"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." –Noam Chomsky
Happy Birthday, Noam Chomsky!
Born December 7, 1928, Avram Noam Chomsky is an American author, linguist, philosopher, and cognitive scientist, among other pursuits. Chomsky is often regarded as the father of modern linguistics, and is known for his deep analysis of the relationship between grammatical composition and rationalism and ways of thinking. He is also known for exploring the relationship between language and power.
According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992, and was the eighth most cited source overall. He is the author of over 100 books, on several different subjects.
Chomsky is also an outspoken political activist and has argued against the proliferation of wage slavery and has often criticized American foreign policy for the double standard of a government which allies itself with repressive organizations while suggesting that it stands for democracy and freedom for all citizens. Chomsky's work has had great implications in the fields of linguistics, psychology, economy, medicine, and others.
The question of whether a computer is playing chess, or doing long division, or translating Chinese, is like the question of whether robots can murder or airplanes can fly -- or people; after all, the "flight" of the Olympic long jump champion is only an order of magnitude short of that of the chicken champion (so I'm told). These are questions of decision, not fact; decision as to whether to adopt a certain metaphoric extension of common usage.
Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it.
Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.
The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself.
Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way.
- Birthday Date: Sunday, 07 December 2014