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Old 1st December 2021, 06:26 AM   #1
angrysoba
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SOKAL III? (Yawn...another hoax?)

So apparently some (likely) sock puppet account is the (Deep fake?) face of a new hoax.

Who knows if those hilarious jesters, Lindsay and Boghossian are behind it, but someone seems to have got a paper published in a journal called Higher Education Quarterly.

This is the Twitter account.

The paper is paywalled. I suppose the "tells" are supposed to be that it has a lot of grammar mistakes judging by this thread by Jeffrey Sachs who seems to take it more or less at face value, or the figures don't add up or the conclusion too obviously biases left-wing people so that they can say, "Aha! Looks like the right-wing not the left-wing fund academia!" or something like that.

Looks like some group became suspicious of this paper and tried to contact the university where the authors were supposedly teaching, as well as the journal and the authors themselves, but they received in response some excuses about not being able to talk on the phone and some hilarious remarks about neo-liberalism.

Anyway, I am not really sure what the aim is. They seem to be making a hoax paper to claim right-wing money is influencing universities and then sending a link to their paper to people who are critical of, say, Koch money influencing climate change discussion etc...

I don't really get how it is some sick burn, though no doubt the usual doofuses - Andrew Doyle, Gad Saad etc... - will say it is.
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Old 1st December 2021, 12:30 PM   #2
Elaedith
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
So apparently some (likely) sock puppet account is the (Deep fake?) face of a new hoax.

Who knows if those hilarious jesters, Lindsay and Boghossian are behind it, but someone seems to have got a paper published in a journal called Higher Education Quarterly.

This is the Twitter account.

The paper is paywalled. I suppose the "tells" are supposed to be that it has a lot of grammar mistakes judging by this thread by Jeffrey Sachs who seems to take it more or less at face value, or the figures don't add up or the conclusion too obviously biases left-wing people so that they can say, "Aha! Looks like the right-wing not the left-wing fund academia!" or something like that.

Looks like some group became suspicious of this paper and tried to contact the university where the authors were supposedly teaching, as well as the journal and the authors themselves, but they received in response some excuses about not being able to talk on the phone and some hilarious remarks about neo-liberalism.

Anyway, I am not really sure what the aim is. They seem to be making a hoax paper to claim right-wing money is influencing universities and then sending a link to their paper to people who are critical of, say, Koch money influencing climate change discussion etc...

I don't really get how it is some sick burn, though no doubt the usual doofuses - Andrew Doyle, Gad Saad etc... - will say it is.
Or the fact that the author's initials spell SOKAL III?

I checked the text. The Tables contain statistical oddities including means and standard deviations for categorical variables. There are grammatical mistakes (there is one in the abstract). Doesn't appear to be proof-read. I don't know who is behind it or the purpose.
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Old 1st December 2021, 02:43 PM   #3
angrysoba
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
Or the fact that the author's initials spell SOKAL III?

I checked the text. The Tables contain statistical oddities including means and standard deviations for categorical variables. There are grammatical mistakes (there is one in the abstract). Doesn't appear to be proof-read. I don't know who is behind it or the purpose.
Lol! Yes, that is one of the tells as well of course although by itself it wouldn’t make much sense as a hoax paper. Yeah t only would really make sense as a hoax paper unless there is something obviously absurd about it. So I am guessing the poor standards of peer review must be one of the things the hoaxers are flagging up.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 4th December 2021, 05:28 PM   #4
Graham2001
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There's a bit more about this story in an article in The Chronicles of Higher Education. Including the claim that this paper is only the first.


Quote:
The legacy of the legendary academic prankster Alan Sokal lives on.

The journal Higher Education Quarterly published a study last month purporting to show that donations from right-wing benefactors influence scholars to promote similarly conservative causes and candidates for jobs. The authors are listed as “Sage Owens” and “Kal Avers-Lynde III” — initials that spell out SOKAL III. It didn’t take long for online sleuths to out it as a hoax.

https://archive.md/uokMK#selection-1415.0-1415.5
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Old 4th December 2021, 06:09 PM   #5
Orphia Nay
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
This is the Twitter account.
Account suspended.
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Old 5th December 2021, 10:44 AM   #6
Elaedith
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The article has been retracted.
One thing I noted is that the text of the article was written in a way that is superficially plausible, (aside from grammatical errors). The statistics, however, were nonsense. It raises questions about whether the reviewers had any statistical training.
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