Irigaray has famously argued that science is sexist; for example E=Mc2 is `a sexed equation’. The reasons she gives for believing this are extraordinary. The equationprivileges the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us. What seems to me to indicate the possibly sexed nature of the equation is not directly its uses by nuclear weapons, rather its having privileged what goes the fastest …
The muddle here is so dense that it is probably not worth unpicking it. Suffice it to say, as S&B do, that Einstein’s equation has been verified to a high degree of precision. Whatever Irigaray might feel about privileging the speed of light over `other speeds that are vitally necessary to us’, the equation would not be valid if the speed of light (c) were replaced by another speed — by, for example, the speed of a woman running after an escaping toddler in a supermarket. To put this another way, if the equation is sexist, so is nature; if scientists are sexist in respect of this equation, it is because matter is. And if matter is sexist, so are women, who are made of matter.
The sexism of science, Irigaray argues, explains why fluid mechanics is not as well developed as solid mechanics.
The inability of (masculinist) science to deal with turbulent flow is explained by the association of fluidity with femininity: whereas men have sex organs that protrude and become rigid, women have openings that leak menstrual blood and vaginal fluids. Hence male science cannot cope with fluid dynamics.
This seems somewhat to overlook that men, like women, are 90% water, that like women, they have 5.5 litres of blood circulating round their bodies, and that they bleed, salivate and, yes, take a leak — just like women. Notwithstanding these elementary observations, this is Irigaray’s explanation of why women are erased from masculinist theories, and fluids have been erased from science.
There is, of course, a huge literature on fluid dynamics and turbulence. It has been one of the key areas investigated over the last few decades using the new analytical tools derived from chaos theory. A full definition of the conditions under which flow will become turbulent still eludes scientists, but there are also incompletely solved problems in solid mechanics, and, indeed, throughout physics.
Dear fucking gods, I can feel my brain sizzling just from reading this. I have a hard time accepting the fact that there are people simultaneously so utterly caught up in their dogma and so lacking even a rudimentary understanding of reality that they would come up with apeshit insane ideas like this. I think the most disturbing thing is actually that it’s clear how futile it would be to try to reason with them. I mean, one could point out that fluid dynamics is actually a far more complex topic than rigid mechanics due to the infinitely more complex way particles interact in fluids than in solid matter, but I know they (the author of that drivel, not you, meravie) would just set it in their preconceptions of “fluid = woman, rigid = man” and take it as proof that women are oh-so-complex special snowflakes while men are simplistic, primitive ape-beasts.
tl;dr: some people should have their vocal cords surgically severed and any appendages capable of writing/typing removed to protect humanity from the cognitohazard that their bullshit is.
I’m actually pretty interested in the mechanics of how a person could become so unbelievably deluded. I mean, our brains are designed to be at least semi-rational in order to survive; how can someone even be this ridiculous?
I sincerely hope for the sake of humanity that she does not have a very large following, if any.
Also, upon looking her up, I found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashionable_Nonsense (The book actually also responds to the two particular viewpoints that meravie critiqued.)
…I might just have to buy this and carry it around with me wherever I go.
I suppose it’s a form of atrophy. A body that isn’t stimulated enough will begin to waste away, losing muscle mass and generally deteriorated; I think an under-stimulated mind may suffer the same fate. Or perhaps, more accurately, it’s that once one casts reality checks aside and adopts the philosophy of cognitive relativism, convincing themselves that their views are facts and the entire world that keeps proving them wrong is in fact false, no idea can seem too ridiculous anymore. Which sounds like a shortcut to a padded room to me, but apparently, we have a fair number of cognitive relativists (colloquially known as batshit retards) on the loose.
I’m going to blame some sort of self-reassuring feedback loop and be done with the whole thing. The fact that there are “philosophies on the relativity of science” and other such drivel makes me a combination of reassured that these people won’t be taken seriously by actual scientists, and annoyed that academia encourages this nonsense.
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- sarahblass said: How do people this stupid even exist?
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