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Another exploration into post-modernist literature (5, Interesting)

glinden (56181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928806)

Another widely reported [salon.com] exploration into post-modernist literature was "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" [nyu.edu] by Sokal. Sokal says, in order to "test the prevailing intellectual standards, I decided to try a modest (though admittedly uncontrolled) experiment: Would a leading North American journal of cultural studies -- whose editorial collective includes such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Ross -- publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions? The answer, unfortunately, is yes."

Jacko Joke of the day (-1, Offtopic)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928953)

Why did Michael Jackson go to Wal-Mart? Because He heard boys' pants were half off

Re:Another exploration into post-modernist literat (5, Funny)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929110)

That paper used lots of big words and I didn't understand it at all, so it must have been written by really smart people!

Re:Another exploration into post-modernist literat (3, Interesting)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929134)

i'm tempted to recall a scene in italo calvino's "if on a winter's night a traveller..." (a classic of po-mo lit):

in said scene, a literary critic develops a program to count the frequency of words in a given book (ignoring prepositions, pronouns and the like) and then display the 20 most and least frequent words. the theory is that the core concept of the book can be gleaned by simply reading these lists.

now i have tried this myself and can say, while it does not work to the level stated by calvino, it does certainly give you a feel for the book. different genres have noticable word distributions especially. it's easy to identify, say, a western or sci-fi or romance novel from these lists.

Re:Another exploration into post-modernist literat (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929190)

It does work extremely well on some texts. Look at the top twenty words in a William Burroughs novel and you'll have a very good idea what it's about!

Re:Another exploration into post-modernist literat (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929152)

Here's what I never got about that Sokal business: the core principle of post-modern criticism is that there is no priviliged reading of a text, even the author's, right? So what's the fuss about a "hoax"? The editors perceived something worthwhile in the article, and Sokal has no standing to insist otherwise, even if he is the author.

I don't get why no one seems to have made that argument. It came to my mind within seconds of hearing the story.

You can't criticise this... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928811)

How can people say BSD [freebsd.org] is dying when it has a mascot [freebsd.org] like this?! Linux [debian.org] needs to get its act together if it's going to compete with the kind of hot chicks [hope-2000.org] and gorgeous babes [hope-2000.org] that BSD [openbsd.org] has to offer!

You just can't take Linux [redhat.com] seriously when its fronted by losers [nylug.org] like these. Would you buy software from them? I don't think so! You Linux [suse.com] groupies need to find some sexy girls like her [hope-2000.org] ! I mean just look at this girl [wigen.net] ! Doesn't she [pipboy2002.mine.nu] excite you? I know this little hottie [pipboy2002.mine.nu] puts me in need of a cold shower! This guy looks like he is about to cream his pants standing next to such a fox [spilth.org] . As you can see, no man can resist this sexy [spilth.org] little minx [spilth.org] . I mean are you telling me you wouldn't like to get your hands on this ass [dis.org] ?!

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Re:You can't criticise this... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928858)

-1, Troll?!

Proof that the moderators around here are GAY.

An article on "Deconstructing Deconstructionism" (5, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928812)

...can be found here [answers.org] :

Deconstruction is a theory that is beyond being intellectually bankrupt -- it is intellectually meaningless and thus had no intellectual capital to begin with!

Crikey!

why don't you go fuck yourself (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928964)

you little randroid

Re:An article on "Deconstructing Deconstructionism (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929067)

It's sorta like intellecutal welfare, then? Call the Republicans!

Re:An article on "Deconstructing Deconstructionism (5, Interesting)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929252)

As an avid reader, I have to say that this entirely true. But then again, deconstruction is not about being intellectual. It's about SEEMING intellectual, when in fact all you are doing is rewriting somebody else's work using the tersist means possible. In short: deconstruction is creative writing for essayists. It is a tool for those learning how to write. And expecting something so masturbatory to be anything more than a bit of clever fun is going to result in anti-intellectual rage.

When you deconstuct a work, you create a paper which is impossible to fail on a theoretical basis, because each deconstruction is in fact its own theoretical entity. It's very hard to say, objectively, that a deconstruction is "wrong." And therefore, in the eyes of many professors, your grade on this paper can only be judged on its logical progression and its written style.

In short: deconstructions can be interesting, can be fun, and show off a person's analytical and prosaic talents. But no, they aren't going to further the "intellectual" pursuit of writing. But this is no different from a forensics meet, where people argue a position they themselves may not hold, to showcase their oration and research talents. This is no different from a poetry slam or rap battle, where people read disconnected passages to gain a subjective edge over other poets. And it's certainly no different from engineers engaging in robot battles, code obfuscation contests, or blog entries about how literary criticism is bullshit.

Incidentally, while deconstructionists can never be wrong because they write their own assumptions, literary critics in general CAN be. In fact, one of my favorite exercises in my 350 level discourse class was to rebutt a literary criticism from the New York Times magazine. Literary critics make mistakes in logic, levy unfair comparisons and make mistakes of intent all the time, and these often result in an unlikely hypothesis being legitimized. Hence the popularity of Ayn Rand!

Was JFK Gay? From the article (-1, Troll)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928820)

It is not generally claimed that John F. Kennedy was a homosexual. Since it is not an issue, why would anyone choose to explicitly declare that he was not a homosexual unless they wanted to make it an issue? Clearly, the reader is left with a question, a lingering doubt which had not previously been there. If the text had instead simply asked, "Was John F. Kennedy a homosexual?", the reader would simply answer, "No." and forget the matter. If it had simply declared, "John F. Kennedy was a homosexual.", it would have left the reader begging for further justification or argument to support the proposition. Phrasing it as a negative declaration, however, introduces the question in the reader's mind, exploiting society's homophobia to attack the reputation of the fallen President. What's more, the form makes it appear as if there is ongoing debate, further legitimizing the reader's entertainment of the question. Thus the text can be read as questioning the very assertion that it is making.

Deconstructed Article - I'm good! (1, Insightful)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928824)

Step 1 -- Select a work to be deconstructed. This a called a "text" and is generally a piece of text, though it need not be. It is very much within the lit crit mainstream to take something which is not text and call it a text. In fact, this can be a very useful thing to do, since it leaves the critic with broad discretion to define what it means to "read" it and thus a great deal of flexibility in interpretation. It also allows the literary critic to extend his reach beyond mere literature. However, the choice of text is actually one of the less important decisions you will need to make, since points are awarded on the basis of style and wit rather than substance, although more challenging works are valued for their greater potential for exercising cleverness. Thus you want to pick your text with an eye to the opportunities it will give you to be clever and convoluted, rather than whether the text has anything important to say or there is anything important to say about it. Generally speaking, obscure works are better than well known ones, though an acceptable alternative is to choose a text from the popular mass media, such as a Madonna video or the latest Danielle Steele novel. The text can be of any length, from the complete works of Louis L'Amour to a single sentence. For example, let's deconstruct the phrase, "John F. Kennedy was not a homosexual."

Step 2 -- Decide what the text says. This can be whatever you want, although of course in the case of a text which actually consists of text it is easier if you pick something that it really does say. This is called "reading". I will read our example phrase as saying that John F. Kennedy was not a homosexual.

Step 3 -- Identify within the reading a distinction of some sort. This can be either something which is described or referred to by the text directly or it can be inferred from the presumed cultural context of a hypothetical reader. It is a convention of the genre to choose a duality, such as man/woman, good/evil, earth/sky, chocolate/vanilla, etc. In the case of our example, the obvious duality to pick is homosexual/heterosexual, though a really clever person might be able to find something else.

Step 4 -- Convert your chosen distinction into a "hierarchical opposition" by asserting that the text claims or presumes a particular primacy, superiority, privilege or importance to one side or the other of the distinction. Since it's pretty much arbitrary, you don't have to give a justification for this assertion unless you feel like it. Programmers and computer scientists may find the concept of a hierarchy consisting of only two elements to be a bit odd, but this appears to be an established tradition in literary criticism. Continuing our example, we can claim homophobia on the part of the society in which this sentence was uttered and therefor assert that it presumes superiority of heterosexuality over homosexuality.

Step 5 -- Derive another reading of the text, one in which it is interpreted as referring to itself. In particular, find a way to read it as a statement which contradicts or undermines either the original reading or the ordering of the hierarchical opposition (which amounts to the same thing). This is really the tricky part and is the key to the whole exercise. Pulling this off successfully may require a variety of techniques, though you get more style points for some techniques than for others. Fortunately, you have a wide range of intellectual tools at your disposal, which the rules allow you to use in literary criticism even though they would be frowned upon in engineering or the sciences. These include appeals to authority (you can even cite obscure authorities that nobody has heard of), reasoning from etymology, reasoning from puns, and a variety of word other games. You are allowed to use the word "problematic" as a noun. You are also allowed to pretend that the works of Freud present a correct model of human psychology and the works of Marx present a correct model of sociology and economics (it's not clear to me whether practitioners in the field actually believe Freud and Marx or if it's just a convention of the genre).

bite the bullet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929099)

6 ...
7 PROFIT !

sorry

/. editor staff? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928832)

Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?

Dont slashdot's editors work in that field already?

Yeah. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928845)

I didn't bother to read the article, but a few key words in the write-up reminded me of Sokal's Hoax. [nyu.edu]

*WHO* is wrong? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928847)

I am what most people would consider a highly trained technical professional. Unlike most people who spout off at this site, I have the certificates to prove this, and furthermore they're issued by the biggest software company in existence.

I know how to tell facts from marketing fluff. Now, here are the facts as they're found by SEVERAL INDEPENDENT RESEARCH INSTITUTES:

Expenses for file-server workloads under Windows, compared to LinuxOS:
  • Staffing expenses were 33.5% better.
  • Training costs were 32.3% better.


They compared Microsofts IIS to the Linux 7.0 webserver. For Windows, the cost was only:
  • $40.25 per megabit of throughput per second.
  • $1.79 per peak request per second.


Application development and support costs for Windows compared to an opensores solution like J2EE:
  • 28.2% less for large enterprises.
  • 25.0% less for medium organizations.


A full Windows installation, compared to installing Linux, on an Enterprise Server boxen:
  • Is nearly three hours faster.
  • Requires 77% fewer steps.


Compared to the best known opensores webserver "Red Hat", Microsoft IIS:
  • Has 276% better peak performance for static transactions.
  • Has 63% better peak performance for dynamic content.


These are hard numbers and 100% FACTS! There are several more where these came from.

Who do you think we professionals trust more?
Reliable companies with tried and tested products, or that bedroom coder Thorwalds who publicly admits that he is in fact A HACKER???

--
Copyright (c) 2004 Mike Bouma, MCSE, MCDST, MS Office Specialist

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".

Re:*WHO* is wrong? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928892)

I am RIGHT, and it HURTS, doesn't it?
Modding me offtopic is UNCONSTRUCTIVE!
What is your hidden agenda?

--
Copyright (c) 2004 Mike Bouma, MCSE, MCDST, MS Office Specialist

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".

Hrmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928848)

Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?

Someone has a God complex.

Re:Hrmm (3, Funny)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928878)

Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?

Happens all the time in meetings everywhere. The boss says something totally wrong and the room is silent.

Job done. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928851)


"Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?"

Yeah, just become a Slashdot editor. Then you can mod down and delete any posts that disagree with you or complain about articles which get duped thrice in a day.

Happy Fucking Weekend, You cock-smoking tux-jerking asshats.

Other way round (3, Insightful)

CompressedAir (682597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928859)

Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?

That's a field where everyone says you're wrong about everything.

Re:Other way round (2, Funny)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929058)

That's a field where everyone says you're wrong about everything.

Fast food?

My favoritest paper ever! (5, Funny)

Kulaid982 (704089) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928861)

In eleventh grade, I wrote my term paper on The Hobbit. Part of the assignment was to provide literary criticism of the work. I cited sources that stated how JRR Tolkien HATED allegory and reading deeper into works and therefore claimed I didn't need to provide any literary criticism of the Hobbit. My teacher bought it and I got an A. Tolkien rocked because he felt literature should be taken at face value.

Re:My favoritest paper ever! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929059)

Then you and your teacher should be sent back to school. Tolkien, in his preface to LOTR, wrote that he hated allegory - NOT that he hated people "reading deeper" into his story. In particular, he said that his stories should be read as mythology and not as allegory. In allegory, the story is supposed to represent something specific (e.g Animal Farm, an allegory of the Bolshevik Revolution). Allegory does not allow multiple interpretations. Allegory has a single meaning determined by the author.

In mythology, however, the story can be freely interpreted (e.g. creation myths, fall-from-grace myths, hero myths). Mythology allows people to read deeply into it and interpret the story according to their own desires. The meaning is determined by the reader, not the author.

Tolkien's beef with allegory is that the story is subordinate to what it alludes to. Myth has no such "deficiency".

Of course Tolkien intended readers to "read deeply" into his books. They are not "light reading" or pulp, they are carefully crafted retellings of heroic myths which can be interpreted a myriad of ways. The whole point of myth is for people to "read deeply" into it.

Re:My favoritest paper ever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929088)

Of course, despite the fact that Tolkein disliked allegory and literature analysis, he produced some classic works of literature that are chock full of allegory and symbolism for his own life and views (as well as a cultural reference point for English men of the Lost Generation)

And his bestest drinking buddy (CS Lewis) WAS a Literature professor, and produced some great Allegorical fiction.

Yeah, he disliked it. But just because he didn't admit that there was anything deeper to his writing than escapist nonsense doesn't mean that he was wrong, and serious themes were hiding in there anyways.

Re:My favoritest paper ever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929260)

Tolkien disliked allegory, not literary criticism, nor interpreting mythology, regardless of what the original poster wrote. He denied that he wrote the stories as an allegory of any event (making a point of denying it represented an allegory of WWII, or of the ring symbolising the atomic bomb). But he recognised the stories had applicability - that the reader would be able to read into it his/her own interpretation. That's the beauty of myth.

And being an English scholar, of course he would never ever claim that mythology should only be taken at face value.

Re:My favoritest paper ever! (1)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929235)

Oh, how I wish I had been in your English class. Every English teacher whose class I have had the dubious pleasure of attending was a big deconstructionist, and I *hated* having to figure out how to write a paper that was funny, original, subtle, and thought-provoking, but utterly devoid of meaning, fact, or any value whatsoever. Compounding this, I've always been an engineer-at-heart -- playing with programming, electronics, and such since the age of six. Fortunately, my father was an English teacher *and* a politician, and I thus had access to an unending font of bullshit[1]. *grin*

Cut-throat literati (4, Interesting)

Ktistec Machine (159201) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928872)

Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?

You haven't been around any English departments, have you? My wife has an MA in English, and it sounds like the department was pretty vicious.

I'd argue that it's a lot harder being in a field with "soft" realities. Anything you say is subject to criticism, and it's really hard to "prove" you're right. I'll take an objective field, where I can demonstrate truth or falsehood irrefutably, any day. (I know that's an overstatment: you can always debate the meaning of experimental results. But you get the idea.)

Re:Cut-throat literati (2, Interesting)

UrgleHoth (50415) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928934)

So the only proof they can use is proof by intimidation?

Re:Cut-throat literati (1)

mr.capaneus (582891) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929273)

Looks like you need to re-read the post you are responding to. Maybe some Literary Criticism classes would help.

Re:Cut-throat literati (3, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929083)

Or, to put it differently -- nobody can say you're "wrong" but they can certainly deny your grant application, decline your papers, deny you tenure... Academics in those fields compete with a sort of gamesmanship and style that's every bit as cutthroat as being right.

(Anyway, if humanities folk cross the line into any sort of political correctness, believe me that there won't be any reticence about declaring them "wrong", then.)

Re:Cut-throat literati (2, Insightful)

haystor (102186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929255)

If you can't get things right, only the soft field is accessible to you.

If you can get things right then the sciences are wide open to you but you'll still have the same fight as anyone else in the "arts".

In college, I consistently received C's for my English papers (I was a math major taking some English courses.) I had to explain some of the issues of the Vietnam War to a friend (since they don't seem to learn about it on their own). She turned in her paper having written what I said verbatim and received and A, with several notes complementing her excellent points. It should be noted that she was an English major.

In college, History majors reguarly received higher grades for inferior work in the History dept. It was a lot like watching the empire building that goes on in corporations.

Anyhow, it's the academic types that prosper in college in this fashion that go on to be the literary critic. Then again maybe I'm just bitter because I'm a white male and therefore don't have anything to contribute but lies and oppression.

Working in a field where nobody can tell (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928875)

you that you're wrong. That's a novel statement coming from DNS_AND_BIND, the biggest fucking idiot on Slashdot!

Re:Working in a field where nobody can tell (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928927)

Oh, Mr. DNS_AND_BIND must have mod points today. Well, you're still the BIGGEST FUCKING IDIOT on Slashdot, and beating off(out) Michael Simms for the title is an accomplishment in and of itself!

self-eating watermelon (4, Insightful)

sohp (22984) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928895)

The author shows terrific mastery and use of the rhetorical literary deconstruction techniques he derides. In other words, he couldn't have written the article without the very skills and work he criticizes.

Re:self-eating watermelon (4, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929132)

Indeed, at the beginning of the article he even explains how he read the basic fundamentals of the field to determine weather or not there was any merit to the whole process. In doing so, he discovered that the whole exercise was not as difficult as first appeared and proceeded to explain in laymens terms how the whole thing works. That's why its a great article.

Re:self-eating watermelon (2, Insightful)

haystor (102186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929286)

I realize you're being humorous, essentially calling the author one of them.

I'll defend him though saying that he's not one of them and is showing that anyone can use those techniques, thereby proving that those techniques do not qualify as a "skill".

In short, anyone can sling BS but it doesn't make its worth any greater.

Re:self-eating watermelon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929288)

That's an acceptable initial thesis statement. Please remember to include French citations in your final paper. My office hours are 4:00 - 4:30 AM. Good luck and have fun! See you at the end of the semester.

What do you get ... (5, Funny)

MonkeyBoyo (630427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928908)

Q: What do you get when you cross a Post Modernist with a Mafioso??


A: An offer you can't understand.

I've had two conversations in my life in which (4, Funny)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928911)

afterwards I'd wondered if we were talking the same language.

The first case was with a techincal support representitive with a large company that had migrated alot of their after-hours support staff off site. (The company rhymes with Crisco, the off site location rhymes with blindia.)

I'm not in any way being critical of the country of origin, and I _know_ this person was speaking in english...but we weren't talking the same language. Curiously, his emails were completely understandable...it was the verbal conversation I couldn't grok.

The second was a meeting of high level Government IT staff, and some other members of government to discuss centralizing Internet services. Things were going well as we all introduced ourselves and stated what we wanted to get out of the collaboration. Then a lady came to the floor and spoke very eloquently for a good five minutes.

I have no clue what she said.

I asked about her afterwards and it turns out that she was a) a lawyer, b) an elected representative, and c) a manager.

Pretty much a lit crit Trifecta!

Naturally the group dissolved after a few meetings when it was determined it was too little too late and the existing issue too complex to put in one box.

Same here... (2, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929032)

I had to call some tech-support guys in Swanwick (you don't pronounce the second 'w') to re-load some data I accidentally RM'd- and I know he was speaking the Queens english but I'll be DAMNED if I understood a word of it. Mind you, I find Scottish brogue to be charming and sometimes understandable, but this fellow made Cockney sound like the AT&T computer operator voice.

On a differnet note I called other tech support (this time in Florida) and tried to figure out how I could print from our ol' VM system. We were on the phone for 45 minutes, I tuned him out after 15 and just did screen captures and cut and pastes because he obviously had no idea what he was talking about, but sure had a lot of ideas. He seemed genuinely proud of the work he had just done for me, too! I hadn't the heart to tell him I did it the cut and paste way.

Step-by-step (1, Funny)

CaptainAlbert (162776) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928912)

Step 1 -- Select a work to be deconstructed.

Step 2 -- Decide what the text says.

Step 3 -- Identify within the reading a distinction of some sort.

Step 4 -- Convert your chosen distinction into a "hierarchical opposition" by asserting that the text claims or presumes a particular primacy, superiority, privilege or importance to one side or the other of the distinction.

Step 5 -- Derive another reading of the text, one in which it is interpreted as referring to itself.

Step 6 -- ???

Step 7 -- Profit!

Those wacky French (0)

MrScary (39957) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928913)

The best part of deconstruction is that it comes from the French who took it from the Greeks. At the heart of deconstruction is the theory that know understands what anyone else is saying. Lets add this to the fact they translated this from the Greeks, I can't understand my fellow frenchmen but I can translate this Greek and perfectly understand it, and then translate it into English.

Re:Those wacky French (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928960)

At the heart of deconstruction is the theory that know understands what anyone else is saying

So I guess your post was actually a postmodern?

Engineer's Disease (3, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928915)

Engineer's Disease has claimed another victim.

"engineers disease": The delusion because you're ubercompetent in your chosen field, you're automatically an expert on everything else.

Re:Engineer's Disease (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929157)

Yeah.

Why are technical people so prone to it. There was that Paul Graham [slashdot.org] article (which made me lose all respect for him), not to mention ESR's notable ravings (eg, this "science" article [catb.org] , this "art" article [catb.org] , this lunatic fringe article [catb.org] ), and of course the old chesnut of whether programming is art [erenkrantz.com] .

Basically, all these people are talking shit. They think that because they are technical people (perhaps even "scientists") that they are therefore logical, and since those outside the hard sciences are not logical, the techies are always right. Ignoring the fact that they rarely employ actual logic (read any of the articles linked to and find me a perfect logical argument in any of them), this totally ignores the contributions of those who are not hyper-rationalist. Certain people [the-brights.net] would like to enshrine this obnoxious, arrogant, Spock-like creature as the pinnacle of humanity. For them, I have only my greatest contempt.

Must see link (4, Interesting)

arvindn (542080) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928929)

Postmodernism generator [elsewhere.org]

Consider the following paragraph from the article:

The essential paradigm of cyberspace is creating partially situated identities out of actual or potential social reality in terms of canonical forms of human contact, thus renormalizing the phenomenology of narrative space and requiring the naturalization of the intersubjective cognitive strategy, and thereby resolving the dialectics of metaphorical thoughts, each problematic to the other, collectively redefining and reifying the paradigm of the parable of the model of the metaphor.

Now read an essay by the postmodernism generator. Can you tell the difference? ;-)

Re:Must see link (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929002)

I wonder if it makes sense inside their heads? It just seems more reasonable that they have too simple ideas so they have to obfuscate them enough to appear article worthy.

Re:Must see link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929129)

RTFA: That paragraph was a pastich by the article's authors. No one thought it made sense, by the end everyone was laughing at it.

Contrary to the many biases expressed here, the knowledgeable theorists saw right through the pastiche.

Re:Must see link (1)

CaptainPuppydog (516199) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929101)

Consider the following paragraph from the article:

The essential paradigm of cyberspace is creating partially situated identities out of actual or potential social reality in terms of canonical forms of human contact, thus renormalizing the phenomenology of narrative space and requiring the naturalization of the intersubjective cognitive strategy, and thereby resolving the dialectics of metaphorical thoughts, each problematic to the other, collectively redefining and reifying the paradigm of the parable of the model of the metaphor.

Now read an essay by the postmodernism generator. Can you tell the difference? ;-)

Paragraph nothing... Thats just one sentence, and a run-on one at that. :-P Y'know, if I had handed something like that to my English teacher (elementary or high school), lets just say I wouldn't have received an 'A'... ;-)

CPD

Science (4, Funny)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928932)

Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?"

Unfortunately, the postmodernists have attempted to apply their idiotic claptrap to science, claiming the existence of such absurd concepts as "alternative scientific truths". What they miss is that science is empirical, and therefore deals with observed characteristics of the real world (i.e., "facts").

I've always wanted to throw one out of a plane over China, and yell after them as they plummet to their death: "how are you finding that Far-Eastern Gravitation?"

Re:Science (4, Insightful)

Petronius (515525) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929015)

Unfortunately, the postmodernists have attempted to apply their idiotic claptrap to science, claiming the existence of such absurd concepts as "alternative scientific truths".

religions have done just that for thousands of years... yet no one seems to complain.

Re:Science (3, Insightful)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929188)

Unfortunately, the postmodernists have attempted to apply their idiotic claptrap to science, claiming the existence of such absurd concepts as "alternative scientific truths". What they miss is that science is empirical, and therefore deals with observed characteristics of the real world (i.e., "facts").

There is such a thing as an overcommitment to the validity of truth in science -- i.e. so that existing scientific theory becomes ossified and dogmatic, leading to ad hoc theoretical additions, rather than the continual scrutiny of theory needed for advancement.

Also, philosophic enquiry into scientific epistemology (how science "knows" things) -- e.g. why we identify theory with truth when theory proves to be tenuous, why competing theories are developed using identical observation, etc. -- is interesting and beneficial.

Re:Science (4, Insightful)

Walter Wart (181556) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929246)

As the author of the piece points out there is a germ of something useful in lit-crit. It's important to know what someone's hidden assumptions are and to figure out what's not being said.

In science hidden assumptions can bite you on the ass. Let's take an example from biology. Strict Darwinian "wedging" or Biblical Creationism. Those are the choices. Given the amount of time that life has existed you simply can't have two species competing in the same niche. The better, fitter one would have already driven the more poorly adapted one to extinction. Therefore we must reject evolution in favor of the Bible's explanation.

Anyone who understands anything about basic evolutionary biology will immediately be able to poke large holes in the argument. The dualism is false. There are many other possibilities. Strict adaptationism, while not actually a crime, is certainly a major character flaw :-) Applying value judgements like "better" clouds the issue, and so on.

The history of science and engineering provides thousands of examples.

What is not said and what is assumed change the character of the discussion.

That's the useful germ. The problem, as the author of the piece points out, is that the critical theorists have spent a long time talking to themselves without having to interact much with outsiders and in fields where there are no reality checks from the outside.

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929254)

Since these 'facts' of science are filtered through a simulation called 'consciousness', is empirical evidence any more real than all the PoMo claptrap?

You're wrong! (2, Insightful)

igaborf (69869) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928939)

Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?

Actually, everybody can say you're wrong. They just can't prove it.

Mathematics (1)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928945)

Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?

That's why I like mathematics. Theorem, (optionally, lemmas), proof. End of story. The only way you can disagree is if you throw out the entire concept of logic or the axioms upon which it is based -- and if you do that, we'll usually throw *you* out. :)

Indeed - some science quotes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928952)

"317 is a prime, not because we think so, or because our minds are shaped in one way rather than another, but because it is so, because mathematical reality is built that way."
- Godfrey Hardy (1877-1947)

"There is nothing that living things do that cannot be understood from the point of view that they are made of atoms acting according to the laws of physics."
- Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

"Religion hinges upon faith, politics hinges upon who can tell the most convincing lies or maybe just shout the loudest, but science hinges upon whether its conclusions resemble what actually happens."
- Ian Stewart (1945-)

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
- Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937)

"The only possible conclusion the social sciences can draw is: some do, some don't."
- Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937)

Notes on postmodern programming (2, Interesting)

Hast (24833) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928956)

My favourite example of postmodern papers is the Notes on postmodern programming [vuw.ac.nz] . AFAIC they wrote it in order to get their tickets payed to a symposium. They could have been srious, but that's a rather scary though considering it includes one page with a hand drawn and rather irrelevant image.

Quite interesting and amusing though.

Finally it is on-topic to say: (1, Funny)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928966)

Timothy is not a homosexual.

I leave it as a study for the reader to deconstruct.

Wow, this is *old* (5, Informative)

EnVisiCrypt (178985) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928968)

This text is several years old, at least. In fact, the wayback machine [archive.org] puts it at about 5 years old [archive.org] .

Come on guys, you know this is really, really old.

Re:Wow, this is *old* (2, Funny)

addie (470476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929276)

Come on, you must mean "ancient" or perhaps "veteran", maybe "venerable" or even "superannuated". But not "old".

Get with the program :)

you CAN be right in IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928985)


Computing IS one of the fields where you can be 100% right, the only thing that can go wrong are YOUR calculations,either your sums are right or they are not, unfortunately keeping layer upon layer of highly complex calculations correct is a difficult task (hence you get bugs) but theoretically if your mathmatics are correct all the way through the chain you can create a perfect flawless system.
build a water driven gate computer and see if you get unexpected math bugs

Re:you CAN be right in IT (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929194)

Right. So if you spend two years creating a system of calculations that is "100% right," but find out that it is solving the wrong problem, or your techniques are outdated/there's a better way, or you were too much of a stubborn know-it-all nerd to take important external factors into acccount, are you "100% right?"

In Theory ... (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929200)



In theory, theory and practice are the same.

From the article: (3, Funny)

Bazman (4849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928987)

The article says:

"Another minor point, by the way, is that we don't say that we deconstruct the text but that the text deconstructs itself."

In soviet russia, perhaps.

Baz

Re:From the article: (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929244)

"in soviet russia, perhaps."

Funny guy, but that's how it works with deconstructionism. I'd tell you more but then you'd start to deconstruct yourself.

Jargon (3, Insightful)

Nadsat (652200) | more than 10 years ago | (#7928990)

>> We engineers are frequently accused of speaking an alien language, of wrapping what we do in jargon and obscurity in order to preserve the technological priesthood.

I don't like where he went with this. The argument is that postmodernists speak with such obscurity, that they wrap themselves into an island. And that what they really say is just intellectual masturbation. Sure. Of course. Doctors, programmers, lawyers... all have this.

Personally, why not use words specific to the field? I don't think dumbing down should be encouraged. Learn the jargon, it doesn't take that long to do. Read a few theory books. Properly used, $0.50 words should not be labeled as 'jargon,' but simply as words to help facilitate communication into the edge of thought.

Re:Jargon (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929098)

Most people have a LIFE, and don't want to spend it learning obscure jargon for umpteen different fields to communicate with people around him. Yes, by all means use words specific to your field when communicating with your peers, but the article writers point was that within certain areas there is no pressure to ever learn to communicate with people outside their field about their subject.

Most engineers will at some level be able to "dumb down" their subject to make it at least somewhat understandable when explaining it to people outside their field, because they need to in their jobs.

Being able to communicate about your field is vital for your field to be viable in the long run.

Re:Jargon (3, Insightful)

Nadsat (652200) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929192)

Good literary critisism, in an academic sense, is not concerned with publishing to a Disney audience. Or writing executive summaries. Sure, if the intention is to reach out to a larger audience, then yes, avoid more idiosyncratic words.

But in the example the author cites, he was at a meeting with literary people who try to push the limitis, go to the edge of thought. To go to the forefront, you must use specific words. The author probably felt, "Hey I don't understand the cutting edge. Instead of learning the jargon, I will attack the whole system."

Einstien could not have mathamatically argued relativity if he was required to us simple math for the average joe.

pateNTdead eyecon0meter: don't be MiSled buy sum (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928992)

wwwords. it's the motives of the author(s) that need investigation?

unless, of course, you're sure there's only won way to do things?

usually, spontaneous criticism is the result of fear/not wanting to understand?

lookout bullow's not just a joke? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929033)

unless you have a ticket on the manned mars shot, you might want to consider how we're going to survive the georgewellian fuddite corepirate nazi life0cide against this planet/population?

POMO for engineers ? The Matrix (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7928997)

This guy missed a step: Reference The Matrix early and often. Nothing says 'life is but a dream' with more Rube Goldberg verbosity than The Matrix (or some random Star Trek holodeck episode). Buy the time you've figured out that nothing of importance was actually said, the post modernist has more the enough time to escape the barroom before the difficult questions can be raised.

Plagarising Scott Adams? (0)

3lb4rt0 (736495) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929008)

This whole article reads like a dogbert/catbert explanation to the pointed haired boss.

the next step (-1)

desitter (609588) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929009)

deconstruct deconstructing this might be taken as a constructive step :)

Couldn't have said it better... (1)

UncleGizmo (462001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929017)

"In fact, one of the beliefs that seems to be characteristic of the postmodernist mind set
is the idea that politics and cleverness are the basis for all judgments about quality or
truth, regardless of the subject matter or who is making the judgment."

One only need to channel surf the cable-as-news networks in the U.S. to see evidence of this.

Just a reminder... (5, Insightful)

melquiades (314628) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929027)

Not to defend deconstuctionism too much -- because I really do think that it's a field with a lot of bullshit in it -- but it's important to keep in mind that every, every field can sound incredibly stupid if you don't have all the jargon, context, background, and indoctrination that it requires.

Most subtle, nuanced statements are going to sound pretty stupid if you render half the words meaningless and remove their context, which is exactly what happens when an outsider hears the language of some specialized field. It's very difficult for outsiders to judge the legitimacy of a field from the outside.

I see this all the time in the general public's reactions to both software and science, especially theoretical physics and medicine.

The article's author actually says this really well:
We engineers are frequently accused of speaking an alien language, of wrapping what we do in jargon and obscurity in order to preserve the technological priesthood. There is, I think, a grain of truth in this accusation. Defenders frequently counter with arguments about how what we do really is technical and really does require precise language in order to talk about it clearly. There is, I think, a substantial bit of truth in this as well, though it is hard to use these grounds to defend the use of the term "grep" to describe digging through a backpack to find a lost item, as a friend of mine sometimes does. However, I think it's human nature for members of any group to use the ideas they have in common as metaphors for everything else in life, so I'm willing to forgive him.

He goes on to draw what I think is a really useful conclusion (much more insightful than most of the posts on this thread, I'm afraid):
Every day I have to explain what I do to people who are different from me -- marketing people, technical writers, my boss, my investors, my customers -- none of whom belong to my profession or share my technical background or knowledge. As a consequence, I'm constantly forced to describe what I know in terms that other people can at least begin to understand. ... Contrast this situation with that of academia. Professors of Literature or History or Cultural Studies in their professional life find themselves communicating principally with other professors of Literature or History or Cultural Studies. They also, of course, communicate with students, but students don't really count. ... What you have is rather like birds on the Galapagos islands -- an isolated population with unique selective pressures resulting in evolutionary divergence from the mainland population. There's no reason you should be able to understand what these academics are saying because, for several generations, comprehensibility to outsiders has not been one of the selective criteria to which they've been subjected.

I wonder what we might learn if comprehensibility returned to the equation. There are a lot of very interesting ideas buring in academia.

Re:Just a reminder... (2)

DenOfEarth (162699) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929148)

I just finished reading another interesting article on science, and the role of the skeptic in science in order to make it work. In order for the grand leaps to be made, someone has to go against the grain a little bit. It may be wholly possible that the postmodernist literary criticism world needs just such a person to come along in order to shake things up a bit. The only problem is, there are no oppurtunities for that person outside of the academic world that the author is talking about, so it may be doomed to fail at the start.

I agree about there being a lot of crap in that kind of discussion, but I also think it is useful in intangible ways. Being an engineer by education, I feel lucky for having the interest in what my colleagues study, especially since a large number of my friends are artists. It's made me a much more open-minded individual as a result, and I'm not sure if it has helped my programming skills, but it has helped me in that I treat most everyone I meet with full respect until they decide that I'm not worth their respect. It actually is nice to get to know people that are into this stuff and get to a point where you can tell them why you think it's all bullshit, and they won't simply disregard you out of friendship. of course, they will reply with their reasoning as to why it's important...an interesting exercise for all.

Offtopic ??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929034)

This is like one of the few slashdot
articles where flaming and trolling
should be scored +5

JFK was gay ????

Not bad (2, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929046)

I was prepared for a philistine reaction to a barely-understood domain, but instead the piece was earnest, honest and clear-eyed.

Most cultural studies academics are aware the problems of empty jargonizing, a reaction to it set in a while ago, and things are getting better. Part of the problem is that critical theory in practice is just that - practice, not new research, in working with texts. There's the same sort of inflationary pressures going on with people trying to make their work look as important as possible.

But there's a great deal of baby in the bathwater that's being thrown out. Sokal's best contribution was the recommendation that a metaphor used in criticism should be more, not less, accessible than the subject of the metaphor (if you're using x to explain y, x should be more, not less, comprehensible than y).

Ultimately, it should also be recognized that art, literature, and culture are a different type of domain from physics, even if it sometimes borrows its rhetoric. In one way, however, there's a similarity: the claim that there's "no right answer" in criticism is only true in the way that "nothing is ever proven true, only not yet falsified" in empirical science. In both cases, although in different ways, it's about comparing models.

an academic speaks (5, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929051)

As soemone who is getting thier Phd in a liberal arts field, let me just say that in reality, like any other field 90% of the stuff I read is crap. Once you get to the graduate level and move beyond the stuff that is famous in a field you will see how little good quality stuff there really is out there. I just started this last semester on my phd. I am finding that in my classes here at my new university, a good 75% of the assigned readings are either the exact same articles that I read in my masters program, or just articles that have the same ideas as other articles I've already read. While there are dozens of journals publishing papers every months, there is really just a very small finite amount of work that is really noteworthy.

In doing my personal research there have been lots and lots of books where I shook my head and asked myself how this could have been published. The same is true of conferneces. I've been to a handfull of academic conferences and it never fails that the vast majority of the papers presented are pointless or trivial. (Certainly there may be people who saw my paper and thought the same thing, who knows). Thus it is not surprizing that the conference discussed in the article was full of crap.

So lets not jump on academia and say it is ALL a bunch of crap. Yes 90% of it is but how is that any different than any other field. How often are there articles about incompetent tech support, or IT guys who just totally screw up simple things? Remember, 90% of everything is crap.

Not to be crass, but... (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929184)

"So lets not jump on academia and say it is ALL a bunch of crap."

But with a PhD in Liberal Arts, I would expect you to be an expert on that particular subject.

Any field can be like this (2, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929056)

Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?

If you're advanced enough in any field this can be so.
As long as your code works a bit, it isn't wrong, just not robust, or sub optimal.

The question is (1)

damballah (691477) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929075)

It is clear to me that the humanities are not going to emerge from the jungle on their own.

How then do we "save" the humanities, as the author suggest?

Make it worth their while to want to enlighten us. (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929168)

Somehow you have to create a market for people to want to know the how and why behind the stories, cultural themes, whatever that people deal with/relate to day to day.

And I'm not talking about Reader's Digest. Example: It might take a tabloid publisher or something similar to find the right kind of spin and attitude to hook people into reading these uniquely informed opinions on modern cultural trends... condensed and simplified, of course.

Re:The question is (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929233)

We could write a text which is recursivley interpretable unless you accept the idea that if you want to know what a text is about you read it ( but only for yourself and on the behalf of 'everyone' ) and if you want to know what the author was trying to say when he wrote it you read his diary or other notes explaining this.

As a lit grad... (1)

fruey (563914) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929078)

I would have to say that this piece is very funny and in some senses very true too. I've also studied philosophy and French literature and I can relate to a lot of it.

However, the start of his speech that was a joke... well, it makes sense (apart from the end bit)

The essential paradigm of cyberspace is creating partially situated identities out of actual or potential social reality in terms of canonical forms of human contact, thus renormalizing the phenomenology of narrative space and requiring the naturalization of the intersubjective cognitive strategy, and thereby resolving the dialectics of metaphorical thoughts, each problematic to the other,
collectively redefining and reifying the paradigm of the parable of the model of the metaphor.

Think about it. It means people in chat rooms are not who you think they are. Even if you think you know. You can't see if they are black or white, fat or thin, male or female. The end tapers off it's not supposed to make sense.

The point, of course, is that saying this stuff in writing is always more condensed. Presenting it to your peers usually involves a bit more gesturing, pausing, and re-explaining in other terms.

In case you missed this... (4, Insightful)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929082)

The article really isn't about deconstructing the humanities at all. That was the method the author used to expose the deeper problem: that the humanities are suffering because their most artful practicitioners have isolated themselves and no longer respond to the community.

One thing he didn't really emphasize, but only alluded to (in a paragraph where he admits how this thinking caused him to understand why it might be important to conisder the fraility of many kinds of writing) is that these humanitarian skills are really useful! Only undergrads aren't really shown what they could do with them in the real world, besides branching off into various fields of media criticism.

He should have driven his conclusion home harder... that academia needs a slap upside the head, and we ("Nerds") all could help a little.

It's not a bug, it's a feature (3, Funny)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929116)

"Wouldn't it be nice to work in a field where nobody can say you're wrong?"

Choose software engineering, then. There is no known defence against the "It's not a bug, it's a feature" counter attack.

Should Computer Scientists Read Derrida? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929154)

Wesley Phoa has written a good text called [margaretmorgan.com]
Should Computer Scientists Read Derrida? that i can only recommend. Unlike the usual Deconstruction-Bashers that don't bother to understand what Deconstruction is about, this text, written by mathematician, is pretty clued up!

How to Deconstruct SlashNET --My Postmodern Advent (-1)

handybundler (232934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929165)

Most Recent Signons

gknfj nmyp yqktcf iotw qtlk
qhfvhq fljade ldwv zzbfl veggxl
qhcvfw pitcher swcgp vlqg McJesus
bepi soesh acffkn khdbdy razoml
Jul rlrckz wjyk ictve qximoo
mwdppp hpiaa dulw ydge tmzo
htjcv vclum ckwne lhyedi cadvz
tigkbv cyqea atga khsqlg nhtut
zyhd yrwvj fhck nmbq pmatd
jgnl htxji lreyx Pixel mfslkk
udku mjcqm zbuo khtzh hrvh
gjqovg aeudyd msoxfy zgoqoo rgmmc
phpb jlfej kgpc kiwkql phzc
ksbm vtfjdp vegce Avalanche
lvcuoq wnef xqik ucfyy scxwbj vqyqww


please ... make it stop ...

Only An Engineer.... (1)

reallocate (142797) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929213)

Tsk, tsk. Why bother looking for the "right" anser when none exists?

Life is not a "problem" waiting for you to find the correct solution. Neither is literature.

Careers for graduates in post modern literature (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929220)

management consultants.

I'm still internalizing the *last* paradigm shift created to facilitate enabling my disempowerment.

Postmodernism useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929232)

The Sokal argument on why postmodernism is flawed is a rather poor one. In submitting too a peer reviewed journal, there is usually an assumption of honesty in reporting results.

As an example, if I was a doctor, MADE UP some numbers on a cancer treatment that were overwhelmingly positive, had minimal side effects, and was ineexpensive, it would probably be printed ina number of prestigous medical journals. Hopefully peer reviewers would catch it, but they are human themselves and something could slip through the cracks. I doubt many of the peer reviewers now much about physics at Social Text, so it is no wonder that Sokal article was published, they assumed he was being honest in his writings.

Secondly, deconstruction does come in handy when considering a wide variety of topics, some favorites for slashdot such as legal battles between SCO and LINUX or the RIAA and P2P networks. One such deconstuction I have been working on is that of "authorship." I am a graduate student after all. Authorship can be deconstructed simply as "How is authorship defined? Has it always been defined in this way? What are the implications of varying definitions of authorship?" These are all questions that have relevance to issues many slashdotters hold dear.

old news - shades of Alan Sokal (1)

KMnO4 (684253) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929247)

it's been done before basically. My question, when is an academic in the humanities/lit crit area going to fight back with a hoax article in a scientific, medical or engineering publication.

Despite looks, this is not offtopic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929266)

Somebody got a McGyver style recipe for some headache pills or something alike when going to a shop is not an option?

This is analagous to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929269)

the guy who snuck a 5-year-old's fingerpaint/crayon drawing into an abstract art gallery and it ended up winning an award.

I'll leave it up to someone else to come up with a observation on the intellectual elite which ties this story together with the original post.

Has been practice on the Net (1)

whitroth (9367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929293)

and, IMO, a cross between the engineer's view and PostModCrit is (ta-da!) MSTing someone.

If that's not deconstruction, nothing is.

mark "In objects that are obsolescent,
or instances instantiated,
I am the very model of a modern
program paradigm"
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