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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: Postmodernism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0260  Thursday, 26 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 13:34:28 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: Postmodernism

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 14:57:25 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0254  Re: Postmodernism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 13:34:28 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Re: Postmodernism

Bill Godshalk holds these truths to be self-evident:

> Cancer, unfortunately, exists, whether Egan is prepared
> to believe so or not, and light will travel at a certain
> speed whatever one's personal belief system or political
> stance. I hold these truths to be self-evident, etc., etc.,
> whatever rhetoric and power Egan may use to persuade me
> otherwise.

Einsteinian theoretical mechanics has not yet been fully validated to
the satisfaction of the scientific community (there are areas where
quantum mechanics still holds sway).  Many great Victorian minds held
Newtonian mechanics to be the last word on the subject. No doubt they
told their dithering colleagues to pull themselves together and sign up
to the idea that the world just is the way it seems.

I confidently predict that information theory plus quantum mechanics
will provide a secure basis for postmodernist physics.  And if anybody
has the cheek to tell me that I'm not qualified in the subject, I shall
remind them that the Internet email discussion lists are places where
amateurs and professionals meet as peers.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 14:57:25 -0500
Subject: 9.0254  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0254  Re: Postmodernism

>. . . there is a difference between
>saying that cancer exists, or that the speed of light is a constant, and
>saying that such knowledge claims have histories...as do claims about
>the "meaning" of Shakespeare.  Unless, of course, we are to understand
>the claims of certain scientists and certain Shakespeareans as
>revelation.

No, my comments should not be taken to mean that I believe in divine
revelations.  I assuredly do not.  But I also do not believe that the
speed of light varies according to culture or history. I assume that
Shakespeare did not consider the speed of light. I also assume that this
fact had no effect on that speed. In other words, I do not live in a
Borgesian universe where mind can change the artifacts of history.
Shakespeareans and historians may change their interpretations over
time, but Folger Folio 1 changes only in the sense that it is time's
fool and thus decays. The text of that particular Folio remains the same
(with the above qualification, of course).

WRT Roger-Pol Droit, I think that there is a difference between
political correctness and scientific correctness, and when I am flying
in a plane, I always hope that the pilot is scientifically rather than
politically correct. Physical laws really are quite different from human
civilities.

Also, I would not describe Alan Sokal as narrow minded.  I prefer
Puckish. (You no doubt know the passage to which I refer!)

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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