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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Redstorm]
    #4432235 - 07/21/05 08:52 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

really, i don't know why everybody is so taken by Manufacturing Consent. It is a great book (and a really weird movie), but isn't really commentary on current events so much as it is commentary on the way media shapes and forms public opinion in our modern age. if you want to read his opinions on current events, check out Hegemony of Survival for example, or here - http://zmag.org/weluser.htm - where they always have a ton of Chomsky pieces.


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: BanJankri]
    #4432301 - 07/21/05 09:28 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

BanJankri said:
a mistake like this cannot be gone unnoticed.



Apparently it has been noticed, that's why it was brought up in this thread.


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Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #4432325 - 07/21/05 09:41 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

I think what he meant was if it was noticed (and true), he wouldn't still be a prof at MIT or still have books being published.


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Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: trendal]
    #4432332 - 07/21/05 09:44 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Yeah... and if George W. Bush lied to get us to conquer Iraq, he would not still be president.


--------------------
Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #4432334 - 07/21/05 09:45 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

I think "president of the USA" is a little different from "professor at MIT" :rolleyes:


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Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: trendal]
    #4432336 - 07/21/05 09:47 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

You're right, you have to be of at least average intelligence to be a professor at MIT.


--------------------
Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #4432349 - 07/21/05 09:53 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

:lol:

Bingo!


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But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: trendal]
    #4432741 - 07/21/05 12:02 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

trendal writes:

Quote:

If you can show me even one example of a fabricated reference used by Chomsky, I'll be happy.




Sigh.

Okay, one of the better examples of a Chomsky screed being peppered with footnotes referring to previous Chomsky works (which sometimes then even refer to previous Chomsky works) is What Uncle Sam Really Wants. Borrow a copy and see for yourelf. As you may have guessed by now, I personally own no works by Chomsky, though I have read several many years ago -- therefore I cannot give you specific page numbers for these footnotes. If you take the effort to obtain a copy and do the work yourself, you won't need page numbers to find what I'm talking about -- you'll soon find a dozen examples.

You say you own Hegemony for Survival. Here's an example of that specific Chomsky technique from Hegemony for Survival:

From http://www.api-network.com/cgi-bin/reviews/jrbview.cgi?n=1741141621&issue=25

Quote:

In addition to this, there are critical times when Chomsky footnotes his own works, for example where he is discussing Noriega's 'usefulness' to the United States during the contra wars and the similarity between this situation and the one faced by Saddam Hussein in Iraq (footnote 7, p 113). Missing references are also common in this work. As possibly the most widely read commentator on United States foreign relations, his work has potentially wide-ranging influence and basing a great deal of his argumentation upon secondary source information is less than ideal.

Further to this, Hegemony or Survival, is not light reading, despite being targeted towards a wide audience. Chomsky's heavy reliance upon quotations ? at times quoting his own previous works ? often distracts from the narrative.




Here's a very small sample of what else can be found by those who actually care enough about the subject to spend some time determining whether Chomsky is telling the truth or lying his ass off:

From http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article3754.html

Quote:

The essays collected in The Anti-Chomsky Reader are useful palliatives to the non-stop anti-American venom spewed by Chomsky, all of it presented in the guise of scholarship. Several of the authors, for example, deconstruct Chomsky's slick use of footnotes in order to appear a rigorous researcher. In many instances, his footnotes lead you back to his own writings. As you dig into his notes, you find that the sources for much of the volatile information Chomsky purports to document are highly suspect and even invisible.




From http://www.wernercohn.com/Chomsky.html

Quote:

Chomsky's writings are often praised by his admirers as packed with "facts." And indeed there are many footnotes and many references to apparently esoteric pieces of information. But I have found that these references, at least those that deal with crucial points, simply do not check out. Sometimes the source is impossible to track down, sometimes it is completely misquoted, very often it is so patently and completely biased that no responsible scholar could have taken it at face value.




From http://dissectleft.blogspot.com/2005/05/four-good-book-reviews-review-of.html

Quote:

Collier and Horowitz understand well the manufactured reality of political fame, and to dismantle it requires not contrary vitriol or clever rejoinders but direct, fact-based assertions that undermine the authenticity of the image. To that end, the contributors follow a simple procedure: Quote actual statements by Chomsky and test them for evidence and logic. The best contributions to the volume add the effective and timely tactic of citing Chomsky's progressive virtues and revealing how smoothly he abandons them...

...Nichols points out that Chomsky's footnotes are red herrings, his numbers exaggerated, and his facts tendentious. For instance, a footnote in Chomsky's World Orders Old and New that purports to demonstrate a point in fact leads only to an earlier Chomsky title, and in that text the relevant passage footnotes still an earlier Chomsky title.




From http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/blog/2004/10/chomsky_and_dec.html

Quote:

On the evidence of his own writings, Chomsky cannot be trusted to give a reliable or honest account of the sources he cites. Look closely at his voluminous footnotes, and serious doubts occur to the critical reader. Chomsky?s citations rarely cover the scholarly literature; if they did, his methods would be swiftly detected by specialists. (This happened early in his polemical career when the historian Arthur Schlesinger caught him in ?scholarly fakery?.) Many are drawn from press articles. Where books are cited, Chomsky is not averse to withholding information that would enable the reader easily to check Chomsky?s account...

...What I find especially disturbing about Chomsky?s methodology is that in every case (forgivable in a speech, but not in a book that?s decked out with the appearance of scholarship) he drops the page references that would enable his readers to check his claims. The reason for this is not hard to fathom: if he were to give page references, it would be obvious that a rather large ellipsis is involved.








Moving on, the following is a portion of an online forum addressing the reasons why Chomsky's political writings receive no attention (critiques, book reviews, academic journal articles, etc.) in academic circles despite their  appeal to the undergraduate crowd:

From http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=17082

Quote:

Nichols: Well, Mr. Summers is right that Chomsky is ignored in the academic journals, and he has come up with a rather elegant explanation of why that might be. But there's a much simpler and sensible answer: Chomsky is ignored because his work is not serious work. It has nothing do with Chomsky's faux-anarchism or his discomfiting aging tenured radicals--and I would remind Mr Summers that Chomsky does his work from a comfortable tenured perch at a major university--and has everything to do with the fact that Chomsky's works are not scholarly works of history or politics, but deceptively-written propaganda masquerading as scholarship. Basically, large chunks of them are fiction, and so the journals don't review his books for the same reason they don't review comic books or Danielle Steel novels.

Mr. Summers says he began recently to read Chomsky "seriously." But there's the rub: Chomsky can't be read seriously, because Chomsky himself pays no attention to even basic rules of evidence or argument. If he needs to invent material to support an argument, he does, and then audaciously creates an empty footnote to make it appear as though he's done his homework and is referencing an actual fact. In his article, Mr. Summers lauds Chomsky's scholarship, but I defy him to do what I did in The Anti-Chomsky Reader, and actually try to follow some of Chomsky's footnotes. As every scholar knows, the whole point of references are to allow other scholars to replicate your research and thus confirm or debate your interpretation, but Chomsky's references are meant to obscure the fact that he's basically making stuff up. When you have, for example, footnotes that support important and controversial points by referencing four or five books in their *entirety*--including, most often, Chomsky's own books --that's not only lousy scholarship, it's a terrible insult to the reader.

So, in my view, Chomsky's invisibility in the academic world has nothing to do with his politics or his views on "power," and everything to do with the fact that his books are really fundamentally silly and not worth the time or attention of a serious reviewer. I've written a lot of book reviews in my career, and as we all know, they take a lot of time and intellectual energy. Since Chomsky doesn't bother to respect his readers--and I have come to suspect that Chomsky knows that most of his readers are not intellectually equipped to really evaluate either his arguments or his methods anyway--why should serious readers bother to respect his works or treat them as though they were written in a true spirit of scholarly inquiry, which they so obviously were not?




and (from the same discussion):

Quote:

Nichols: In any case--and I apologize for the long response--let me just repeat my challenge more directly to Mr. Summers: if you want to see Chomsky reviewed in the journals, do what we in The Anti Chomsky? Reader? did, and sit down to write a serious review essay of any number of Chomsky's works. Follow his footnotes. Force him to substantiate every charge he makes. Try to replicate his research. (I cited concrete examples in my chapter where it is simply impossible to do this with Chomsky's work.)? Read with a critical eye, and ask yourself, for example, why so much of his writing is in the passive voice.

In other words, do what responsible scholars do for each other every day, and see if the most controversial of his claims can sustain an empirical, adversarial challenge. Then ask yourself if this kind of work is something you would really ask your colleagues to bother with, or if it's something you'd even take a moment to read in a journal if they published it. The answer might surprise you.




From http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/blog/2004/11/a_kind_of_cult.html

Quote:

It isn?t just that Chomsky gives a false account of the issues he writes about: he actively manipulates the evidence in order to mislead. Chomsky?s admirers, many college students among them, frequently lack the background to be able to spot his techniques, and Chomsky takes advantage of this in order to make short-cuts, elisions, false interpolations and outright fabrications. He is to politics, economics and modern history what the Creation Science movement is to geology, palaeontology and biology. When reading him, you have to bear in mind that every (emphasis by Phred) reference and quotation he gives needs to be checked independently; on making those checks, you find a pattern of abuse of source materials that is impossible to explain as mere accident.




I could go on for pages and pages more. But as most of you are aware, I am working at the moment on a borrowed laptop and don't have access to my bookmarks. All the above stuff I found, read, and cut-and-pasted in about an hour this morning by Googling "Chomsky footnotes". If you Google "Chomsky lies" you'll find even more, but for this post I was mostly concentrating on Chomsky's well-known propensity to abuse the footnote process, not on his woefully inadequate grasp of geopolitics, psychology, history, military strategy, economics, etc. Nor did I concentrate on his unrelenting apologia for totalitarian regimes or his denial that there were such  things as the Cold War, Communist expansionism, Cambodian genocide, Maoist purges, Soviet agitation in Latin America. Nor his refusal to take into consideration the fact that things have changed drastically on the world political scene since the Bay of Pigs incident and that what factors may have (and I emphasize "may" here) had some truth four decades ago no longer have the same influence, and....

But I have better things to do with my time today than continue pointing out the obvious. I'll leave you with a final nugget to chew on:

http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/blog/2004/09/an_intellectual.html

If you are really interested in determining the value of Chomsky's rants, I strongly suggest you read the whole thing. It's too long and detailed to excerpt properly here. The author doesn't specifically deal with Chomsky's self-referential footnotes in this particular post but he does an excellent job -- with full links and real source material -- of exposing the standard Chomsky method of twisting, lifting from context, and outright making things up out of thin air.



Phred


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Phred]
    #4432870 - 07/21/05 12:32 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Thank you for the reply, Phred! That gives me quite a bit to read over the next few days, and I will check out the reference to Hegemony or Survival when I get home from work this evening!

However, from the second and third links you posted (the only two I have had time to skim over thus far) there are still no actual examples of his supposed "made up" references or references to his own works (which, I must be honest, does not strike me as a necessarily bad thing to do...many scientists reference their own previous work at times).

They still just insist that Chomsky is, in fact, using these dubious references without giving any actual examples of such footnotes.


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Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: trendal]
    #4434941 - 07/21/05 08:20 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Look...

Not every single critic of Chomsky gives every single instance by page number and footnote number, no. As I pointed out, anyone who picks up a copy of What Uncle Sam Really Wants just has to look at the footnotes to see the number of times he references his own work.

And I did dig up one which was quite specific as to page number -- it even applies to the book you have in the house.

The fact is that it's not just one rabid "right wing nut" pointing out the same thing -- it's respected writers, historians and academics. They're not making this stuff up. Chomsky does it, and he has been doing it for three and a half decades, despite having been caught at it numerous times. Arthur Schlesinger was one of the first high profile academics to expose him for this dishonesty, but he was far from the last.


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Invisiblespud
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Phred]
    #4435000 - 07/21/05 08:34 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Please point out where he cites non-existent sources, as you claimed before.

Also, citing previous works is nothing out of the usual.

Thomas Kuhn did so himself.

Does that make him any less creditable?

No.

Does that make his contributions to science any less important?

No.

So for the 1209832890th time, please point out where Chomsky cites non-existent sources.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Phred]
    #4435031 - 07/21/05 08:44 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

You're right about the Hegemony or Survival footnote:

Quote:

He then became the target of invasion and kidnapping from the Vatican Embassy in Operation Just Cause, with consequences already mentioned.7
Hegemony or Survival - p.112-113




The footnote is:

Quote:

7. See my Deterring Democracy, pp. 50-51, 263ff., and 278ff. On Duvalier, see my Year 501, chapter 8, section 4.




He clearly states that it is his work he is referencing. Again, I don't see any problem with this. If he's already written about something in one text, why can't he reference it in another? Are writers somehow prohibited from referencing their own works?

I can guarantee you that Chomsky is not the only writer to do this...

So what's the big problem with referencing one's own works, Phred?


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Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: trendal]
    #4435037 - 07/21/05 08:46 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Aside from that...footnotes have never impressed me, nor do I actually know anyone (aside from you) who seems to be very impressed by footnotes.

So what's the big deal, here? Is referencing his own works seriously the best argument you can use against this guy?


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But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.


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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: trendal]
    #4435512 - 07/21/05 10:32 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

trendal writes:

Quote:

Is referencing his own works seriously the best argument you can use against this guy?




No, it's not the best I can come up with at all. It was just ONE of many reasons I gave to show that Chomsky's use of footnotes does not mean he is well-researched or factual. When the footnotes are trash, self-referential or invented, they indicate not thoroughness but deceit.

Here's your next step -- get the works he mentions in the footnotes, check the parts he references, and see if they actually provide independent proof of what Chomsky claims.

Look, if someone says something like "Moynihan admitted to Reagan that Timor was invaded to provide access to Indonesian markets for WalMart (see What Uncle Sam Really Wants, Chapter 2 section A) and to provide a source of cheap labor for Nike (see The Chomsky Reader Chapter 4 section D)," then you go to The Chomsky Reader to check it and are redirected to What Uncle Sam Really Wants, then you go to What Uncle Sam Really Wants and check the referenced section and it says "Moynihan admitted to Reagan that Timor was invaded to provide access to Indonesian markets for WalMart and to provide cheap labor for Nike," what has been substantiated?

Your task has just begun, grasshopper.  Your next step it to get your hands on Deterring Democracy and Year 501 and follow the trail.

Does Chomsky do this with every single footnote? No, he doesn't. Many of the footnotes dealing with innocuous facts and common knowledge are legitimate. It's when he lays out some nefarious "behind the scenes" Chomskyite fantasy of how this cabal or that junta  did something for reasons only Noam was brilliant enough to unearth that the waters get muddy.

I focused on his phony footnotes mainly because so many Chomskyites cite them triumphantly as showing "He must be right about this. Look how thoroughly he has supported his case!" Footnotes qua footnotes are meaningless. When I was late getting a paper handed in when I was still in school, I occasionally invented footnotes because I gambled my teachers wouldn't bother checking them all. I never got caught once. Noam has been caught over and over again. It doesn't faze him in the slightest.



Phred


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: spud]
    #4435586 - 07/21/05 10:53 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Look, spud, your request was this:

Quote:

I was overwhelmed by the amount of books he has on the subject matter, so I was just wondering which you may recommend, and why.




My recommendation was you spend your time on something useful rather than drink the Chomsky koolaid, and I explained (rather thoroughly) why I gave that recommendation. If you choose to disregard that recommendation, be my guest.

Now you demand:

Quote:

So for the 1209832890th time, please point out where Chomsky cites non-existent sources.




Sigh. This is why I dislike debunking Chomsky over and over again. Because of people like you. You have read neither Chomsky nor Chomsky's critics, yet you have already convinced yourself that for some reason I and dozens of others (most of them far more familiar than I with both Chomsky's works and the subject matter he writes about) am lying about this. Hell, I went to the trouble -- again -- of providing excerpts showing Chomsky's tactics and providing links to the full critiques from which I took the excerpts. Yet you didn't bother to read even the excerpts, let alone the links.

Go to my post 4432741 and re-read it. I especially recommend going to Oliver Kamm's link and reading carefully his entire post. http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/blog/2004/09/an_intellectual.html Kamm has a very detailed and thoroughly-linked expos? of exactly the kind of thing I described in my first post in the thread.

If you want to play the game of pooh-poohing Chomsky's critics without even taking the time to read what they say, play away. Chomsky has become quite wealthy pandering to people as intellectually lazy as you demonstrate yourself to be. Just don't expect me to continue playing.

The best advice I can give you is to pick up a copy of The Anti-Chomsky Reader by Collier and Horowitz before you read any Chomsky. if you choose to disregard that advice, no skin off my nose. It won't affect my life in the slightest if you are duped by a fraudulent huckster. Lord knows you won't be the first.




Phred


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Invisiblenewuser1492
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Phred]
    #4435670 - 07/21/05 11:17 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

When I read Hegemony or Survival I ended up thinking about the ideas rather than the sources. I don't use Chomsky as a source of history rather as a source of ideas.

One thing I noticed, or at least it seemed so to me, was that Chomsky would quote a source or paraphrase a person then veer into his own thoughts and ideas. The problem being that he seemed to do so in a way that would lead the reader to associate Chomsky's words with those of the source or to at least begin to think of Chomsky's ideas as factual rather than simply ideas.

The following is an example of what I consider a useful thought.

Quote:

We are instructed daily to be firm believers in neoclassical markets, in which isolated individuals are rational wealth maximizers. If distortions are eliminated, the market should respond perfectly to their "votes," expressed in dollars or some counterpart. The value of a person's interests is measured the same way. In particular, the interests of those with no votes are valued at zero: future generations, for example.




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InvisibleIsaacHunt
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Phred]
    #4436247 - 07/22/05 01:58 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

As I pointed out, anyone who picks up a copy of What Uncle Sam Really Wants just has to look at the footnotes to see the number of times he references his own work.


What uncle sam really wants is a very brief introductory book compiled from his other talks and books. This is made clear in the sources section at the front of the book. Anyone who had ever picked up a copy would have grasped this.

If you want to play the game of pooh-poohing Chomsky's critics without even taking the time to read what they say

Listing a series of notoriously unreliable right-wing websites does not an argument make.


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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: IsaacHunt]
    #4436325 - 07/22/05 02:22 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

IsaacHunt writes:

Quote:

Listing a series of notoriously unreliable right-wing websites does not an argument make.




Ad hominem. Since Chomsky is an idol of the Left, it's pretty unlikely you'll see more debunking on Leftie sites than on Rightie sites (although you might want to read some of Christopher Hitchens's comments on ole Noam).

Tell you what, Ike... why don't you read the Oliver Kamm (Kamm is a British Leftist) piece I linked to and tell us what part of it Kamm got wrong.

Phred


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InvisibleIsaacHunt
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: Phred]
    #4437918 - 07/22/05 02:25 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Ad hominem

No, simple common sense. Before believing something you look at the credibility of the source saying it.

why don't you read the Oliver Kamm

Seeing as this thread is about Noam Chomsky why not simply pick up a book by Noam in your nearest bookstore, read it then come back to us with the page number of the first error you find?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Noam Chomsky [Re: IsaacHunt]
    #4437939 - 07/22/05 02:30 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

IsaacHunt said:
Seeing as this thread is about Noam Chomsky why not simply pick up a book by Noam in your nearest bookstore, read it then come back to us with the page number of the first error you find?




He doesn't live in the first world like we do. I don't think he has access to a book store that would sell Chomsky.


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