Chomsky: "No, I haven't suddenly become a decent person

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Vexcalibur
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08 Jul 2011, 8:57 pm

Philologos
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10 Jul 2011, 12:20 pm

Sorry I took so long. Friday and Saturday were very full days - I spotted the thread head and was intrigued, but - funeral, interstate trip, ferrying house guests to the airport.

Only got to it now.

Chomsky - seems to be vintage Chomsky, and THAT means not a nice or right-thinking person. I would of course not go so far as to say he is not a decent person. I know nothing of his morals.

Nor do I know anything about the case he is talking up this time.

But it sounds like he is true to form.



Horus
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10 Jul 2011, 12:29 pm

Philologos wrote:
Sorry I took so long. Friday and Saturday were very full days - I spotted the thread head and was intrigued, but - funeral, interstate trip, ferrying house guests to the airport.

Only got to it now.

Chomsky - seems to be vintage Chomsky, and THAT means not a nice or right-thinking person. I would of course not go so far as to say he is not a decent person. I know nothing of his morals.

Nor do I know anything about the case he is talking up this time.

But it sounds like he is true to form.




Well you seem pretty convinced that Chomsky is not a nice or right-thinking person.


Ok fair enough......please explain why and also like to know if you believe any of individuals/groups Chomsky has commonly criticized ARE "nice and right-thinking". You know....like those who ordered the bombing, napalming and agent orange-ing of Southeast Asian countries in the 60's and 70's.


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Philologos
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10 Jul 2011, 12:47 pm

Horus wrote:

Well you seem pretty convinced that Chomsky is not a nice or right-thinking person.


Ok fair enough......please explain why and also like to know if you believe any of individuals/groups Chomsky has commonly criticized ARE "nice and right-thinking". You know....like those who ordered the bombing, napalming and agent orange-ing of Southeast Asian countries in the 60's and 70's.


I have actually talked about Chomsky elsewhere, but, since you asked:

A. Chomsky as a person grates on me in several ways [though Number 1 Son DID convince me that he is not the unforgivable swine I had thought he was]. I could not comfortably sit in the seat next to him on an overseas flight.

B. Professionally, I totally disagree with his Linguistics and hate what he did to the profession. His Linguistics and mine are not chalk and cheese [good chalk is a pleasure to use] but mayonnaise and cheese [a fresh slab of Jarlsberg for me, please].

C. Professionally I thoroughly diapprove of his political activism. People who want to do that are free to do that, but why pretend to be a professor? Political activism and scholarship are perverse bedfellows.

D. As to Chomsky's specific views - over the years I have gathered he tends to speak out against most things the government gets up to. Since I am a scholar and NOT a political activist, I do not know exactly where Chomsky positions himself, and do not know the rights and wrongs of it. For all I know, IF I looked into it I might totally agree with him.

E. I have tried to point out - though some amongst us seem not to get the point - my likes and dislikes do not depend on whether I agree or disagree with the person, and my agreement or disagreement does not depend on my liking.

Certaim people got upset because I dared to dislike Carl Sagan. They seemed to think that must mean I criticized his work or his politics or something. Stupid, of course. Some of the nicest people I have known were lousy scholars. Some of the best work has been done by people I cannot abide.

But too many people are political - and for them if you like you approve, and if you do not agree you hate.



marshall
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10 Jul 2011, 1:10 pm

Of Chomsky, I don't have a strong opinion either way. Mainly I don't have the patience or interest in reading his kind of material.



ryan93
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10 Jul 2011, 1:48 pm

Quote:
B. Professionally, I totally disagree with his Linguistics and hate what he did to the profession. His Linguistics and mine are not chalk and cheese [good chalk is a pleasure to use] but mayonnaise and cheese [a fresh slab of Jarlsberg for me, please].


I you referring to his thrashing of the idea that language is taught via some Pavlovian mechanism, or something else?


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Horus
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10 Jul 2011, 2:15 pm

A. Chomsky as a person grates on me in several ways [though Number 1 Son DID convince me that he is not the unforgivable swine I had thought he was]. I could not comfortably sit in the seat next to him on an overseas flight.



Since you have not yet stated WHY he grates on you as a person, I obviously can't comment on this.




B. Professionally, I totally disagree with his Linguistics and hate what he did to the profession. His Linguistics and mine are not chalk and cheese [good chalk is a pleasure to use] but mayonnaise and cheese [a fresh slab of Jarlsberg for me, please].


I must confess my almost total ignorance of his ideas regarding his Linguistics and pretty much an equal degree of ignorance in regards
to the formal academic discipline of Linguistics in general. I have never taken a class on the subject or even read so much as a paragraph's
worth of material about it. Therefore....I'm really not qualified to make any informed comments on this either.






C. Professionally I thoroughly diapprove of his political activism. People who want to do that are free to do that, but why pretend to be a professor? Political activism and scholarship are perverse bedfellows.



This is a mere matter of opinion of course and even if the majority of "professionals" disapproved of his political activism, it wouldn't amount to more than that. That is....unless "professionals" are now Ok with committing argumentum ad populum logical fallacies as well as their disapproval of political activism among their fellows.



D. As to Chomsky's specific views - over the years I have gathered he tends to speak out against most things the government gets up to. Since I am a scholar and NOT a political activist, I do not know exactly where Chomsky positions himself, and do not know the rights and wrongs of it. For all I know, IF I looked into it I might totally agree with him.


Well..... as I'm sure you know that Chomsky's views are more or less in line with the general worldviews found within the Libertarian Socialism
or, if you will, Anarcho-Communism. While it's not impossible for me to describe Chomsky's specific views (some of which may conflict with some Lib Socialist "doctrine") on contemporary (or relatively recent) events, policies, etc....I don't see any particular reason to do that. After all....there is not a significant discrepancy between his beliefs and those commonly found in the textbook definitions of Libertarian Socialism, The writings of Mikhail Bakunin, etc.....





E. I have tried to point out - though some amongst us seem not to get the point - my likes and dislikes do not depend on whether I agree or disagree with the person, and my agreement or disagreement does not depend on my liking.

Certaim people got upset because I dared to dislike Carl Sagan. They seemed to think that must mean I criticized his work or his politics or something. Stupid, of course. Some of the nicest people I have known were lousy scholars. Some of the best work has been done by people I cannot abide.

But too many people are political - and for them if you like you approve, and if you do not agree you hate.



BOLD BUTTON NOT COOPERATING:


Horus' response:


I get what you're saying here and actually don't disagree with it. Still....it is almost a matter of personal taste and perhaps Chomsky could rightly be called an "acquired" taste. For my part...I do not see any of the things you mentioned as reasons to make the aforementioned and rather broad claims you made about him....but fair enough.

I probably agree with Chomsky on socio-political issues more than I agree with any other contemporary public figure (or with anyone I know personally for that matter) but nonetheless, I do not march in lock-step with him or with anyone else.

For example....I greatly disagree with some recent statements Chomsky made about pornography. Without going into detail in regards to these statements, I believe that Chomsky is more of statist and authoritarian than he believes himself to be. Like many career academics, I think that Chomsky's relative isolation in the ivory tower has done very little for his "street smarts" He seems to have a sentimentalized view of pornography and a SERIOUSLY sentimentalized view of women in general. While I would never say women aren't often victims of exploitation, abuse and discrimination even in our contemporary occidental world, I don't think Chomsky realizes that women (like EVERYONE ELSE in our capitalistic society) are often the ones guilty of the exploitation and in the fashion which only women CAN exploit others. This is especially true when it comes to women who are generally perceived as "attractive".

Thus.....not only is Chomsky a "secular puritan" in my eyes who is no better than religious puritans like the late Jerry Falwell.....he is apparently not quite the cynical misanthrope that I am :wink:


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Philologos
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10 Jul 2011, 2:57 pm

horus:

Dislike is dislike. if somebody comes into a room, and you like or dislike at first sight, you can't really analyze.

I can have reasons for approving or disapproving. Liking is different.

Mayonnaise - it literally makes me sick. Has very fine, healthful ingredients - but I can't like it.

Sagan - by all accounts a good scientist, not a bad person. But I do not care for his personality. So some people think I am a blasphemer or something.

Chomsky I both dislike and disapprove - but that is two different things.



Philologos
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10 Jul 2011, 3:04 pm

I said"

"C. Professionally I thoroughly diapprove of his political activism. People who want to do that are free to do that, but why pretend to be a professor? Political activism and scholarship are perverse bedfellows.

Horus says:

This is a mere matter of opinion of course and even if the majority of "professionals" disapproved of his political activism, it wouldn't amount to more than that. That is....unless "professionals" are now Ok with committing argumentum ad populum logical fallacies as well as their disapproval of political activism among their fellows.

Of course it is my opinion. That is why I can state it. I personally feel:

A Academics should not get into sexual activities with their students

B Academics should stay out of politics

C Academics should edge students toward original thought, not conformist knowledge

D Academics should welcome - even applaud - unorthodoxy

What the majority of academics believe - well, I happen to know I am their Green Monkey, I do not speak for the Elite Consensus and they do not speak for me.

I speak for me.



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10 Jul 2011, 3:14 pm

horus - like I say, I am not up on Chomsky's political views. I'm a linguist, don't follow political views.

But man, you be so right about Comsky's puritanism.

I worked with a guy of the same basic style. A great guy, with really solid principles and some good if quirky ideas. Consistently rights of the little people liberal, among other things.

Got to be Department head, rubbed shoulders with the Dean, it went to HIS department head - he turned into a nothing must harm the U's interests company man.

Chomsky - don't know his views in detail, but he will have bought into them wholesale without regard to sense or consistency.

I suspect - like some others - he goes reactive - figure out what the enemy is saying and push the opposite.



WeThePeople
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10 Jul 2011, 6:26 pm

Noam Chomsky is a pinko. Need I say more?


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Philologos
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10 Jul 2011, 6:49 pm

WeThePeople wrote:
Noam Chomsky is a pinko. Need I say more?


Probably not.

His color makes no difference to who he is.

Are you older than me or what? I have not heard anyone called a pinko since 65.

If you are serious, an interesting revelation.

If not, quoting Queen Victoria.



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10 Jul 2011, 7:09 pm

Philologos wrote:
s.

Are you older than me or what? I have not heard anyone called a pinko since 65.



What? You never heard of a pinko stinko Commie loving liberal?

ruveyn



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10 Jul 2011, 7:50 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Philologos wrote:
s.

Are you older than me or what? I have not heard anyone called a pinko since 65.



What? You never heard of a pinko stinko Commie loving liberal?

ruveyn


I recall "pinko liberal" from the 60s. Your expanded version I never ran across - but face it, I spent all my life on or around campus where everybody even a little into politics was a pinko liberal.