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Postmodernist Technobabble

I was reading Richard Dawkins' review of Intellectual Impostures -- a book that, in Dawkins' words, "disrobes" postmodernism (in the philosophical and literary senses) -- when I came upon a follow-up comment by Dawkins himself pointing to the work of a Fellow at the University of Toronto, Carolyn Guertin. The abstract of her dissertation and her teaching philosophy are both must-reads. From her dissertation:

Within quantum mechanics, the science of the body in motion, the intricacies of the interiorities of mnemonic time -- no longer an arrow -- are being realized in the (traditionally) feminized shape of the body of the matrix. This is the real time realm of cyberspace where the multiple trajectories of the virtual engender a new kind of looking: disorientation as an alternative to linear perspective. Where women have usually been objects to be looked at, hypermedia systems replace the gaze with the empowered look of the embodied browser in motion in archival space. Always in flux, the shape of time's transformation is a Möbius strip unfolding time into the dynamic space of the postmodern text, into the 'unfold.' As quantum interference, the unfold is a gesture that is a sensory interval. In this in-between space, the transformance of the nomadic browser takes place; she performs the embodied knowledge acquired in her navigation of the world of the text. Quantum space in hypertexts is shaped as an irreducible knot, an entangled equation both in and out of space-time, spanning all dimensions as a node in a mnemonic system. Wanderlust is the engine driving the browser on her quest through the intricately knotted interplay of time and space in these electronic ecosystems. What the browser finds there is rapture -- an emergent state of embodied transformation in the experiential realm. What she acquires is not mastery, but agency, and an aesthetic interval of her own.
Can anyone understand this? Seriously? Either Guertin and her postmodernist colleagues are dramatically more intelligent than the rest of the human race, or this is pretentious gobbledygook, meaningless-yet-impressive-sounding nonsense -- the humanities equivalent of Star Trek technobabble ("Treknobabble"), as in 'uncoupling the Heisenberg compensators', or 'interplexing the comm systems to create phased carrier waves'.

As Dawkins writes:

Let us hope this woman is not occupying a position that might otherwise be held by a genuine scholar doing worthwhile research. It is tragic the way humanities departments have been taken over by second-rate fakes.


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