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The dog park paper

Some epic, god-level trolling has occurred. A group of left-wing academics (about whom Jonathan wrote below, as did Libertarian Home) became concerned that *extreme* left wing politics was getting in the way of certain kinds of sociology research. They submitted ridiculous papers to test the level of critical thinking of the editors and reviewers of certain kinds of journals.

The dog park paper is very entertaining. It was published in a journal called Gender, Place and Culture.

The data suggest that the deciding variable for whether or not a human would interfere in a dog’s rape/humping incident was the dog’s gender. When a male dog was raping/humping another male dog, humans attempted to intervene 97% of the time. When a male dog was raping/humping a female dog, humans only attempted to intervene 32% of the time.

The Twitter account Real Peer Review called out the article when it was published, before they knew it was a spoof. They are now posting commentary on the peer review of the paper.

It is all highly amusing. It is also useful, both to reveal the silliness of the silly ideas, and to understand the evil of them. In the video, James A. Lindsay explains:

There’s this kind of religious architecture in their mind where privilege is sin. Privilege is evil. And then they’ve identified education as the place where it has to be fixed. So you can come up with these really nasty arguments, like ‘let’s put white kids in chains on the floor at school as an educational opportunity’. And if you frame it in terms of overcoming privilege, and you frame their resistance — that they won’t want this to happen to them, that they would complain about this — in terms of ‘oh they only complain about that because they’re privileged and they can’t handle it because their privilege made them weak.’: then it’s right in.

Incidentally, this author is not surprised that “women’s and gender studies, feminist studies, race studies, sexuality studies, fat studies, queer studies, cultural studies, and sociology” are prone to politicisation. It is much harder to politicise bridge building and electronic circuit design.

Addendum: From the NYT article about this:

“What strikes me about stunts like this is their fundamental meanness,” Sean Carroll, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology, wrote on Twitter. “No attempt to intellectually engage with ideas you disagree with; just trolling for lulz.”

Jacob T. Levy, a political theorist at McGill University in Montreal, said in an interview that even some colleagues who are not fans of identity-oriented scholarship are looking at the hoax and saying “this is potentially unethical and doesn’t show what they think it is showing.”

Besides, he added, “We all recognize that this kind of thing could also be done in our disciplines if people were willing to dedicate a year to it.”

No. You can’t troll a physics journal for lulz. I propose that the usefulness of your school of thought is in inverse proportion to its susceptibility to being trolled for lulz. Attempting the latter is a way to measure the former.

30 comments to The dog park paper

  • In electronics we have male and female mating connectors. Surely something can be made of that.

  • bob sykes

    Moreover, FIU’s Diversity Bridge fell down, killing people.

  • William H. Stoddard

    Stalin and Mao both did just fine with politicizing the physical sciences. There was an era when every physics paper in the USSR started out with an explanation of how Marxism-Leninism inspired the author’s work. . . .

  • Rob

    These people are mocking us by showing people exactly what we are! They must be stopped!

  • Runcie Balspune

    In electronics we have male and female mating connectors. Surely something can be made of that.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8x7akv/masterslave-terminology-was-removed-from-python-programming-language

  • NickM

    Every malign political trope has tried to exploit physics. The Soviets did. The Nazis did (they had Aryan and not Jewish physics). When a US Army Captain (amd a physics grad) found the German research base for nuclear weapons he said it looked more like a site for medieval alchemy than modern science. The problem th Nazi’s had is they hired on the basis of race and politics and not ability.

    Frankly I don’t give a damn. I am a physics graduate. I also have qualifications in astrophysics and mathematics. I couldn’t give a fuck about the histrionics of the antisocial sciences. I think a sociology degree ought to be punished by a lifetime of mockery.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well … I guess I can’t stop people from feeling offended if they want to feel offended. :>(

    At this late date I see a lot of Sokal-trashing.

    Personally, I’d say to ’em, “Get a life!”

    If that’s true about the necessity to edit Python for non-PC commands, maybe we should just forget all this new-fangled techie stuff — no doubt work of the Dyvil anyway — and just use smoke and blankets to solve problems.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Don’t forget the disastrous Lysenkoism/Lamarckism favoured by Stalin that led to persecution of thousands and the starvation of millions.

    The rejection of “Jew physics” by the Nazis may well have (fortunately) contributed to their slow development of nuclear weapons, despite having Heisenberg, the godfather of quantum physics, on their side.

    An Iranian colleague, who had a masters in engineering, once told me that during the days of the Ayatollah’s revolution the scientists had to pepper the recorded results of their work with “as god wills” (inshallah) to pass the authorities, I’m not sure how true this is but it would kind of explain how relatively slow Iranian nuclear advancement has been in spite of traditional Persian scientific heritage, Pakistani assistance and Obama’s incompetence.

  • llamas

    MSimon wrote:

    ‘In electronics we have male and female mating connectors. Surely something can be made of that.’

    In my current world – US defence contracting – No Longer Allowed. It’s Plug and Jack, boy, and don’t you forget it!

    ‘Boy’, of course, being a reference to the self-identification of the engineer involved, and not any sort of direction of gender-normative stereotyping.

    To the wider issue – a lot of the offended screeching is precisely because the votaries of these disciplines know, deep down in their souls, that their disciplines are, in fact, a crock of crap with little or no basis in reality- which is precisely why they are so laughably-easy to spoof in this way. When all of your output is fictional and has no basis in reality, it’s not hard to sell more of the same.

    As to the sour comments about ‘well, yeah, if you’re prepared to spend a year doing it’ – b—-ks. I’ll bet the longest of these spoofs was dashed off in a couple of hours. The years refers to the length of time it took before the spoof was finally spotted.

    As to the complaints that those jolly japes were ‘just mean’ – too right, they were. But you’re selling us bulls–t dressed up as scholarly endeavor, and you won’t stop, no matter how scholarly your critics are. Time for some direct action. As Milo Yiannopolous constantly observes, nobody can resist the truth wrapped in a good joke, and, just as with the Sokal hoax, this latest series of spoofs has pointed out the silliness of these disciplines precisely in the way that ensures maximum visibility.

    llater,

    llamas

  • nemesis

    Old but gold; the dihydrogen monoxide scare:
    http://www.dhmo.org/truth/Dihydrogen-Monoxide.html

  • bobby b

    My prediction: mainstream social science publications will not refer to this paper for three weeks, after which they will all begin referring to it as “the now-discredited Aero paper.”

  • Mr Ed

    This sort of puerile, patriarchal prank is harming real dogs by ignoring and deriding canine rape culture. Aren’t female dogs called ‘bitches’?

    It’s a small step from Weimaraner (with all those proto-Nazi connotations) to Weinstein!

  • Robert Conquest noted that a lost word in older poets, e.g. Shakespeare, can often be restored from the context. By contrast, if a word were lost from certain modern ‘poetry’, any word from the longer Oxford would be as likely a guess as any other for what it had been.

    In the same way, a true science will easily reject spoof papers of this kind. I judge the spoofers efforts as a true experiment – as they themselves have said – providing an objective proof that these are pseudo-sciences.

  • pete

    The joke is on us, not the fooled ‘academics’.

    They still get their wages and we pay them.

  • Alsadius

    > No. You can’t troll a physics journal for lulz.

    Someone intelligent with a year to burn could plausibly get themselves up to a masters-level understanding of physics, and then submit some subtle troll based on faked data. It’d probably be a lot less meaningful than this, but I think it could be done.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mr Ed, just to say it’ll be a cold day in the dog park before I’d let my sweet Lucy (who nowadays resides with my Honey, the lucky dog!) attend such a venue. B****es and sumsab****es indeed!

    .

    As an aside, I have to observe that over several score years of dog-loving, I have observed what some of the more common among us might consider “humping” as a regular feature of doggie behavior, whether the dog is Mars or Venus, broke or fixed, and regardless of the nature of the recipient entity (i.e., whether or not animated, let alone canine or not).

    *blush*

  • jsallison

    So who’s up for refurbing the Good Doctor A’s ‘Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline’ and giving it a go?

  • Iain Barraclough

    @Alsadius: Yers. Similarly, I recall reading an archived paper from (I think it was) the ’70s at what was then called ICL (International Computers Limited) in the UK. I gather that, at the time,the use of magnetic media had developed from MT (Magnetic Tape) – a breakthrough – to cylindrical storage, with huge spinning drums (spinning along the central axis) the size of an oil drum, whose surface was coated in a ferrous magnetic layer. From memory, I think the read-write heads were static, arranged in a row along the length of the drum.
    I think research was by then also ongoing into the development of DSDs (Disk Storage Devices).
    Anyway, some wag had written an erudite paper theorising the use of magnetically coated spheres which were moved and rotated purely by jets of compressed air, the static read/write heads being moved into position along a semicircular arc once a sphere had been raised and set spinning in the jets of compressed air. The idea was that there could be arrays of these things running simultaneously.
    .
    I don’t suppose anyone who started reading it would have considered for a moment that it was a serious paper, but they might have continued reading it to see where it was taking them. This became apparent when the necessary storage media operational commands were being considered for SSUs (Spherical Storage Units) that were being operated as a pair – e.g., to raise the left ball, raise the right ball, spin, engage/retract read/write heads, etc. The program command to raise the SSUs in an array was “ballsup”.
    .
    At about the same time, ICL were developing a new mainframe to replace the ICL 1900 series. It was called System 4. The design engineers had been experiencing a few difficulties with it and had written a song about it. Again, from memory, it was:
    (To be loosely sung to the tune of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain”, by a barber shop quartet in close harmony.)
    .
    We’ve designed a new machine –
    Chorus: System 4
    It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen before
    Chorus: System 4
    Oh we’ve had models made of wood
    That were very, very good –
    We would build one if we could
    Chorus: System 4
    etc.
    .
    As well as a healthily realistic sense of humour, the engineers seemed to have had some spare time on their hands in which to let their creative juices flow. Opportunities to to have fun.

  • Slartibartfarst

    @Alsadius: Yers. Similarly, I recall reading an archived paper from (I think it was) the ’70s at what was then called ICL (International Computers Limited) in the UK. I gather that, at the time,the use of magnetic media had developed from MT (Magnetic Tape) – a breakthrough – to cylindrical storage, with huge spinning drums (spinning along the central axis) the size of an oil drum, whose surface was coated in a ferrous magnetic layer. From memory, I think the read-write heads were static, arranged in a row along the length of the drum.
    I think research was by then also ongoing into the development of DSDs (Disk Storage Devices).
    Anyway, some wag had written an erudite paper theorising the use of magnetically coated spheres which were moved and rotated purely by jets of compressed air, the static read/write heads being moved into position along a semicircular arc once a sphere had been raised and set spinning in the jets of compressed air. The idea was that there could be arrays of these things running simultaneously.
    .
    I don’t suppose anyone who started reading it would have considered for a moment that it was a serious paper, but they might have continued reading it to see where it was taking them. This became apparent when the necessary storage media operational commands were being considered for SSUs (Spherical Storage Units) that were being operated as a pair – e.g., to raise the left ball, raise the right ball, spin, engage/retract read/write heads, etc. The program command to raise the SSUs in an array was “ballsup”.
    .
    At about the same time, ICL were developing a new mainframe to replace the ICL 1900 series. It was called System 4. The design engineers had been experiencing a few difficulties with it and had written a song about it. Again, from memory, it was:
    (To be loosely sung to the tune of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain”, by a barber shop quartet in close harmony.)
    .
    We’ve designed a new machine –
    Chorus: System 4
    It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen before
    Chorus: System 4
    Oh we’ve had models made of wood
    That were very, very good –
    We would build one if we could
    Chorus: System 4
    etc.
    .
    As well as a healthily realistic sense of humour, the engineers seemed to have had some spare time on their hands in which to let their creative juices flow. Opportunities to to have fun.

  • Julie near Chicago

    jsallison,

    ‘Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline’ ! By gosh, I remember reading that paper! Found it quite enlightening, if a tad confusing. Oddly enough, I’m not sure I have a copy of it. I wonder if it’s online.

    I also wonder whether the findings reported there were used in developing Doc Brown’s DeLorean.

  • NickM

    Julie,
    Living near the Great Lakes as you do. You must be aware of the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.

  • Biff

    If someone wanted to do some genuine “sociology” research, they might look into studying the sociology of the various Grievance Studies academic programs!

  • Arthur Teacake

    @Iain Barraclough:

    I may be misremembering that paper, as I last saw a dog-eared paper copy of it about 35 years ago, but I think it included a command to erase the entire contents of the medium, SCRATCH BALLS.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Nick, oh yes indeed. In fact I once scared the knickers off my Mom by swimming, all alone and unsupervised, across a former gravel pit filled with the stuff. (They were famous for giving swimmers cramps, onaccounta sudden changes in the temp of the substance.) Oddly, I survived without harm. I’m not sure about the effects on Mother, however. (She returned to pick me up just before I reached the side.)

    “Parents are a sorry lot.” — Thus saith Dagwood.

  • CaptDMO

    Women of Power! Untie!(first clue)
    Sign our petition to Congress DEMANDING the abolition of decades of woman’s suffrage!
    Help us protest with signs in the public square!

  • Runcie Balspune

    In these gender confused times, we need a new determination, and what better than to simply refer to each as either XY or XX, the scientific/medical definition being heterogametic (having different chromosomes) and homogametic (having the same chromosomes).

    These can be shorted to he and ho, the numerous videos I’ve seen on MTV have already adopted this definition.

  • Julie near Chicago

    He, ho, hm.

  • Rod McLaughlin

    The open source software world is being seriously attacked by SJWs. For example, trying to abolish the phrase slave/master.

  • JohnW

    “It is much harder to politicise bridge building”… not stopped them trying though.

  • Paul Marks

    Natural science can be corrupted – and is being corrupted.

    The followers of “Social Justice” are all over the physical sciences now – because physical scientists are not from some other planet, they are subjected to the same schools and the same “mainstream media” as everyone else, so many natural scientists (especially the sort that get ahead in the universities and official bodies) have become SJWs in lab coats.

    And it is getting worse and worse. Such basic principles as seeking after TRUTH without a political agenda, and going wherever the EVIDENCE leads, are now under threat.

    “But many scientists still ignore this horrible nonsense” – so they do (yes indeed), but ignoring it is not enough – if they do not OPPOSE it, they will find that “Social Justice” controls their lives – determines what funding they get, whether they get promoted, even if their work is published at all.

    If the physical sciences are made to confirm to a political (or a religious) ideology – they sicken and die.

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