Fight for the Life Of the Mind

A good overview of the context and significance of the Sokal Hoax (New York Sun). (Thanks for the link, Robert.)

Most of us, most of the time, arrive at our beliefs for a host of psychological and social reasons that have little or nothing to do with logic, reason, empiricism, or data. Most of our beliefs are shaped by our parents, our siblings, our peer groups, our teachers, our mentors, our professional colleagues, and by the culture at large. We form and hold those beliefs because they provide emotional comfort, because they fit well with our lifestyles or career choices, or because they work within the larger context of our family dynamics or social network. Then we build back into those beliefs reasons for why we hold them.