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Thread: Noam Chomsky

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerux View Post
    Bring some of that proof here, would ya?

    It is in the Warren Commission Report?
    Well, some of us stopped believing in the tooth fairy and santa clause too.
    Plenty of recent testimony last few years blowing the grassy knoll and other 'theories' outa the water. Do a google as I can't be arsed to do this for you...

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    festive member stroller's Avatar
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    Besides, it's a different topic.
    Certainly not very relevant to Chomsky's work.

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    Maybe we need another actual piece by the man himself to look at, instead of secondary comments about Chomsky?

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    ^ok. Before becoming a poltical pundit Chomsky was best known for his contributions to linguistics - in fact the linguistic world could be said to be divided into two camps, the Chomskyites and everybody else. Chomsky's main contribution to the field is in the area of Universal Grammar. Originally meaning he sum total of linguistic knowledge Chomsky has redefined and refined the concept and made it peculiarly his own. From Wikipedia;

    Universal grammar
    is a theory of linguistics postulating principles of grammar shared by all languages, thought to be innate to humans. It attempts to explain language acquisition in general, not describe specific languages. This theory does not claim that all human languages have the same grammar, or that all humans are "programmed" with a structure that underlies all surface expressions of each and every specific human language. Rather, universal grammar proposes a set of rules that would explain how children acquire their language(s), or how they construct valid sentences of their language.

    Universal grammar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also from Wikipedia: "Noam Chomsky made the argument that the human brain contains a limited set of rules for organizing language. In turn, there is an assumption that all languages have a common structural basis. This set of rules is known as universal grammar. Speakers proficient in a language know what expressions are acceptable in their language and what expressions are unacceptable. The key puzzle is how speakers should come to know the restrictions of their language, since expressions which violate those restrictions are not present in the input, indicated as such. This absence of negative evidence -- that is, absence of evidence that an expression is part of a class of the ungrammatical sentences in one's language -- is the core of poverty of stimulus argument. For example, in English one cannot relate a question word like 'what' to a predicate within a relative clause (1):

    (1) *What did John meet a man who sold?
    Such expressions are not available to the language learners, because they are, by hypothesis, ungrammatical for speakers of the local language. Speakers of the local language do not utter such expressions and note that they are unacceptable to language learners. Universal grammar offers a solution to the poverty of the stimulus problem by making certain restrictions universal characteristics of human languages. Language learners are consequently never tempted to generalize in an illicit fashion.

    The presence of creole languages is cited as further support for this theory. These languages were developed and formed when different societies came together and devised their own system of language. Originally these languages were pidgins and later became more mature languages that developed some sense of rules and native speakers.
    The idea of universal grammar is supported by the creole languages by virtue of the fact that such languages all share certain features. Each language, syntactically, uses particles to form future and past tenses and multiple negation to deny or negate. Another similarity is that by changing inflection rather than changing words, a question can be implemented."

    So far so good, this is one of the main butresses of Chomsky's work and has, until recently, held good. It has often been attacked by opponents of Chmsky but no convincing proof of its inaccuracy has been offered, the main counter-argument has been that the theory is not falsifiable and therefore is only an observation and cannot offer testable scientifc predictions. This theory, linked with behaviourism, is Chomsky's greatest intellectual contribution, his political writings, while interesting, are ultimately transient while his linguistic theories offer a deep insight into the structure of the human mind.

    From Chomsky's Language and Mind Language and Mind. Noam Chomsky (1968)
    "More generally, I think that the long-range significance of the study of language lies in the fact that in this study it is possible to give a relatively sharp and clear formulation of some of the central questions of psychology and to bring a mass of evidence to bear on them. What is more, the study of language is, for the moment, unique in the combination it affords of richness of data and susceptibility to sharp formulation of basic issues."

    And a summary of Chomsky's main contributions to the field of linguistics;

    "Chomsky on Language Acquisition
    According to Noam Chomsky, the mechanism of language acquisition formulates from innate processes. This theory is evidenced by children who live in the same linguistic community without a plethora of different experiences who arrive at comparable grammars. Chomsky thus proposes that "all children share the same internal contraints which characterize narrowly the grammar they are going to construct." (Chomsky, 1977, p.98) Since we live in a biological world, "there is no reason for supposing the mental world to be an exception." (Chomsky, 1977, p.94) And he believes that there is a critical age for learningn a language as is true for the overall development of the human body.

    Chomsky's mechanism of language acquisition also links structural linguistics to empiricist thought: "These principles [of structuralism and empiricism] determine the type of grammars that are available in principles. They are associated with an evaluation procedure which, given possible grammars, selects the best one. The evaluation procedure is also part of the biological given. The acquisition of language thus is a process of selection of the best grammar compatible with the available data. If the principles can be made sufficiently restrictive, there will also be a kind of 'discovery procedure.' " (Chomsky, 1977, p.117)

    Chomsky on Generative Grammar

    Chomsky's beliefs about generative grammar are the factors which help differentiate his views from the structuralist theory; he believes that generative grammar must "render explicit the implicit knowledge of the speaker." (Chomsky, 1977, p.103) His model of generative grammar begins with an axiom and a set of well-defined rules to generate the desired word sequences.

    One goal of Chomsky's work with linguistics is to create an explanatory theory of generative grammar. When we are able to provide a deductive chain of reasoning that does not uphold the general principles of thought, facts termed "boundary conditions" arise and serve as a potential explanation for the phenomena associated with an explanatory theory.

    Chomsky on Semantics

    "[T]he study of meaning and reference and of the use of language should be excluded from the field of linguistics. . . . [G]iven a lingustic theory, the concepts of grammer are constructed (so it seems) on the basis of primitive notions that are not semantic (where the grammar contains the phonology and syntax), but that the linguistic theory itself must be chosen so as to provide the best possible explanation of semantic phenomena, as well as others." (Chomsky, 1977, p.139)
    "It seems that other cognitive systems -- in particular, our system of beliefs concerning things in the world and their behavior -- playan essential part in our judments of meaning and reference, in an extremely intricate manner, and it is not at all clear that much will remain if we try to separate the purely linguistic components of what in informal usage or even in technical discussion we call 'the meaning of lingustic expression.' " (Chomsky, 1977, p.142)
    "He showed that surface structure played a much more important role in semantic interpretation that had been supposed; if so, then the Standard hypothesis, according to which it was the deep structure that completely determined this interpretation, is false." (Chomsky, 1977, p.151)
    Chomsky on Language Acquisition


    Recently Daniel Everet's studies of the Piraha people of the Amazon seem to show that their language does not correspond with the idea of a Universal grammar.

    A Reporter at Large: The Interpreter: Reporting & Essays:
    From the New Yorker article above

    "The Pirahã, Everett wrote, have no numbers, no fixed color terms, no perfect tense, no deep memory, no tradition of art or drawing, and no words for “all,” “each,” “every,” “most,” or “few”—terms of quantification believed by some linguists to be among the common building blocks of human cognition. Everett’s most explosive claim, however, was that Pirahã displays no evidence of recursion, a linguistic operation that consists of inserting one phrase inside another of the same type, as when a speaker combines discrete thoughts (“the man is walking down the street,” “the man is wearing a top hat”) into a single sentence (“The man who is wearing a top hat is walking down the street”). Noam Chomsky, the influential linguistic theorist, has recently revised his theory of universal grammar, arguing that recursion is the cornerstone of all languages, and is possible because of a uniquely human cognitive ability"

    Everet concluded in an article entitled "Cultural Constraints on Grammar and Cognition in Piraha" in Current Anthropology, Volume 46, Number 4, August-October 2005, that Chomsky's framework of universal grammar was wrong. Here is an example of Piraha sung speech http://www.llc.ilstu.edu/dlevere/Audio/song.mov and here's a text of a Piraha story called "Killing the Panther" http://www.llc.ilstu.edu/dlevere/docs/panther.pdf

    Why does this matter anyway? It matters because behavioural psychology, the foundations of modern understanding of the human mind, is intimately linked with Chmoskian Universal Grammar. If there is no universal grammar then much of what we assume about human psychology is based on false premises. Fo me that's a good thing in way - Chomsky has overshadowed the fields of behaviourism and linguistics for so long that he now stifles research (although he himself has said of behaviourism "Whatever 'behaviorism' may have served in the past, it has become nothing more than a set of arbitrary restrictions on 'legitimate' theory construction . . . the kind of intellectual shackles that physical scientists would surely not tolerate and that condemns any intellectual pursuit to insignificance." (Bjork, 1993, p.204))"- if you're not Chomskyan you don't get grants or tenure. For all his apparent openness to new ideas in the field of linguistics he is a jealous God. An upheaval in recursion and universal grammar would breathe new life into these subjects.
    Last edited by DrB0b; 03-07-2007 at 08:49 PM.

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    Most of the above is about Chomsky.
    Linguistics is quite a specialised field.
    I was thinking more about his political stuff.

    For example: [Media-watch] New Chomsky essay on Iraq
    (from 2003)
    There are some interesting newer talks, but my Acrobat reader won't open, someit wrong, again, all the powercuts here wreck my computer!
    Last edited by stroller; 03-07-2007 at 09:24 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    I cannot even boil and egg.

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    In a country as mistrustful of intellectuals as the United States it's probably inevitable that Chomsky would be better known there for his political views than for his academic works.

    He describes himself as a libertarian anarachist of the syndicalist tradition. He states that power, to be legitimate, must prove itself to be legitimate. The use of violence or coercion whose sole purpose is to protect that power automatically makes power illegitimate. He believes in classic liberal values and has stated that he opposes both US style capitalism and Leninist socialism. He accuses the US media of being, in general, a propganda arm of both government and industry whom he sees as two sides of the same coin. He believes in ocal, grassroots democracy. He opposes illegitimate wars, such as the Iraq and Vietnam wars but has stated that such wars as WW2 were legitimate struggles. He despises the US government for it's hypocrisy in espousing such ideals as freedom and democracy while simultaneously supporting dicatorships and other oppressive governments and promoting and initiating wars of agression.

    In Chomsky's own words (italics are the interviewer speaking);

    These experiences we've described, you were saying they led you into linguistics, but also led you into your view of politics and of the world. You're a libertarian anarchist, and when one hears that, because of the way issues are framed in this country, there's often many misperceptions -- and also because of things that you've written. Help us understand what that means. In other words, it doesn't mean that you favor chaos or no government, necessarily.
    The United States is sort of out of the world on this topic. Britain is to a limited extent, but the United States is like on Mars. So here, the term "libertarian" means the opposite of what it always meant in history. Libertarian throughout modern European history meant socialist anarchist. It meant the anti-state element of the Workers Movement and the Socialist Movement. It sort of broke into two branches, roughly, one statist, one anti-statist. The statist branch led to Bolshevism and Lenin and Trotsky, and so on. The anti-statist branch, which included Marxists, Left Marxists -- Rosa Luxemburg and others -- kind of merged, more or less, into an amalgam with a big strain of anarchism into what was called "libertarian socialism." So libertarian in Europe always meant socialist. Here it means ultra-conservative -- Ayn Rand or Cato Institute or something like that. But that's a special U.S. usage. There are a lot of things quite special about the way the United States developed, and this is part of it. There [in Europe] it meant, and always meant to me, socialist and anti-state, an anti-state branch of socialism, which meant a highly organized society, completely organized and nothing to do with chaos, but based on democracy all the way through. That means democratic control of communities, of workplaces, of federal structures, built on systems of voluntary association, spreading internationally. That's traditional anarchism. You know, anybody can have the word if they like, but that's the mainstream of traditional anarchism.

    And it has roots. Coming back to the United States, it has very strong roots in the American working class movements. So if you go back to, say, the 1850s, the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, right around the area where I live, in Eastern Massachusetts, in the textile plants and so on, the people working on those plants were, in part, young women coming off the farm. They were called "factory girls," the women from the farms who worked in the textile plants. Some of them were Irish, immigrants in Boston and that group of people. They had an extremely rich and interesting culture. They're kind of like my uncle who never went past fourth grade -- very educated, reading modern literature. They didn't bother with European radicalism, that had no effect on them, but the general literary culture, they were very much a part of. And they developed their own conceptions of how the world ought to be organized.

    They had their own newspapers. In fact, the period of the freest press in the United States was probably around the 1850s. In the 1850s, the scale of the popular press, meaning run by the factory girls in Lowell and so on, was on the scale of the commercial press or even greater. These were independent newspapers -- a lot of interesting scholarship on them, if you can read them now. They [arose] spontaneously, without any background. [The writers had] never heard of Marx or Bakunin or anyone else; they developed the same ideas. From their point of view, what they called "wage slavery," renting yourself to an owner, was not very different from the chattel slavery that they were fighting a civil war about. You have to recall that in the mid-nineteenth century, that was a common view in the United States -- for example, the position of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln's position. It's not an odd view, that there isn't much difference between selling yourself and renting yourself. So the idea of renting yourself, meaning working for wages, was degrading. It was an attack on your personal integrity. They despised the industrial system that was developing, that was destroying their culture, destroying their independence, their individuality, constraining them to be subordinate to masters.

    There was a tradition of what was called Republicanism in the United States. We're free people, you know, the first free people in the world. This was destroying and undermining that freedom. This was the core of the labor movement all over, and included in it was the assumption, just taken for granted, that "those who work in the mills should own them." In fact, one of the their main slogans, I'll just quote it, was they condemned what they called the "new spirit of the age: gain wealth, forgetting all but self." That new spirit, that you should only be interested in gaining wealth and forgetting about your relations to other people, they regarded it as a violation of fundamental human nature, and a degrading idea.
    That was a strong, rich American culture, which was crushed by violence. T

    The United States has a very violent labor history, much more so than Europe. It was wiped out over a long period, with extreme violence. By the time it picked up again in the 1930s, that's when I personally came into the tail end of it. After the Second World War it was crushed. By now, it's forgotten. But it's very real. I don't really think it's forgotten, I think it's just below the surface in people's consciousness.

    This is a continuing problem, and something that emerges in your scientific work, also, namely, the extent to which histories and traditions are forgotten. To define a new position often means going back and finding those older traditions.

    Things like this, they're forgotten in the intellectual culture, but my feeling is they're probably alive in the popular culture, in people's sentiments and attitudes and understanding and so on. I know when I talk to, say, working-class audiences today, and I talk about these ideas, they seem very natural to them. I mean, it's true, nobody talks about them, but when you bring it up, the idea that you have to rent yourself to somebody and follow their orders, and that they own and you work there, and you built it but you don't own it, that's a highly unnatural notion. You don't have to study any complicated theories to see that this is an attack on human dignity.

    So coming out of this tradition, being influenced by and continue to believe in it, what is your notion of legitimate power? Under what circumstances is power legitimate?

    The core of the anarchist tradition, as I understand it, is that power is always illegitimate, unless it proves itself to be legitimate. So the burden of proof is always on those who claim that some authoritarian hierarchic relation is legitimate. If they can't prove it, then it should be dismantled.
    Can you ever prove it? Well, it's a heavy burden of proof to bear, but I think sometimes you can bear it. So to take a homely example, if I'm walking down the street with my four-year-old granddaughter, and she starts to run into the street, and I grab her arm and pull her back, that's an exercise of power and authority, but I can give a justification for it, and it's obvious what the justification would be. And maybe there are other cases where you can justify it. But the question that always should be asked uppermost in our mind is, "Why should I accept it?" It's the responsibility of those who exercise power to show that somehow it's legitimate. It's not the responsibility of anyone else to show that it's illegitimate. It's illegitimate by assumption, if it's a relation of authority among human beings which places some above others. That's illegitimate by assumption. Unless you can give a strong argument to show that it's right, you've lost.

    It's kind of like the use of violence, say, in international affairs. There's a very heavy burden of proof to be borne by anyone who calls for violence. Maybe it can be sometimes justified. Personally, I'm not a committed pacifist, so I think that, yes, it can sometimes be justified. So I thought, in fact, in that article I wrote in fourth grade, I thought the West should be using force to try to stop fascism, and I still think so. But now I know a lot more about it. I know that the West was actually supporting fascism, supporting Franco, supporting Mussolini, and so on, and even Hitler. I didn't know that at the time. But I thought then and I think now that the use of force to stop that plague would have been legitimate, and finally was legitimate. But an argument has to be given for it.

    Is there less of a burden of proof when you're looking at weaker power entities, looking at the powerless, basically? Is the burden of proof less for them?

    No, it's the same. When you take, say, people living under military occupation or under racist regimes and so on, they have a right to resist. Actually, everyone in the world except the United States and Israel believes they have a right to exist, if you look at the UN resolutions.

    You're talking about Palestine now.
    Palestine, or South Africa. If you take a look, there are major UN resolutions on terrorism, in 1987 denouncing the plague of international terrorism, and calling on everyone to do something to stop it. It passed with two negative votes, the United States and Israel. The reason was exactly this, they explained it: it said "nothing in this resolution will prejudice the right of people to struggle for independence against racist and colonialist regimes and foreign military occupation." That meant South Africa and Israel, so, therefore, the United States objected because it is opposed, it does not grant the right of people to struggle against racist and colonialist regimes and foreign occupation. U.S. and Israel are alone on that. When the U.S. votes against a resolution, it's out of history, so you don't read about it, but it's there. The war against terrorism isn't new, it's old. The U.S. is alone in opposing it.

    Now, I believe that the world is right on this and that the U.S. is wrong. There is a right to resist racist and colonialist regimes and foreign military occupation. But then comes your question: Is there a right to use violence to do that? Well, no, I think the burden of proof is on those who say there is a right to use violence. And that's a hard burden to meet, both morally and even tactically. And, frankly, I think it can very rarely be met.
    ....
    Okay. For example, I've written about terrorism, and I think you can show without much difficulty that terrorism pretty much corresponds to power. I don't think that's very surprising. The more powerful states are involved in more terrorism, by and large. The United States is the most powerful, so it's involved in massive terrorism, by its own definition of terrorism. Well, if I want to establish that, I'm required to give a huge amount of evidence. I think that's a good thing. I don't object to that. I think anyone who makes that claim should be held to very high standards. So extensive documentation, and from the internal secret records and historical record and so on. And if you ever find a comma misplaced, somebody ought to criticize you for it. So I think those standards are fine.
    ....
    When one reads your arguments, what you're laying out is fairly simple, namely, if I can paraphrase, that if you're suddenly calling a Iraq a rogue state in the nineties, well, what were you calling it in the eighties, and were they doing the same thing, and at that time, were you helping them do it? And this is your critique of U.S. foreign policy.
    If George Bush tells us, like he did last week, and Tony Blair tells us, in this case, that "We can't let Saddam Hussein survive because he's the most evil man in history, he even used chemical weapons against his own people," I agree that far. But it gives hypocrisy a bad name to stop there. You have to add, "Yes, he used chemical weapons against his own people, with the support of Daddy Bush, who continued to support him right past that, knowing what he was doing; who helped him develop weapons of mass destruction. Welcomed him as a friend and ally, gave him lavish aid, after all these crimes." Unless you add that, it's just, like I say, giving hypocrisy a bad name. Well, nobody says that. You can read the commentary and the learned opinion and leading figures, and they just stop, "He used chemical weapons against his own people."

    Now, this is not difficult to understand, I think you can explain this to children in school. It takes major efforts for the educated classes to prevent people from knowing these things. That takes dedication. It would be a lot easier to tell the truth. This is one example. It's a characteristic example.

    Full interview at: Activism, Anarchism, and Power, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Harry Kreisler

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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    Most of the above is about Chomsky.
    Linguistics is quite a specialised field.
    I was thinking more about his political stuff.

    For example: [Media-watch] New Chomsky essay on Iraq
    (from 2003)
    There are some interesting newer talks, but my Acrobat reader won't open, someit wrong, again, all the powercuts here wreck my computer!
    Most of that post is about linguistics and psychology and Chomsky's effect on it - I don't see what's just about Chomsky in there. Re-reading I can't really see much about Chomsky at all, just a few lines. My subsequent post is about his political side. There's a lot to Chomsky, it's not just politics. I knew as soon as this thread started that it would become a political thread but I wanted to get the point across before the flaming got out of hand that he's been highly influential in more than one field. And while it's true that linguistics is a specialised field Chomskian linguistics deal with the origin of culture, the development of the mind, and whether social or genetic influences affect how we communicate. Chomsky's linguistic work is extremely complex but it's effects have been staggering and anybody interested in society, culture, or spirituality would benefit from a passing acquaintance with it.
    Last edited by DrB0b; 03-07-2007 at 09:57 PM.

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    Bottom line...Chomsky's 'work' is of the acadamic variety and can't be applied to a real world paradigm. Stuff that'll get you a Phd in some esoteric 'discipline'...

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    festive member stroller's Avatar
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    I cannot fully follow the linguistics stuff either.

    But...lot's of political commentary on the last few pages, you haven't read any of the stuff quoted and linked to, have you?
    Last edited by stroller; 04-07-2007 at 06:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Bottom line...Chomsky's 'work' is of the acadamic variety and can't be applied to a real world paradigm. Stuff that'll get you a Phd in some esoteric 'discipline'...
    Quote Originally Posted by Noam Chomsky
    Now, this is not difficult to understand, I think you can explain this to children in school.
    At least you've proved Chomsky wrong there, Booner .

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    Actually, it is the simplicity I like about his political commentary. A very skilled speaker.

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    Noam Chomsky said, "There's a big industry in the United States, on the left as well. I mean, you should see the emails I get - this huge Internet industry, from the left, trying to demonstrate that this was all faked and it was planned by the Bush Administration and so on. If you look at the evidence, anybody who knows anythings about the sciences would instantly discount that evidence."



    Really, Mr. Chomsky? Isn't your 'specialty' linguistics?

    All these science professionals don't know anything about the sciences? Only you?

    100 Professors Question
    The 9/11 Commission Report

    100 Professors Question the 9/11 Commission Report
    Last edited by kerux; 07-07-2007 at 07:37 AM.

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    He's not referring to "scientists", but to conspiracy nuts who indulge in the unplausible.

    How come you have such a strong reaction to this particular point, kerux?

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    ^ Good point.

    Kerux erred again. Chomsky was referring to the "left industry" not scientists.

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    OBL is a Noam Chomsky fan - why 'am I not surprised?

    Link

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    OBL is a Noam Chomsky fan - why 'am I not surprised?

    Link
    Not true.

    OBL never said he was a "fan," but I'm glad the OBL mentioned Chomsky.

    Why?

    Because the American public education system censors him.

    And the MSM censors him.


    if OBL can bring up his name, I am very glad and happy.


    Here's one for Noam:

    ............

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    ^
    Hmmm, by default, if OBL suggests Americans should read Chomsky, that makes him a fan in my book...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    ^
    Hmmm, by default, if OBL suggests Americans should read Chomsky, that makes him a fan in my book...
    Suggesting Americans should read anything is the action of a maniac. Well said, Boonie!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    ^
    Hmmm, by default, if OBL suggests Americans should read Chomsky, that makes him a fan in my book...
    Suggesting Americans should read anything is the action of a maniac. Well said, Boonie!
    Heh..still sharp as a basketball there Dr. Bob!

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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    His early views on the Khmer Rouge were bonkers.

    But Marxist - no.
    As I said before, I think you are not too well informed about what Marxism entails, Booner. Of course he is influenced by Marxist thoughts, I would expect him to be familiar with it, that's a common feature of "the Left", specially his economic theories - no way around that, but I don't think he believes in dialectic materialism nor in a united working class revolution, in fact he has been very critical of Leninism - it's not empowering the people but replacing one structure of authority with another.

    You'll get a better understanding of this if you look at the early 20th century and the dynamic between communists and anarchists. But that's moving away from Chomsky, just a sidenote...
    That is a really well put point, but something that would fly right over the top of Boons head.
    In Boon's world if your not with him your a commie, leftie, pinko, etc.' without seeing that many
    may view communism just as totalitarian and counter revolutionary as extreme right wing politics,
    crypto facism if you like.

    CHOMSKY: I was attracted to anarchism as a young teenager, as soon as I began to think about the world beyond a pretty narrow range, and haven't seen much reason to revise those early attitudes since.
    I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.
    That includes political power, ownership and management, relations among men and women, parents and children, our control over the fate of future generations (the basic moral imperative behind the environmental movement, in my view), and much else.
    Naturally this means a challenge to the huge institutions of coercion and control: the state, the unaccountable private tyrannies that control most of the domestic and international economy, and so on. But not only these. That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met.
    Sorry no link to this but i can post the whole file if you want, at 5000 words it's quite readable and outlines his views very well.
    Boon? a bit of research or bedtime reading perhaps?
    Last edited by Robski; 10-09-2007 at 04:01 PM.

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    Suspended from News & Speakers Corner kerux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milkman View Post
    ^ Good point.

    Kerux erred again. Chomsky was referring to the "left industry" not scientists.
    Not so, Chomsky was referring to what he refers to as the "big [conspiracy] industry, on the left, as well."

    Noam Chomsky said, "There's a big industry in the United States, on the left as well. I mean, you should see the emails I get - this huge Internet industry, from the left, trying to demonstrate that this was all faked and it was planned by the Bush Administration [a conspiracy] and so on. If you look at the evidence, anybody who knows anythings about the sciences would instantly discount that evidence."
    Chomsky knows jack all about science - obviously.

    And dozens of scientists have come out in support of a new investigation into 9/11.

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    A Dutch demolition experts states that WTC 7 was a controlled demolition.

    "It was a controlled demolition"
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    Very interesting videos. I believe that there is more to the events of September 11th than the media would like us to believe.
    I also think that Noam Chomsky is one of the foremost authors of political critique.
    Does that make me confused or misguided? I don't think so.

    You are trying to discredit Chomsky over an issue that cannot be proved or disproved,
    time will tell wether he was right or wrong.
    He has been seen before to have different (perhaps incorrect) views on historical events,
    but his overwhelming contribution to political science far outweighs his few inconsistencies.

    I would like to see you discredit a lot more of his political analysis, especiallly that on American foreign policy,
    before I would take you seriously and discount Chomsky as a person who's views are worthy of my investigation.
    Last edited by Robski; 10-09-2007 at 04:03 PM.

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    Thailand Expat Black Heart's Avatar
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    Good for thinking, and OK to critique. IMO, this is a great interview.


    Last edited by Black Heart; 04-08-2015 at 08:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b
    Looking forward to your analysis of Chomsky's linguistic errors.
    That would take some time, but fundamentally, somebody who uses computer analogies and ignores socio-linguistics and bio-cognitive elements is pretty far off - as has been proven so many times in so many arenas. You could start with Johnson, Lakoff, Bordieu, and go from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b
    As outlined in Syntactic Structures (1957), it comprised three sections, or components: the phrase-structure component, the transformational component, and the morphophonemic component.
    Chompsky's linguistics is important because it became so powerful and was so utterly limited (and fundamentally wrong), that a lot of his students went on to oppose it and form excellent areas in linguistics, such as the second generation cognitive linguists.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b
    Each of these components consisted of a set of rules operating upon a certain "input" to yield a certain "output."
    Any rule based system of language is ridiculous. Any system that uses binary computer analogies to explain fundamental areas of human culture (i.e. language - nothing could be further from binary or more different from a rule driven computer system...). Rather than rules and binaries, you can assert conventions, but you then have to explain the movement and context of those conventions.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b
    There's a big debate in the linguistic community at the moment about the errors in Chomsky's transformational grammars.
    I don't think it's much of a debate. There's just a dwindling set of supporters with circular arguments who have narrowed themselves into a very small area which I would consider linguistics at all - these are the Chompskyites.

    Transformational grammar is ridiculous - it's some observations which have then been mathmatically appraised, decontextualized from human beings and culture and their cognitive neurological abilities (you might wanna call them schemas or Kant's a priori). You basically have nothing of language left, just some maths and rules that are physically impossible.

    Chomsky hasn't done any linguistics for years, and with good reason - his 'linguistics' is nonsense, it doesn't include people, cultures or language thus is not linguistics. As has been noted time after time, it's base in Cartesian dualism is pure metaphysics and ignores basic biology.

    I'm not fond of Chompsky and don't consider him a linguist. But, he has helped linguistics to develop. Bordieu (in Language & Symbolic Power) explains it far better than I could; well worth a read.
    Last edited by Bettyboo; 04-08-2015 at 09:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbaro
    Chomsky was the most cited living author in the world for 12 years.
    Yes, he certainly has had a lot of influence, and the damage he has done in education is massive; dehumanizing objectification and lists of decontextualized rules, for a starting point. Lakoff has written many books in this space. Here's a famous starting point: ()
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lakoff

    Chomsky seems to be good at arguing as long as it fits into his framework which seems to have two parts: 1) discuss subjects on his terms, according to the frame he has laid out and feels comfortable in, if not then: 2) revert to insults and refuse to discuss the subject.
    Last edited by Bettyboo; 04-08-2015 at 09:44 PM.

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