What Journal Is He Talking about?

Sun Apr 3, 2005

“In the U.S., there is a periodical published by scientists and intended strictly for the cognoscenti, some specialists. It abounds with parodies, in-jokes (mostly nonsensical), and crazy ideas, entirely inaccessible to outsiders.”

Lem. “Twenty Two Answers and Two Postscripts.” SFS 13 (1986): 251.

The early days of Philosophy of Science had a strange and often funny column called “A New Budget of Paradoxes” by “W.M.M.,” but that clearly isn’t it.

UPDATE:

Two distinguished scholars, one often referred to as “the most erudite scholar of his generation” and the other a dynamic force in today’s blogosphere, wrote to me separately to say that this was likely the Journal of Irreproducible Results (now known as the Annals of Improbable Research). I agree, though I thought that what Lem described sounded a bit more esoteric than I think of that to be. Perhaps we should blame the internet.