An NYU physicist who wrote an article in a humanities journal, got it published, and then pointed out that the article itself was complete and utter nonsense, er, bullshit. A truly great man. Authored the book Fashionable Nonsense.

The article was titled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity." It was published in the journal "Social Text." The article was accepted because it appeared to flatter the editors' biases. It had realistic footnotes, but no argument at all. Sokal's goal was to expose the falseness of the journal. Its editors later defended publishing the article, and ended up making themselves look more foolish.

Sokal is also just an all around brilliant guy. He speaks and reads several foreign languages fluently, including French, Spanish and Finnish. Although I never actually had him for a class, my peers confirm that he is an amazing teacher.

Unfortunately, his social activism and opinions have gotten him into official trouble with 'the man', here in this so called 'free' country. About a decade ago he spent a while teaching mathematics to peasants in Nicaragua. This being under the Sandinista government, the CIA got wind of his activities and put this socially conscious physicist on some sort of unsavory characters list. Later, when the time came to renew his Italian wife's visa so she could continue to live with him in New York, a mere formality for Europeans married to Americans in almost all cases, she was denied. As far as I know a good reason was not given, and it seems like some form of harassment.

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