“If you’ll permit me to use one of those formulas which come to me as I write my notes, human life could be defined as a calculus in which zero was irrational. This formula is just as image, a mathematical metaphor. When I say “irrational," I’m referring not to some unfathomable emotional state but precisely to what is called an imaginary number. The square root of minus one doesn’t correspond to anything that is subject to our intuition, anything real–in the mathematical sense of the term–and yet, it must be conserved, along with its full function. (Lacan 1977a, pp. 28-29, seminar held originally in 1959)"
original citation: Lacan, Jacques. 1977a. “Desire and the interpretation of desire in Hamlet“. Translated by James Hulbert. Yale French Studies55/56: 11-52.
Sokal, Alan D., and J. Bricmont. 1998. Fashionable nonsense: postmodern intellectuals’ abuse of science. New York: Picador USA, p. 25.
“Is E=Mc2 a sexed equation? Perhaps it is. Let us make the hypothesis that it is insofar as it privileges the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us. What seems to me to indicate the possibly sexed nature of the equation is not directly its uses by nuclear weapons, rather it is having privileged what goes the fastest… (Irigaray 1987b, p.110)"
original citation: Irigaray, Luce. 1987b. “Sujet de la science, sujet sexué?" In Sens et place des connaissances dans la société, pp. 95-121. Paris: Centre National de Recherche Scientifique.
Sokal, Alan D., and J. Bricmont. 1998. Fashionable nonsense: postmodern intellectuals’ abuse of science. New York: Picador USA, p. 109.
“This passage contains the most brilliant mélange of scientific, pseudo-scientific, and philosophical jargon that we have ever encountered; only a genius could have written it."
Sokal, Alan D., and J. Bricmont. 1998. Fashionable nonsense: postmodern intellectuals’ abuse of science. New York: Picador USA, p. 166.
“I was partially supported by personal savings accumulated during my visits to the Courant Institute in the Fall of 1992, to the SUNY at Stony Brook in the Spring of 1993, and to the UC at Berkeley as a Miller Fellow in 1993-95. I’d like to thank everyone who worked to make those opportunities available to me."
Grisha (Grigori) Perelman, “The entropy formula for the Ricci flow and its geometric applications", http://arxiv.org/abs/math.DG/0211159
“The London Daily Telegraph of 18 November 1997 reported that a self-styled exorcist who had persuaded a gullible teenage girl to have sex with him on the pretext of driving evil spirits from her body had been jailed for 18 months the day before. The man had shown the young woman some books on palmistry and magic, then told her that she was ‘jinxed: someone had put bad luck on her’. In order to exorcise her, he explained, he needed to anoint her all over with special oils. She agreed to take all her clothes off for this purpose. Finally, she copulated with the man when he told her that this was necessary ‘to get rid of the spirits’. Now, it seems to me that society cannot have it both ways. If it was right to jail this man for exploiting a gullible young woman (she was above the legal age of consent), why do we not similarly prosecute astrologers who take money off equally gullible people; or ‘psychic’ diviners who con oil companies into parting with shareholders’ money for expensive ‘consultations’ on where to drill? Conversely, if it be protested that fools should be free to hand over their money to charlatans if they choose, why shouldn’t the sexual ‘exorcist’ claim a similar defence, invoking the young woman’s freedom to give her body for the sake of a ritual ceremoney in which, at the time, she genuinely believed?"
Dawkins, Richard. 1998. Unweaving the rainbow: science, delusion and the appetite for wonder. London: Allen Lane/The Penguin Press, p. 121.