Monday, May 22, 2017

Conceptual penis drives climate change

The 1996 Sokal hoax has shown that the social scientists' journals considered prestigious didn't have any standards, the "research" done by that community had no content, and its editors were indeed unable to distinguish absurd satirical nonsense from something they were ready to call "true scholarship".

You could have thought that the publication of Sokal's ludicrous article was an anomalous mistake and nothing of the sort would be repeated because the editors in similar journals would become more cautious. However, this improvement hasn't happened. In fact, it couldn't have happened because there is really no well-defined difference between the work done by scholars in "gender studies" and the jokes that you may invent about them in minutes to mock them. The jokes about these "social scientists" are funny because they are true.

As Breitbart, WUWT, CFACT, and others told us, a new hoax of the same kind was just published in "Cogent Social Sciences", a peer-reviewed journal in sociology.

The title is
The conceptual penis as a social construct (PDF)
and it was submitted by Jamie Lindsay and Peter Boyle from an "independent research group" in Knoxville, Tennessee. The responsible editor who accepted this paper is Jamie Halsall, University of Huddersfield, U.K.

You may want to read the paper. It contains the same material that most of us would write in a parody dedicated to this topic. Penises are just social constructs and they're isomorphic to all the evil in the world – such as capitalism, fossil fuels, climate change, hypermasculine performance, and other pseudointellectual phrases of this kind.

Every person who has an operational brain and who is thinking in a way that I could at least remotely consider close to the thinking of a rational person in the West of the early 21st century must immediately see that every piece of this essay is just ludicrous nonsense which was probably created by someone to make fun.

It may sometimes be hard to distinguish whether the text was written by a prankster or by a person whose IQ has really evaporated but there just exists no possibility that a TRF reader could confuse this text with a serious scholarly article that would deserve to be copied and promoted by a professional journal.

Jamie Halsall, the editor, is basically a nobody. This seemingly average young man has written some texts on sociology. But I wouldn't conclude that he belongs to the extreme progressives. His articles – having collected at most two dozens of citations per text – study things like aging of the society, say that the housing in China is not very good, communities should govern themselves, the U.K. economy is in crisis, and similar low-key, left-leaning, but otherwise unspectacular topics and claims of the kind.

So how is it possible that he approves something like the article about the penis's being a social construct causing all the societal ills? Is he incapable of figuring out that the paper is nonsense?

I am waiting for your opinions. I think that he sort of knows that there's no value in the article – and similar enough articles that are pretended to be serious for a longer time. But there's a hierarchy in the social sciences and the most worthless, pathological nut jobs who are eager to say and repeat that "penis is a social construct" stand at the top. A guy like Halsall wouldn't dare to refuse a paper by the authors who apparently belong to this "caste". He wasn't allowed to join the caste which is why he had to be stuck with "mundane" topics such as the aging population. But he treats the progressive, feminist, and other extreme nut jobs as their superiors.

Alternatively, he found the article funny, figured out that it was a hoax, and basically decided to cooperate with the authors.

Not much is happening but if the Trump era became at least somewhat real, almost all the people working in these departments – gender studies etc. – should be forced to do some proper job. I believe that none of them could do much better than become a janitor.

Ancilla the supremacist

A cool closely related update. Two readers have pointed out the soc-ph (and quant-ph cross-listed) arXiv preprint The careless use of language in quantum information by Karoline Wiesner, a female mathematician in Bristol, who complains that quantum information folks are politically incorrect.

In particular, they use the term "ancilla bit" and "quantum supremacy". An über-politically-correct quantum information guy John Preskill invented the term "quantum supremacy". John Preskill is doing insane things in order to be politically correct – for example, yesterday, he climbed deeply into Bill Nye's rectum – but for the likes of Karoline Wiesner, your efforts will never be enough, John, because you will always be a conceptual penis from their viewpoint.

BTW Wiesner also asks what is a politically correct replacement for "quantum supremacy". What about "the temporary delay of quantum multiculturalism"?

Wiesner's complaint is analogous to and almost as idiotic as a black moron's whining about the term "black hole". Why didn't the damn white racist physicists call it a white hole, for example? That's a good question, Mr black moron. Well, it's not, Sheldon would correct us. ;-) You know, black holes carry the same adjective as "African Americans" because they reflect a similarly low amount of light. In the same way, "ancilla bit" carries the name "ancilla" – which is simply Latin for a "maid" – because they play a similar function as maids and words similar to maids have been taken or are too long. And "quantum supremacy" has a similar word in it as "white supremacy" because both are supremacies – something is (or is considered) above (or better than) something else in importance or abilities.

Although they were not the only possible names of a similar quality that could have been picked, there are generally very good reasons why those terms were chosen the way they were chosen. BTW none of the 10 meanings of "supremacy" listed by Wikipedia is "white supremacy" so Wiesner's automatic imagination of the racist term indicates her shallow and highly politicized knowledge of basic things. (BTW the first meaning of "Supremacy" in Wikipedia is highly politically correct i.e. outrageous for most of us – it says that the European Union laws are superior relatively to the national ones.)

My paternal grandmother used to work as a maid before communism erupted. What's wrong about a maid? She has some special tasks, skills, and responsibilities. They have some female specifics – what's wrong about those? Ancilla bits have some analogous specifics, too. It's not just that the words are similar for good reasons. They describe important enough things. "Progressive" lunatics such as Ms Wiesner would like to ban ancilla bits because any inequality between people or their bits are too bad for them. But inequality is important in most human relationships. On the contrary, it's the likes of Ms Wiesner who are redundant.

I am curious to what extent the likes of John Preskill are crazy and will revise the terminology of quantum computation in order to please a classical feminist bitch such as Ms Wiesner.

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