How to really oversell a lecture on a laser cutter

In previous posts, I’ve talked about the pretention of a lot of modern art, and how most of the effort seems to go into technobabble rationalization of the art, and not the art itself. Well, somebody giving a lecture at the MIT School of Architecture has recently scaled new heights on the tower of babble:

Architecture reimagines how humans inhabit the earth — how they organize themselves spatially and shape their everyday lives. If architecture is viewed as the material alteration of the earth’s surface, it has astronomical consequences: it can alter the very shape of a planet. Come see one way designs develop, through a demonstration of laser cutting in our fablab.

That last sentence is a bit of a let down, isn’t it? I had no idea the rest of MIT was underachieving so much with their lasers! We really need to step things up. I know there’s folks at MIT using lasers to do mundane things like creating attosecond bursts of X-rays, quantum entangled photons for cryptography, and 3D high resolution medical imaging, but I don’t think any of us are really coming close to the astronomical-planet-surface-altering bar set by the folks in the architecture department. Maybe we should start using them to cut out parts for things like this:

Some of the world-altering work of the MIT architecture department.
Some of the “planet-altering” work of the MIT architecture department.

(For the record, this came from the front page of the MIT architecture department’s online portfolio, a collection of the recent work of which they are apparently most proud.)

Is it me, or has the level of BS in the humanities risen to a point that transcends the usual academic norm? I used to believe that every era has its valid place, and progress was always made, but I’m now starting to think that the intellectual charlatans sitting on faculties of art departments around the world may just be the present-day equivalent of the ancient Sophists. The more I listen to humanities academics, I’m increasingly convinced that future civilizations will look back on our times as a dark age for the arts.

2 thoughts on “How to really oversell a lecture on a laser cutter

  1. Ken Williams

    If I have to listen to one more artist talk about how their piece “makes you rethink what art is”, I’ll puke. Again (because I’m in bed with the stomach flu at this point).


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