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By Keith Ashman

The "War" in technology is essentially the dialogue among those that think that technological know-how is above feedback and those that don't. After the technology Wars is a set of essays by means of best philosophers and scientists, all trying to bridge interdisciplinary gulfs during this dialogue.

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Melott This is not an essay. Do not look for coherence or sequence, unless you are compulsive or like wasting time. I enjoyed Alan Sokal’s spoof. I knew it was coming and eagerly awaited the reaction. I fully support what he did, although I have deep disagreements with him. I do not think epistemology is the core issue, at least not as he has framed it (“objective reality”). What was (for me at least) wildly funny was the absolutely absurd uses to which the physics was put. It is bizarre, crazy, and can’t escape attention—if you know any physics.

However, no such epistemic niceties deterred either Gross and Levitt or Sokal from pronouncing Derrida’s remark nonsense. Nor were these isolated cases. In the literature spawned by Sokal’s hoax, I often found high-minded talk about the importance of “doing it right,” keeping company with readings and arguments as shabby or non-existent as in the attacks on Derrida mentioned above. For example, in A House Built on Sand, the editor, Noretta Koertge, writes, “We intend to provide a place where reason and good sense can be brought to bear on a field that has lost its mechanism of scholarly self-control… Our only target is shoddy scholarship” (Koertge 1998:5).

28 WHAT THE SOCIAL TEXT AFFAIR DOES AND DOES NOT PROVE Sokal, Alan (1996c) “Transgressing the boundaries: an afterword,” Dissent 43(4) (Fall): 93–99 (a slightly abridged version of this article was also published in 1996 in Philosophy and Literature 20:338–346). Sokal, Alan (1997) “A plea for reason, evidence and logic,” New Politics 6(2) (Winter): 126–129 (an extended version of this article appeared under the title “Truth, reason, objectivity, and the left” in Mistaken Identities: The Second Wave of Controversy over “Political Correctness,” edited by Cyril Levitt, Scott Davies, and Neil McLaughlin, New York: Peter Lang, 1999, 285–294).

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