Quantum quantumness

You did have a look at the work of Carolyn Guertin when I posted the link in News, right? Do rush to have a read if you haven’t – it’s – what shall I say – it’s quantum. That’s what it is, it’s quantum.

Quantum feminist works make no attempt to reconcile this dislocation between networked nodes and their gaps in space-time. Instead, they foreground and use this aspect, highlighting the disjunctures of the subject’s position as she is depicted and as she voyages through the text…In her essay “The Roots of Nonlinearity,” hypertextualist Christie Sheffield Sanford says that modern physics has erased the concept of absolutes in time and space and that this is evident in the texts of the new media as well. She uses indeterminacy theorist Werner Heisenberg to support her theories…

Well of course she does. Who doesn’t? Heisenberg, indeterminacy, quantum, absolutes in time and space and texts of new media; it’s all basically the same thing. Right? Right.

David Thompson comments here. And the author herself comments on this post at the Dawkins site (last comment on the page, number 50). She gives the predictable, and very irritating, defense.

Do I really need to point out that this was a dissertation written for specialists working in my field and not a work for general publication? If it were the latter, it would indeed be a different text and worthy of critique – although not this kind.

Nope. What you need to point out is what ‘quantum feminist works’ might be; what you need to point out is why you use the word ‘quantum’ to mean any old thing you feel like; what you need to point out is why you shelter behind your own specialisthood but don’t scruple to help yourself to the vocabulary of physics; what you need to point out is what is ‘specialist’ about misusing technical language for purposes of ornamenting some uninspiring observations about following hyperlinks.

Guertin has a Teaching Philosophy.

Cyberfeminisms writ large are what I call ‘quantum feminisms,’ lived as much in the scientific world as in the literary, personal as much as political. Quantum feminisms are situated knowledges interpolated by experience and embodied presence and, most importantly, are personal philosophies. As a potential pedagogical model, quantum feminisms allow me to use their own theoretical and scientific principles to produce a student-centred environment…

What she calls ‘quantum feminisms’ – why? Why not call them amyotrophic feminisms? Why not call them fermionic condensate feminisms? Why not call them Huey Dewey and Louie feminisms? Why quantum? Because – erm – it impresses the credulous? That’s my guess. My quantum guess.

51 Responses to “Quantum quantumness”