Stanley Fish vs Alan Sokal

Rahul Mahajan rahul at peaches.ph.utexas.edu
Tue May 21 17:36:15 MDT 1996


>Hell no. I'm talking about, say, using food technology in a way kinder to
>the earth and to agricultural workers, and even making stuff taste better,
>rather than using food technology to fatten profits. Changing the twisted
>priorities of capitalist pharmaceutical and medical research. Reorienting
>of technology away from deskilling and towards reskilling. Having workers,
>well-educated in science and organization, rethink and reorganize the
>mechanics of production. Ending corporate control of information. Stuff
>like that.
>
>Doug

Sounds good to me. I think scientists in general would be possibly more
likely to be sympathetic to such a course of action than the general
populace. Many of them actually believe in the liberatory, if possibly
naive, tenets of the scientific ethic, such as the idea that information
should be made freely available to all. There are even real scientists in
the forefront of such activity. None of this has to do, however, with
reformulating either the way scientists pursue knowledge or the
codification and interpretation of existing knowledge, which is what I
understand as "the transformation of scientific work in a more liberatory
direction." The way to achieve this, as with so much else, is to attack
corporate control, and government control insofar as it is used to bolster
corporate control, of science. The informed populace should decide on the
large policy questions, and the scientists themselves on the smaller policy
questions and on the standards and methods of determining scientific truth.
Given the current state of knowledge and prejudice, however, it's just as
well the people have no say in scientific matters.

Rahul




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