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postmodern essay generator

Post #70 • July 29, 2003, 4:11 AM

Via artnotes, the Postmodern Essay Generator. Warning: if you don’t know why this is funny, the joke may be on you.

Following its links, I found a site dedicated to Alan Sokal’s hoax of Social Text, a brilliant prank that I long to play on the art world in modified form. Quoth the master:

For some years I’ve been troubled by an apparent decline in the standards of intellectual rigor in certain precincts of the American academic humanities. But I’m a mere physicist: if I find myself unable to make head or tail of jouissance and diffrance, perhaps that just reflects my own inadequacy.

So, 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 … 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.

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