Chapter One: Anthropology Diffracted
1. Einstein puzzled over the apparent communication between separate parts
of a quantum system. With his colleagues Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, he
answered these results by assuming there were hidden variables that would, when
discovered, explain the anomaly (the so-called epr paradox, in which epr stands
for Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen). This sense that the theory was ‘‘incomplete’’ be-
cause the precise existence of reality appeared to conform, or be caught up in
some way, with the measuring apparatus was in turn countered by John Bell in
1964. Quite simply, the epr thesis could not reproduce the myriad predictions of
quantum mechanics. Alain Aspect consolidated Bell’s theorem in 1982 through
an actual experiment that confirmed Bell’s theorem and proved quantum non-
locality. For an explanation of why these experiments represent such a powerful
challenge to our understanding of reality, see the discussions in chapters 4 and 5,
especially around note 9 in chapter 4 and note 8 in chapter 5.
2. Barad refers us to Ballantine 1987 for a more detailed discussion.
3. One of the anonymous manuscript readers has objected to my representa-
tion here, insisting that the following thinkers ‘‘have made extensive use of Der-
rida with regard to the sciences and technologies of the last two centuries.’’
Names include Gregory Ulmer in media; Hans-Joerg Rheinberger in biology;
Friedrich Kittler and Avital Ronell in technology; and M. M. J. Fischer, Donna
Haraway, and Lily E. Kay in science studies. If the use of Derrida was what was at
stake here, the list of names could be greatly extended. However my point is that
although Derrida’s work has indeed been ‘‘used’’ as an analytical model and
applied to various objects of interest—one thinks here of the title of Gregory
Ulmer’s first book, Applied Grammatology (1984)—it is precisely this sense of
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