The First Time As Farce, The Second As Tragedy

     Karl Marx, as usual, got things backwards: The first time is farce, when something comes across as so outlandish that it seems impossible for many people to take it seriously for any amount of time if at all, while the second time it becomes tragedy, because people who had dismissed it now take it seriously and in full belief thereof.

     In the mid-1990s, Physicist Alan Sokal submitted a nonsensical text to the journal Social Text, which purported to demonstrate that quantum mechanics showed that reality was subjective and that the “so-called scientific method” to be oppressive and privileged. This article was published and only by Sokal’s open admission was it found out to be a farce.

     His “scholarly” article’s introduction included:

“Here my aim is to carry these deep analyses one step farther, by taking account of recent developments in quantum gravity: the emerging branch of physics in which Heisenberg’s quantum mechanics and Einstein’s general relativity are at once synthesized and superseded. In quantum gravity, as we shall see, the space-time manifold ceases to exist as an objective physical reality; geometry becomes relational and contextual; and the foundational conceptual categories of prior science — among them, existence itself — become problematized and relativized. This conceptual revolution, I will argue, has profound implications for the content of a future postmodern and liberatory science.”

     What was once farce by a serious person to show how easily the gullible could be tricked, is now being pushed as truth by an allegedly serious organization, specifically the British Broadcasting Corporation.

     No, Quantum Mechanics does not prove that there is no fixed reality filled with contradictions. A non-fixed reality filled with contradictions is Orwellianism rife with Doublethink. Quantum Mechanics involves fixed rules at the pico-scale that are not apparent at the macro-scale. It isn’t contradictory fluid reality with no rules or reality other than establishing queerness as the sole invariable constant in this or any other universe.

     But people believe that this, which was once an intentional farce, is now actual science. And that is a tragedy.

     Hat Tip: David Strom.

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