Duke and Sokal hoaxes.

The Sokal affair (also Sokal's hoax) was a hoax by physicist Alan Sokal perpetrated on the editorial staff and readership of the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text (published by Duke University).

In 1996, Sokal, a professor of physics at New York University, submitted a paper of nonsense camouflaged in jargon 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."[1]

The paper, titled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity"[2], 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. (My recollection is that Stanley Fish had assurred Duke's administrators that Social Text was peer reviewed. But someone might want to check that with Fish and Duke. -- JinC)

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 postmodernist academics.

The entire Wiki entry is here. It includes links to footnotes.

For a lot more from Sokal himself, including papers generated by his self-admitted hoax, look here.

A very big "thank you" to the Anon commenter who reminded me of Sokal's hoax and provided the Wiki link.


Anonymous said...

Problem is the Sokal Hoax was more than a decade ago. Today I read what DiW called a "brutal review" of a Houston Baker book from 1993! That's 15 years ago. The fraud in academia has been exposed again and again for far too long for them to continue to get away with it and yet they do.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't this article violate the Duke settlement with the 3 boys? Isn't it time for the legal team to go after the root of the problem, the hoax enablers. If they don't, the "something happened" crowd will continue to disparage the boys.

No justice, no peace said...

For those within the Duke faculty who have and continue to sit while Rome is burning, the following is dedicated to you.

The Gender-Equity Hammer Comes Out (Math, Science, and Engineering)

This should be a clarion call to those who think their departments and NSF funded programs are immune from the nonsense seeping out of the Franklin Center.

"For more than a decade, feminist groups have been lobbying Congress to address the problem of gender “injustice” in the laboratory. Their efforts are finally bearing fruit. Federal agencies are now poised to begin aggressive gender-equity reviews of math, science, and engineering programs..."

"...At a recent House hearing on “Women in Academic Science and Engineering” Congressman Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington State, asked a room full of activist women how best to bring American scientists into line: “What kind of hammer should we use?” The weapon of choice is the well-known federal anti-discrimination law “Title IX,” which prohibits sex discrimination in “any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title IX has never been rigorously applied to academic science. That is now about to change. In the past few months both the Department of Education and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have begun looking at candidates for Title IX-enforcement positions."

"...feminist reformers acknowledge that few science departments are guilty of overt discrimination. They claim, however, that subtle, invisible “unconscious bias” is discouraging talented aspiring women. Therefore, the major focus of the equity movement is to transform the academic culture itself — to make it more attractive to women by rendering science less stressful, less competitive and less time consuming..."

Christina Hoff Sommers wrote the excellent read, "The War Against Boys". It is an excellent read on many levels.

Anonymous said...


Re: G88.

They seethe and rage.

Try as they might, they cannot erase the stain of their bias and incompetence. Like the small white worms visible underneath a just moved flower container, they have been rudely exposed. There is no place for them to hide.

They see contempt hiding behind every look and whispered word. It's their worst nightmare coming true.


Anonymous said...

The Sokal hoax didn't cost Anyone money, it was actually kind of funny as it punctured a lot of pretensions. If Weigman,Lubiano, and Hardt don't sit down and shut up that may not be the case at Duke. What happened to the LaCrosse team wasn't funny, large settlements have been paid already, larger lawsuits loom and my guess is that members of the Group of 88 are high on some lawyers subpoena list. I want to see these phonies being questioned under oath by an attorney who already knows what happened and more important has proof.

Anonymous said...

The non-rape at the lacrosse captains' house in March 2006 has been completely and irrevocably debunked by the NC Attorney General and the Nifong bar hearing. It will soon be further debunked by the several civil suits pending against the alleged perpetrators.
A recent guest poster on JinC blog has a history of rabid support for Crystal Mangum--claiming she was, in fact, a victim--and continues to posit that the crime occurred as Mangum claimed. It would be interesting to read words from that poster explaining exactly why she/he still gives the infamous Duke Rape Myth credibility. And I mean real reasons, not simply "I believe..."
Tarheel Hawkeye

kbp said...

Thanks John

I have not been able to find the actual article online.

Is it in hard copy only?