Thursday, May 15, 2008

Obama vs. Sokal

An article in Esquire innocently reveals an anti-Obama talking point:
In 1989, [Harvard Law Prof Laurence] Tribe took Obama on as a research assistant, putting him to work on a paper entitled, “The Curvature of Constitutional Space: What Lawyers Can Learn from Modern Physics,” which sounds like something Learned Hand wrote from Mars. “To deal with it, one had to get a reasonable command of the general theory of relativity and Heisenbergian physics,” Tribe explained. “So I got to know him in a context that really tested the qualities of his mind. It wasn’t a grinding kind of a job. It required a very wide-ranging intellectual curiosity and imagination.” Heisenbergian physics, the cynic believed, was smart enough. Harvard Law was smart enough.

I read the first few pp. of the article (Harvard Law Review 103(1), 1-39 (1989)) and it's just as bad as you'd think, though this is hardly Obama's fault.

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