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Si1

Post Modernism Generator

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Something like his has happened for real...

You must have worked with some postmodernists

How did you avoid beating them to death? Surely the urge must be great...

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I don't even "get" the whole concept of post-modernism. I mean, I don't even have the faintest idea what the "field" is even about.

Anyway, here's another classic work, excerpted from a PhD thesis subsequently submitted to the University of Toronto. The text is so impenetrable it appears indistinguishable from a hoax.

For my part, I can't even understand the title.

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I don't even "get" the whole concept of post-modernism. I mean, I don't even have the faintest idea what the "field" is even about.

Anyway, here's another classic work, excerpted from a PhD thesis subsequently submitted to the University of Toronto. The text is so impenetrable it appears indistinguishable from a hoax.

For my part, I can't even understand the title.

Fantastic from the comments section

"Just to be sure, I've just subjected myself to full reading of it, quite a feat, I assure you!

This is either a joke, I'm an idiot, or the author needs to get laid by a sperm whale before being deified as a God of postmodernist metatwaddle."

The original author appears to be real, passed her PhD, and seems to have a senior academic position

http://www.uta.edu/english/profile/guertin.html

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You must have worked with some postmodernists

How did you avoid beating them to death? Surely the urge must be great...

In a second year module on historiography and historical method, I basically did a method or issue each week. Towards the end, I did a lecture entitled "Cultural Studies and Historical Research". I tried to represent this approach fairly, including a full discussion of cultural theorists' arguments relating to what they regard as flaws in empirical approaches. I also included a few slides on criticism of the post-isms brigade, summarised the Sokal hoax and put Intellectual Impostures on the reading list.

When the module was validated, the external examiner (a self-professed feminist) criticised me severely for even mentioning Sokal, and likened my putting him on the reading list to an astronomer giving credence to flat earth believers (her exact words). In my defence, I argued that Sokal's essay had been accepted by a prominent journal, that this dirty secret could not be brushed under the carpet and that students should hear both the arguments of the post-ism brigade and those of its detractors, of whom Sokal is probably the best known. Thankfully my director of learning and teaching backed me up and the external had to back down. But the bottom line is that there are some academics who simply don't want anyone to know that the Sokal hoax even happened. They're that scared and defensive.

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I don't get post-modernism - as difficult as trying to understand the world through statistics.

But it is real:

Mentality of rule

A mentality of rule is any relatively systematic way of thinking about government. It delineates a discursive field in which the exercise of power is 'rationalised' [Lemke, 2001:191]. Thus Neo-liberalism is a mentality of rule because it represents a method of rationalising the exercise of government, a rationalisation that obeys the internal rule of maximum economy [Foucault, 1997:74]. Fukuyama [in Rose, 1999: 63] writes "a liberal State is ultimately a limited State, with governmental activity strictly bounded by the sphere of individual liberty". However, only a certain type of liberty, a certain way of understanding and exercising freedom is compatible with Neo-liberalism. If Neo-liberalist government is to fully realize its goals, individuals must come to recognize and act upon themselves as both free and responsible [Rose, 1999:68]. Thus Neo-liberalism must work to create the social reality that it proposes already exists. For as Lemke states, a mentality of government "is not pure, neutral knowledge that simply re-presents the governing reality" [Lemke, 2001:191] instead, Neo-liberalism constitutes an attempt to link a reduction in state welfare services and security systems to the increasing call for subjects to become free, enterprising, autonomous individuals. It can then begin to govern its subjects, not through intrusive state bureaucracies backed with legal powers, the imposition of moral standards under a religious mandate, but through structuring the possible field of action in which they govern themselves, to govern them through their freedom. Through the transformation of subjects with duties and obligations, into individuals, with rights and freedoms, modern individuals are not merely 'free to choose' but obliged to be free, "to understand and enact their lives in terms of choice" [Rose, 1999:87]. This freedom is a different freedom to that offered in the past. It is a freedom to realize our potential and our dreams through reshaping the way in which we conduct our lives.

https://en.wikipedia...Governmentality

Personally I am rendered discombobulate via the polysyllabic tautologisticism. But it's a decent summary of the last 40 years of government policy. And it's on the syllabus.

[postmodern edit] Nudge nudge, wink wink.

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I don't get post-modernism - as difficult as trying to understand the world through statistics.

But it is real:

Mentality of rule

A mentality of rule is any relatively systematic way of thinking about government. It delineates a discursive field in which the exercise of power is 'rationalised' [Lemke, 2001:191]. Thus Neo-liberalism is a mentality of rule because it represents a method of rationalising the exercise of government, a rationalisation that obeys the internal rule of maximum economy [Foucault, 1997:74]. Fukuyama [in Rose, 1999: 63] writes "a liberal State is ultimately a limited State, with governmental activity strictly bounded by the sphere of individual liberty". However, only a certain type of liberty, a certain way of understanding and exercising freedom is compatible with Neo-liberalism. If Neo-liberalist government is to fully realize its goals, individuals must come to recognize and act upon themselves as both free and responsible [Rose, 1999:68]. Thus Neo-liberalism must work to create the social reality that it proposes already exists. For as Lemke states, a mentality of government "is not pure, neutral knowledge that simply re-presents the governing reality" [Lemke, 2001:191] instead, Neo-liberalism constitutes an attempt to link a reduction in state welfare services and security systems to the increasing call for subjects to become free, enterprising, autonomous individuals. It can then begin to govern its subjects, not through intrusive state bureaucracies backed with legal powers, the imposition of moral standards under a religious mandate, but through structuring the possible field of action in which they govern themselves, to govern them through their freedom. Through the transformation of subjects with duties and obligations, into individuals, with rights and freedoms, modern individuals are not merely 'free to choose' but obliged to be free, "to understand and enact their lives in terms of choice" [Rose, 1999:87]. This freedom is a different freedom to that offered in the past. It is a freedom to realize our potential and our dreams through reshaping the way in which we conduct our lives.

https://en.wikipedia...Governmentality

Personally I am rendered discombobulate via the polysyllabic tautologisticism. But it's a decent summary of the last 40 years of government policy. And it's on the syllabus.

[postmodern edit] Nudge nudge, wink wink.

Doesn't the US constitution say much the same thing but in clearer English?

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It wasn't even post-modernism, but not long ago the required reading for an OU course on the 19thC novel included a stack of lit-crit essays, many of the authors being noted academics. Most of them were written in an incredibly dense, obscure style and packed with jargon. I frequently had to read a paragraph many times before I could even begin to work out what it was trying to say. I found it ironic that people who spent their lives studying (or dissecting) great writers, were apparently unable to put together a sentence in plain English.

On the other side of the academic coin, during her final year at a very good uni, my daughter had a lecturer who set them an 'essay' of 300 words max. The aim of course was plain English, the ditching of waffle and making every word count. The lecturer happened to be American.

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I don't even "get" the whole concept of post-modernism. I mean, I don't even have the faintest idea what the "field" is even about.

Anyway, here's another classic work, excerpted from a PhD thesis subsequently submitted to the University of Toronto. The text is so impenetrable it appears indistinguishable from a hoax.

For my part, I can't even understand the title.

From memory, the field basically arose from literary criticism, and at the core is the idea that all literature is a product of the context in which it is written.

This is at least partially a valid starting point. For example, it is valid to interpret the works of Shakespeare as the product of the times he was living in.

The problem is when it is taken to extremes, where any concept of an underlying reality is tossed out of the window and every observation by an individual is treated as entirely subjective and based on that individual's world view.. which itself is assumed into existence by the author. This is of course madness, which is why it needs the densest and least readable language; it allows a textbook of mathematical proofs to be 're-interpreted'.

Interestingly, the postmodern intellectual style, in which case all viewpoints are subjective and equally valid, and the significance of real world evidence and systematic thought minimised or rubbished is common in science denialism of many flavors. After all, a system of thought in which everyone is treated as an equal VI is very helpful if the facts are not on your side..

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From memory, the field basically arose from literary criticism, and at the core is the idea that all literature is a product of the context in which it is written.

This is at least partially a valid starting point. For example, it is valid to interpret the works of Shakespeare as the product of the times he was living in.

The problem is when it is taken to extremes, where any concept of an underlying reality is tossed out of the window and every observation by an individual is treated as entirely subjective and based on that individual's world view.. which itself is assumed into existence by the author. This is of course madness, which is why it needs the densest and least readable language; it allows a textbook of mathematical proofs to be 're-interpreted'.

Interestingly, the postmodern intellectual style, in which case all viewpoints are subjective and equally valid, and the significance of real world evidence and systematic thought minimised or rubbished is common in science denialism of many flavors. After all, a system of thought in which everyone is treated as an equal VI is very helpful if the facts are not on your side..

In several cases what I found in the above lit crit essays was that the writer had a fixation about something (often an aspect of sex or feminist theory) and evidently read everything through the tinted lens of that fixation, while conveniently ignoring anything that didn't 'fit' her argument. And often there was quite a bit that didn't fit.

I guess this is normal academic practice.

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In several cases what I found in the above lit crit essays was that the writer had a fixation about something (often an aspect of sex or feminist theory) and evidently read everything through the tinted lens of that fixation, while conveniently ignoring anything that didn't 'fit' her argument. And often there was quite a bit that didn't fit.

I guess this is normal academic practice.

Depends on the field.

If you are doing pure maths, and decide that you've proved a therom of some sort, then if someone comes along and disproves your proof, you either accept it or lose every trace of credibility.

You can then step down through physics, and chemistry - where you might have people disagreeing at the edges, but eventually experiments and evidence will win out - although you often end up with people pushing pet theories after their sell-by date (Think Hoyle and Stead State theory).

When it gets tho disciplines like Biology or Geology, people can hang on to outdated theories for even longer..

So by the time you've hit subjects which are fairly subjective to start with, people can hang on to their pet theories pretty much indefinitely..

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It wasn't even post-modernism, but not long ago the required reading for an OU course on the 19thC novel included a stack of lit-crit essays, many of the authors being noted academics. Most of them were written in an incredibly dense, obscure style and packed with jargon. I frequently had to read a paragraph many times before I could even begin to work out what it was trying to say. I found it ironic that people who spent their lives studying (or dissecting) great writers, were apparently unable to put together a sentence in plain English.

On the other side of the academic coin, during her final year at a very good uni, my daughter had a lecturer who set them an 'essay' of 300 words max. The aim of course was plain English, the ditching of waffle and making every word count. The lecturer happened to be American.

It can be harder to write a short essay than a long one, indeed

Additionally, one interesting and amazing point and from the Richard Dawkins resources that remonstrate with post modernism, and highlights the mis-use of the relativism that fluffy outlines - a feminist author described Newton's Principia as a "rape manual"!

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Sci-fi author Greg Egan argued in one of his novels that the CIA were pretty cheesed over the social reforms of the 1960s and 1970s, so they invented post-modernism - a system of using incomprehensible language so that social activists were unable to make any plans for reform, as they couldn't understand each other.

From one review on Amazon:

I think this is Egan's best novel; that makes it compulsory if you like science fiction, but it deserves to be read by the widest possible audience. Although he is best known for high-concept, hard science fiction, here he has found a superb balance between characterisation, plot and science.

Some have criticised the satire of postmodernism in this book as heavy-handed. Personally I find it spot on; anyone who is familiar with the Sokal hoax or Sadie Plant's oeuvre will see what he's getting at.

That aside, the history and psychology of the main character are worthy of any literary novelist. The McGuffin driving the plot is very clever and plausibly grounded in real science as with most of Egan's fiction. The novel builds to a conclusion which, in a perverse way, celebrates the best of humanity while commenting wryly on the human condition.

Even if you're not normally interested in science fiction, I strongly urge you to read this book. If you like literary authors playing at doing science (like David Lodge's "Thinks" or Jeanette Winterson's "Gut Symmetries"), why not try an SF author who can write?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teranesia-Greg-Egan/dp/0575083336/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389957772&sr=1-1&keywords=greg+egan+teranesia

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This is at least partially a valid starting point. For example, it is valid to interpret the works of Shakespeare as the product of the times he was living in.

Ah. I always wondered why Richard III didn't just get a new horse off Gumtree.

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Ah. I always wondered why Richard III didn't just get a new horse off Gumtree.

.. or brought along a few Challenger II tanks to Bosworth field, would have given him a significant tactical advantage.

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Depends on the field.

If you are doing pure maths, and decide that you've proved a therom of some sort, then if someone comes along and disproves your proof, you either accept it or lose every trace of credibility.

You can then step down through physics, and chemistry - where you might have people disagreeing at the edges, but eventually experiments and evidence will win out - although you often end up with people pushing pet theories after their sell-by date (Think Hoyle and Stead State theory).

When it gets tho disciplines like Biology or Geology, people can hang on to outdated theories for even longer..

So by the time you've hit subjects which are fairly subjective to start with, people can hang on to their pet theories pretty much indefinitely..

Should have said 'arts academics'. Don't imagine there is room for much waffle and talking of bolax within the science and maths fields.

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Should have said 'arts academics'. Don't imagine there is room for much waffle and talking of bolax within the science and maths fields.

You need to talk to some String Theory bods..

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It can be harder to write a short essay than a long one, indeed

- a feminist author described Newton's Principia as a "rape manual"!

Not surprised after reading the stuff mentioned above - I swear some of those stars of academe would read sex and male oppression into the offer of a cup of tea.

I also did an OU Shakespeare course and one of the writers on Measure for Measure had convinced himself that the highly religious virgin heroine (who reluctantly agrees to have sex with a corrupt official to save her brother's life). was a rabid closet masochist, longing not just to be violated but also whipped.

All I could think was, writer must be a seriously creepy perve with a bad case of wishful thinking.

I am also somehow reminded of a creepy politics lecturer in my first year at uni. First tutorial began: 'your essay was fine - I've given you. B+. Now, how's your sex life?'

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