Yhdysvaltalaisen Massachusetts Institute of Technologyn (MIT) yleisen kielitieteen emeritusprofessori Noam Chomsky (s.1928) on teoriallaan ns. geneerisestä univer- saalikieliopista” (ainakin ollut) maailman eniten siteerattu tiedekirjoittaja, ainakin jos otetaan huomioon riittävän matalatasoisetkin tiedejulkaisut, osittain johtuen alasta, jolla paljon julkaistaan,osittain muista syistä. Geneerinen on Chomskyn itsensä käyt- tämä termi,joka tarkoittaa geeniperäistä.Hänen teoriansa mukaan kaikkien maailman kielten kieliopilla ja vieläpä sanastollakin on yhteinen aivoperäinen ”syvärakenne”, jonka ilmenemismuotoja ovat konkreettiset kieliopit ja vieläpä sanastotkin.

Chomskylta on reilu vuosi sitten (v. 2000,kopsittu vanhasta kirjoituksesta) julkaistu suomeksi kaksi poliittista kirjaa ”Uusi sotilaallinen humanismi”, joka käsittelee todel-lista ongelmaa NATOn rauhaanpakottamispolitiikkaa, sekä niin ikään todellista on-gelmaa, globalisaatiota Yhdysvaltain ehdoilla, käsittelevä teos ”Hinnalla millä hyvän-sä”. Vapun 2000 Tiedonantajassa päätoimittaja Erkki Susi ylisti ensin mainittua kir-jaa, että ”sen luettuaan ei ole enää entisensä”. Hesarin arvostelu esim. 6.5. 2000 oli ristiriitainen: toisaalla sanotaan Chomskyn olevan ”kiistelty tiedemies”, toisaalla taas ”modernin kielitieteen perustaja”. Nämä kirjat ovat herättäneet laajaa keskustelua, ja näkyvimmistä poliitikoistamme ainakin Erkki Tuomioja on vähintäinkin antanut sivustatukea chomskylaiselle ideologialle.

Sikäli kuin olen oikein ymmärtänyt,Chomsky on esittänyt toisaalta yleisesti tunnettuja tosiasioita imperialistisesta taloudesta,kuten että yksikään maa ei ole koskaan rikas-tunut niillä opeilla, joita monetaristiglobalisaattorit tähän tarkoitukseen tarjoavat kehi-tysmaille, toisaalta hän katsoo tapahtuneen periaatteellisen käänteen, jossa ni-menomaan USA:n politiikkaa määräisikin nyt kapitalististen monopolien todellisten tai oletettujen etujen asemasta mystinen ”valta sinänsä”. Toisaalta voitaisiin ajatella, että Yhdysvalloissa jos missä tiedettäisiin,että sellainen ”valta”,jota ei voi periaattees- sakaan muuttaa rahaksi (tai nykyisin mielummin suoraan tavaraksi), on pelkkää hourua. Jos tällainen käänne todella olisi tapahtunut,mikä sinänsä ei absoluuttisen mahdotonta ole,olisivat asiat maailmassa todella huonosti…

Mielestäni ”käänne” haiskahtaa vähän yritykselle lyödä tiskiin politiikan ”geeniperäi-nen selitys", yksi todellinen tukki lisää sellaiseen kekoon, johon suomalaisista ovat oman kortensa kantaneet sellaiset sosiobiologismin huru-ukot kuten Tatu Vanhanen ja Yrjö Ahmavaara sekä Pentti Linkola. Tätä epäilystä vahvistaa se, että globalisaa-tiosta on myös jyrkästikin varoitettu sellaisellakin perusteella,että ”se ei ole geenissä” (David Korten, Per-Erik Lönnfors) ilmeisestikin toisin kuin jokin muu, ”luonnollinen” järjestelmä! Käydään siis ”tieteellistä” keskustelua siitä, millainen talouspoli-tiikka (ja sotilaspolitiikka) ”on geenissä” ja millainen ei… Jostakin syystä tämä ei kauheasti naurata.Vaikkakaan jenkkien johtajat eivät olisikaan täydellisiä pölvästejä, niin jotkut muut ”manut” sitä saattavat kyllä olla...

Marxilainen tutkimus on etsinyt ja yleensä myös löytänyt monopolipääoman edut ja toiminnan pääoman arvonlisäysehtojen parantamiseksi esimerkiksi ottamalla haltuun sotilaallisesti raaka-ainevaroja jopa sellaistenkin poliitikkojen toiminnan taustalta, esimerkiksi Hitlerin, jotka itse ovat suuna päänä meuhkanneet nimenomaan ”vallasta sinänsä”, elintilasta naapurit nitistämällä, ”kansallisesta ylemmyydestä” jne.

Tässä yhteydessä riittänee pitkälle yksinkertaistaen todeta, että globalisaation yksi perusvika on siinä, että siinä kaikki valtit on asetettu johtavan valuutan määrää sää-televän tahon käsiin, niin kauan kuin muualla maailmassa todellisen arvon omaavin tuottein ollaan valmiita hankkimaan USA:n tai EKP:n setelipainon tuotteita kiertoon ja varannoitaviksi yksityisesti tai valtiollisesti.

Noam Chomsky kuului 1960- ja 70-luvuilla Yhdysvalloissa sen poliittisen vasemmis- ton ja Vietnamin sodan vastaisen liikkeen johtohenkilöihin ja ideologeihin, jos vähän ilkeästi sanoisi, niin juuri niihin aikoihin, kun tästä liikkeestä tehtiin sisältä ja ulkoa päin selvää jälkeä mm. huume-, seksi- ja roturadikalismilla. (Miten paljon näissä kah-dessa viimemainitussa suhteessa sitten lieneekin ollut siellä jenkeissä todellistakin parantamisen varaa…) En väitä, että Noam Chomskyn filosofia olisi nimenomaisesti johdattanut esimerkiksi huumeradikalismiin, mutta ei siitä kyllä mitään hyötyäkään ole ollut sellaisen torjumiseksi omista riveistä.

Nykyisin Noam Chomsky on ehkä näkyvin globalisaation eli ylikansallistumisen vas-taisen poliittisen liikkeen keulakuvista. Asemansa poliittisena vaikuttajana hän on saavuttanut nimenomaan tämän teoriansa tunnettuuden ansiosta, ja nimenomaan sen pohjalta määräytyy silloin myös hänen objektiivinen merkityksensä poliittisena toimijana edistykselliselle liikkeelle. Noam Chomsky on usein nimittänyt itseään Yh-dysvaltain johtavaksi toisinajattelijaksi, ja ainakin tieteen suhteen hän taitaakin olla tässä arvaamattoman oikeassa…

1. Dialektisen materialismin kanta Chomskyn kieliteoriaan on kielteinen

Neuvostoliittolainen L.F. Iljitshevin, P.N. Fedosejevin, S.M. Kovalevin ja V.G. Pa-novin toimittama Filosofinen tietosanakirja (Filosofskij entsiklopeditsheskij slovarj) vuodelta 1983 toteaa Noam Chomskyn teoriasta seuraavaa:

Synnynnäinen tieto (vrozhdennoje znanyje), idealistisen rationalismin tieto-opin olettamus, jonka mukaan on olemassa tietoa, jolla on kokemusta edeltävä alkuperä, ja joka on luonteen-omaista olemisen ja ajattelun universaaleille periaatteille.

Yhden tämän opin variantin mukaan S. t. on alun perin ominaista tiedostavalle sub-jektille valmiissa muodossa, vaikkakaan sitä ei tavallisesti tiedosteta oikein erilaisten ulkoisten häiriöiden takia (Platon).

Toinen tämän opin variantti väittää,että S.t.ilmaisee määrättyjen mahdollisuuksien (potentioiden) olemassaoloa tiedostavan subjektin mielessä tietojen muodostamisek- si. Nämä mahdollisuudet muuttuvat todellisuudeksi vain vastaavien ulkoisten edelly-tysten vallitessa (Descartes). Koska S.t.liittyy välittömästi tiedostavaan subjektiin (eikä ulkoiseen todellisuuteen), nousee esiin tämän opin puitteissa periaatteellisesti ratkaisematon kysymys objektiivisen todellisuuden tiedostettavuudesta S t.:n avulla.

Filosofian historiassa ilmenee seuraavia tulkintoja tälle ongelmalle:

…”Synnynnäisen tiedon” opista tulee erottaa teoriat, joiden mukaan tiedostava sub-jekti voisi ”välittömästi” tiedostaa yliaistillisia olemuksia kuten ideoita, universaaleja, vain ajateltavissa olevia olemuksia (varhainen Russel,varhainen Husserl). S.t.:n opin kanssa ei ole yhtenevä myöskään tiedostusteoreettinen apriorismi (esimerkiksi Kan-tilla apriorista, kokemusta edeltävää, on tiedon muoto eikä sen sisältö). (Joskin myös viime mainitut opit on katsottava perättömiksi.)

”Synnynnäisen tiedon” oppia yrittää herättää henkiin uudessa muodossa amerikka-lainen lingvisti N. Chomsky absolutisoiden kielellisten universaalien (kaikille kielille yhteisten piirteiden) olemassaolon, kielen palautumattomuuden puhetoimintoihin ja ajattelun palautumattomuuden (jäännöksettömästi ja mekaanisesti) kieleen."

Kirjassa ei ole omaa hakusanaa ”nykyaikaisen kielitieteen perustajalle”, joka on sen-tään paitsi ”johtava kriittinen intellektuelli” (kuten monet muutkin) myös oikeassakin todellisuudessa alansa ja kaikkien alojen eniten siteerattu tiedekirjoittaja. Hänen ni-mensä on mainittu toisen kerran sellaisten tutkijoiden luettelossa, jotka ovat etsineet kielellisiä universaaleja, tuloksia kommentoimatta. Lainaukset tässä ovat hänen teoksensa ”Hinnalla millä hyvänsä” takakannesta.

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Innate+ideas

2. Johtava suomalainen yleisen kielitieteen tutkija torjui Chomskyn teorian

Suomalainen akatemianprofessori Mikko Korhonen omistaa postuumissa Ulla-Maija Kulosen (nyk. Forsberg) toimittamassa teoksessaan Kielen synty vuodelta 1993 lu-vun Onko aivoissamme kielielin Chomskyn teorialle. Hän päätyy kohteliain, mutta selkein sanakääntein siihen, että chomskismi on humpuukia:

” Kielen neurofysiologisia kytkentöjä koskevassa keskustelussa on viime aikoina eni-ten herättänyt huomiota Noam Chomskyn 1970-luvulla esittämä teoria (oletetun,HM) universaalin kieliopin biologisesta perustasta. Chomsky väittää, että ihmisellä on aivoissaan synnynnäisesti kielen tuottamiseen erikoistunut apparaatti,joka periytyy geneettisesti. Tämä hermostollinen apparaatti, ”kielielin” (language organ), määrittää kaikkien luonnollisten ihmiskielten syntaktiset ja semanttiset ominaisuudet.Se on ole- massa vain ihmisellä ja nimenomaan vain kieltä varten.Se on erillään ihmisen muista kognitiivisesta käyttäytymisestä (siis esimerkiksi aistimisesta ja havaitsemisesta, HM) ja hermostollisista mekanismeista, jotka muilla eläimillä ohjaavat sosiaalista kommu-nikointia.Näin ollen ihmiskieli on täysin uniikki.Se ei ole missään tekemisissä minkään muun lajin,ei edes kädellisten tai muiden nisäkkäiden, viestintäjärjestelmien kanssa. ”

Tässä suhteessa chomskismin ja traditionaalisen biologismin harmonia hieman ra-koilee, sillä jälkimmäiset yleensä korostavat olettamansa synnynnäisen tiedon yhteyt-tä ihmisapinoiden todellisiin tai oletettuihin perinnöllisiin käyttäytymismalleihin. Chom-skyn superkieligeneraattoriteoria ei tästä kuitenkaan kallistu tieteen, vaan enemmän- kin ”Herran sormen” suuntaan, varsinkaan, kun sellaisesta kieligeneraattorista ei olisi ollut evoluutiossa keskeneräisenä mitään hyötyä.

Syntaktinen merkitsee sanojen yhdistelysääntöjä,mutta semanttinen tarkoittaa niiden merkityksiä, käsitteitä. Meillä olisi siis muka geeneissämme paitsi merkki, joka kielen pintarakenteeksi muunnettuna (transformoituna) kääntyy muotoon hevonen / häst / horse/konj/hopune/kuakkj jne. myös synnynnäinen hevosen malli, mielikuva. Samoin tietysti demokratian, syyn, ajan, viinan hinnan ja varmasti muidenkin hintojen, mittayksikköä vaille tietenkin, se olisi sitten sitä ”pintarakennetta”…

Chomskismin merkityksestä kielitieteellisille tutkimuskäytännöille Korhonen toteaa mm. seuraavaa:

” ...Periaatteellista keskustelua tästä kielioppimallista on käyty viimeisten 30 vuoden aikana enemmän kuin mistään kielitieteen ongelmasta.On syntynyt uusia generatiivi- sia koulukuntia. Niiden periaatteelliset erot koskevat pääasiassa syvärakenteen omi-naisuuksia, syntaksin ja semantiikan suhdetta sekä leksikon eli (merkityksiltäänkin perinnöllisen! HM) sanaston ominaisuuksia.

…Jos kaikkien kielten kielioppi on yhteinen,kuten generatiivinen teoria esittää, silloin on lähellä ajatus, että tämä ydin olisi biologisesti määräytyvä. Näin ollen Chomskyn ajatus, että ydinkieliopilla olisi suorastaan hermostollinen vastineensa aivoissa, olisi luonnollinen.Toistaiseksi tämä ajatus ei ole saanut empiiristä vahvistusta. Chomskyn edellyttämää ”kielielintä” ei ole aivoista löytynyt.

…Chomskyn esittämä teoria itsenäisestä, kieleen erikoistuneesta aivokeskuksesta ei tunnu uskottavalta.”

3. Yhdysvaltalainen kokeellinen neuropsykologian tutkimus kumoaa Chomskya

Kognitiotieteen yhdysvaltalaisen valtavirran ytimessä on behavioristisen psykologian perinteestä johtuen ehdollisten (opittujen) refleksien ja niiden koneiston aivokuoren tutkimus. Kaiken maailman sosiobiologisteille ehdollisten refleksien löytäjän venäläi-sen/neuvostoliittolaisen akateemikon ja nobelistin Ivan Petrovitsh Pavlovin (1849 -
1936) nimi on Leniniä ja Vygotskiakin pahempi kirosana, jota ei saisi koskaan maini-takaan edes haukkumamielessä, sillä ehdollisten refleksien järjestelmä sijoittuu ikään kuin ajattelun ja synnynnäisten (ehdottomien) refleksien väliin, joilla biologistit taas ovat selittävinään myös ajattelua.Pavlov jos kuka oli muuten perusluonnontieteilijä, joka sai lääketieteen nobelinsa ruoansulatusnesteitä koskevista tutkimuksistaan jo v. 1904. Tässä yhteydessä hän törmäsi ehdollistuneen informaation vaikutuksiin elimis-tössä. Aatteet saivat ilmeisesti lutviutua objektiivisiin tieteellisiin tuloksiin, toisin kuin erillä muilla, ”luonnontieteestä” ihmistä koskien kovasti meuhkaavilla tahoilla…

Kalifornian San Diegon yliopiston neuropsykologisen evoluution huippuasiantuntija  Marty Sereno on osoittanut ihmisen aivokuoren kieltä käsittelevien alueiden muo-dostuneen samoista alueista, jotka simpanssilla muodostavat suunnattoman laajan näkökeskuksen.Sitä puissa liikkuvat kädelliset tarvitsevat arvioidakseen ehdollisin re- fleksein etäisyydet oikein. (Ihminen näkee kuitenkin paljon pienempää aivojen aluetta käyttäen tarkemmin kuin simpanssi.)

Serenon kokeellisia tutkimuksiaan näköaivokuoren evoluutiosta koskevan kirjoituk-sen "A brain that talks" (Discover 6/1996) mainitaan lähes alkusanoiksi hänen tun-nustavan avoimesti ja lähtökohtaisesti chomskylaisvastaista paradigmaa suhteessa kielen syntyyn:

”Kielikyky ei syntynyt ihmisaivoissa minkään uuden ainutlaatuisen kielielimen kehitty- misen myötä, kuten monet katsovat, vaan jo olleen hermojärjestelmän suhteellisen vähäisen uudelleenkytkennän kautta (through a minor rewireing of a neural system). Nämä hermostolliset kytkennät (neural wiring) kuuluivat pääasiassa näköjärjestel-mään, aivojen osaan joka uusimpien tutkimusten mukaan näyttäisi olevan lähes uskomattoman monimutkainen.

…Kielen on usein katsottu olevan tiedollinen raja, yksi viimeisistä asioista, joka vielä erottaa meidät apinaserkuistamme. Mutta jos Serenon näkemys on oikea, ja kieli rakentui aivoissamme ikään kuin näköaistin jalanjäljissä, olemme me ihmiset jälleen kerran hieman vähemmän erikoislaatuisia kuin olemme luulleet.

… Sanoisin, että todistustaakka on niiden harteilla,jotka sanovat, että ihmisen aivoi-hin on ilmaantunut jokin aivan uudentyyppinen kielialue.Perusolettamuson, että ai-vomme ovat enemmän tai vähemmän eläinaivojen kaltaiset,mutta me käytämme nii-tä periaatteellisesti uudenlaisella tavalla.” (Lainaukset ovat vähän eri puolilta juttua.)

Eli suomeksi sanottuna olettamukset fantastisista ja yhtäkkisistä muutoksista aivojen koneistopuolessa,joita olisi pitänyt tapahtua,jos meillä olisi sinne koneistoon geeneis- sä kirjoitettua tietoa, vievät kauemmaksi tieteellisestä evoluutioteoriasta, jonka nimiin biologistit vannovat,eikä suinkaan sitä kohti. Kaiken lisäksi opittua tietoa prosessoiva aivokuori taitaisi olla sille kieligeneraattorille vähän väärä paikka,sen pitäisi olla siellä alemmissa kerroksissa yhdessä muiden geneettisten säätelijöiden kanssa.

4. Suomalaissyntyinen nobelisti Ragnar Granit romutti synnynnäisen tiedon keskeisen ”todisteen”

Meidän dialektisesta materialismista tuntemamme Vygotskin kielellisen tajuntateori-an rinnalla on erityisesti kielitieteessä vaikuttanut toinenkin,amerikkalaisperäinen ns. Whorfin-Sapirin kielellinen tajuntateoria. Siinä tajunnan kielellisyys absolutisoidaan siten, että äidinkielen rakenteen katsotaan määräävän sitäkin, miten todellisuuden näemme ja koemme.

Yksinkertaistaen Whorfin mukaan, jos kielessämme viisi erinimistä ”perusväriä”, me myös näemme tai pikemminkin miellämme viisi väriä, joiden pohjalta sitten konstruoi- daan välimuotoja jne. tarpeen mukaan. Vähän samaan tapaan kuin että jos äidinkie- lessämme on viisi vokaalia, emmekä osaa hyvin muita kieliä, me kuulemme kaikkien muidenkin kielten ääntiöt ikään kuin tämän ”suodattimen” läpi,emmekä ehkä tunnista vieraita vokaaleja lainkaan vokaaleiksi.

Tämä värinäkö on kokeellisesti todennettavissa oleva seikka, sillä eri kielessä on hy-vin erilaisia järjestelmiä värikäsitteille. Kokeissa todettiinkin havainnoinnissa tietynlai-nen perusrakenne, joka ei riippunut siitä,miten kielessä värikäsitteitä muodostettiin. Aina oli erotettavissa paitsi valkoinen ja musta myös kolme pääväriä ryhmästä ”pu-nainen”, ” keltainen”, ”vihreä”, ”sininen”, joista mitkä tahansa kaksi vierekkäistä voitiin niputtaa ”yhdeksi” väriksi, mutta ei esimerkiksi sinistä ja keltaista. Katsottiin todistetuksi synnynnäisen tiedon esimerkki.

Ragnar Granit arveli kuitenkin, että silmässä on fysiologisesti ikään kuin kolmelle eri värille erillinen aistinelin,jolloin taajuuksien erottaminen tapahtuu jo itse silmässä, ja värien erottelun on tajuntaan nähden ulkoinen prosessi vähän samaan tapaan kuin painetuntoaistin ja lämpötuntoaistin ero iholla. Juuri näin osoittautuikin olevan asian laita, ja siitä pätkähti ansaittu Nobelin palkinto Ruotsin lipun alla.Joidenkin näkemys- ten mukaan Granit olisi suorastaan savustettu Helsingin yliopistosta tämän kerettiläi-sen hypoteesinsa takia…

Sittemmin on löydetty myös Whorfin teoriaa noudattavia ilmiöitä ja mm. on todettu, että tajunnassamme toimii eri tavalla sellainen ”tieto”, joka ehdollistunut ennen pu- heen ja ajattelun oppimista,esimerkiksi ympäristöorientaatioon liittyen,ja ”puhtaan” kielellisesti opittu tieto. (New Whoof in Whorf:An old language theory regains its authority. Scientific American2/1992)

http://www.ojs.academypublisher.com/index.php/tpls/article/viewFile/tpls0203642646/4439

http://wenku.baidu.com/view/6fbc3d6f1eb91a37f0115c04.html

http://www.icr.org/article/benjamin-lee-whorf-early-supporter/
http://davidlavery.net/writings/mind_of_whorf.pdf

http://www.readabstracts.com/Science-and-technology/Shaking-the-tree-will-statistical-analysis-of-DNA-pinpoint-human-origins.html

The Whorf Hypothesis contends that the basis for language development is an indivi-dual culture. Other linguists theorize that common elements among many languages contribute to language development.

Author: Ross, Philip E.

Evaluation, Language acquisition, Linguistic research, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis



5. Noam Chomskyn "tähtioppilas" MARC HAUSER kärysi huijauksesta Chomskyn teorioita "todistellessaan":

http://mixingmemory.blogspot.fi/2005/08/return-of-hauser-chomsky-and-fitch.html

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2010/9/14/hauser-lab-research-professor/

https://www.facebook.com/ajax/sharer/?s=99&appid=2309869772&id=10152927592201678&p%5B0%5D=631971677&p%5B1%5D=10152927592201678&share_source_type=unknown

Mitä tästä opimme

Noam Chomsky ei ole ”nykyaikaisen kielitieteen perustaja”.Hän on kielitieteen sosio- biologistinen humpuukimaakari. Tosin hänen suhteestaan myös juutalaiseen uskon-nolliseen fundamentalismiin on siitäkin mitä perustelluimmin esitetty erilaisia näkö-kantoja. KANAVA 1/01-lehdessä kielitieteilijä Jaakko Anhava toteaa kirjoituksessaan Chomsky, kielitiede, politiikka:

” Chomsky korostaa sinänsä oikein, että kielikyvyn pohja on biologinen, koska se on yhteinen koko ihmislajille. Mutta hänen teoriansa tekevät asian vain vaikeammaksi: jos kreikkalaisessa tarussa jumalatar Pallas Athene putkahti valmiina Zeuksen pääs-tä, niin Chomskyn olettaman kielikyvyn on täytynyt putkahtaa valmiina ihmisen päähän. Miten tämä sopii ihmislajin biologiseen kehitykseen. "

Ja minä puolestani kysyn, että miten se sopii ihmisen yhteiskunnalliseen kehitykseen.

Jos hyväntahtoisesti jätetään Chomskyn jotkin suoranaiset hourut omaan arvoonsa, voidaan aivan hyvällä syyllä sanoa, että tämä Tiedonantajankin uusi sankari on teo-rioineen ja suurella julkisuudellaan johtava dialektisen ja historiallisen materialismin vastainen ideologi. Hänen teoriansa onnistuu illusorisella tasolla yhdistämään ajatte-lun kielellisyyden sosiobiologismiin,ja sellaisena nimenomaan hänen teoriansa kaltai- nen teoria on sellainen,jonka mukana biologistinen yhteiskuntateoria ja ihmiskuva joko seisoo tai kaatuu. Banaanikärpäs- ja muurahaispesäfilosofiat ovat sitten vielä erikseen yhteiskuntateorioina.

Hänen amerikkalaista imperialismia vastustavalle poliittiselle toiminnalleen hänen ”tieteensä” ei ole mikään kaikupohja, vaan rankka painolasti, joskin samalla pääsy-lippu imperialistien kontrolloimaan julkisuuteen ”moniarvoisuuden” nimissä. Silti Chomskyn kirjoissa saattaa tietysti olla retorisesti raflaavia tosiasiatietoja imperialis-tien kotkotuksista, ja varmasti myös USA:n talous- ym. tieteilijöiden erimielisyyksistä ja aivoituksista, jos ylimääräistä aikaa on, niin saattaa kannattanee lukea.

Toki ei ole tarkoitus kieltää biologisteja tai uskovaisia taistelemasta USA:n tunnettua imperialismia vastaan, päin vastoin, vaikka sitten se imperialisminvastaisuus olisikin just eikä melkein kohteen itsensä toivomaa laatua.

Dialektisen ja historiallisen materialismin mukaan objektiivinen tiede kuuluu sekä yh-teiskunnan tuotannolliseen perusrakenteeseen että henkisenä ilmiönä myös päällys-rakenteeseen, kun taas ideologia, politiikka, juridiikka,moraali jne. ovat vain tämän päällysrakenteen ilmiöitä. Edistyksellinen politiikka ja ideologia eivät voi sen parem-min tukeutua humpuukitieteeseen kuin myöskään asettua poikkiteloin todellisen tieteen esteeksi. Sellaisesta seuraa varma tappio. "

Täällä on Chomskyn itsensä kirjoitus samalta ajalta saman kirjan pohjalta, USA:n ulkopoliittisesta asemasta vuosi ennen WTC-iskua. Nyt voi testata Chomskyn ennustajantaitoja:

http://www.rauhanpuolustajat.fi/chomsky ... sanat.html

http://human-brain.org/mitecs-ling.html

***


Keskustelua: rekursioteoriaa:

http://keskustelu.skepsis.fi/Message/FlatMessageIndex/132363?page=1#132691

RK
03.02.2004 00:44:51
132691


rekursioteoriaa, sylttytehtaan leima kantakirjassa...

Lassi.Hippeläinen kirjoitti 31.01.2004 (132470)...

>VK kirjoitti 30.01.2004 (132392)...

>>Mutta juttu on kyllä oikein kiinnostava. Erityisen merkittävä oli N´kisin tekemä >>kielioppivirhe "flied"; jos se oli tosiaan spontaani,niin sehän viittaa siihen, että intu >>lymmärtää jollakin tavalla imperfektin käsitteen ja osaa liittää sen merkiksi sanan >>loppuun säännöllisen -ed-päätteen . Se vain ei tiedä tai muista, että "fly"-verbi >>onkin epäsäännöllinen ja sen imperfekti on "flew". Pelkästään aikuisten ihmisten >>puhetta matkimalla siis ei tuollaista muotoa voi tuottaa.Tällaiset virheet ovat hyvin >>tavallisia myös puhumaan opettelevilla ihmislapsilla.

>Apinoilla tuntuu olevan jonkinlaisia >vaikeuksia monimutkaisempien rakenteiden >kanssa.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=0009515D-2F78-1007-AF7883414B7F0000

>-- Lassi

Tuo oli nyt sitä Noam Chomskyn uusinta REKURSIOTEORIAA (sille etsittyjä "todis-teista", aika kaukaa muuten,tamariiniapina on evoluutiohistoriallisesti ihmiselle lähes yhtä kaukainen "sukulainen" kuin orava, Björn Kurten: Vår äldsta förfäder), johon Noam  Chomsky on perääntynyt surullisen kuuluisasta "kielielinteoristaan" (edistystä tietysti sinänsä,ja hänen kauhea "vihollisensa" Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) oli vieläkin vanhempi kuin Chomsky nyt julkaistessaan pääteoksensa Ehdolliset refleksit v.1927, että mistä tuon tietää...)

http://taylor0.biology.ucla.edu/al/resource/bever.pdf

http://taylor0.biology.ucla.edu/al/resource/hauser.pdf

Sanoma on,että "geenissä" on kielestä (enää:-)) vain "rekursiokyky", "lauseiden" joh-taminen toisista lauseista, ja että TÄLLÄ KERTAA tuolla oleteulla genettisellä kyvyllä olisi jokin metamorfoitunut luonnonhistoriallinen edeltäjä eläinten biologiassa (eikä se siis olisi putkahtanut ilmoille "out of blue" kuten "kielielin", ja vielä kaikille samanlaisenakin)...

Itse asiassa rekursioteorian taustalta pilkistää ilmeisimmin Marty Serenon kritiikki: Chomskyn koulukunta yrittää "kompromissia" tai "synteesiä"...

Aamulehti jo kerkisi 20.01.04 hihkaista, että NYT ON LÖYTYNYT "RATKAISEVA LINKKI" "ajattelun biologisessa keskuudessa (taisi olla noin kymmenes sellainen AL:ltä viimeisten parin kolmen vuoden aikana...

Voin kyllä ihan varmasti sanoa, että "säännön sisäisen säännön" "ymmärtäminen" eli sellaisten ketjun saattaminen toimintaan esimerkiksi koirilla EI OLE mikään periaat-teellisen esteen alainen kysymys,koira oppii pitkät alisteiset ehdollistamisketjut,missä tilanteessa, paikassa, kenen sanomana jne.esimerkiksi jokin käsky jotakin merkitsee, ja koska ei.

http://keskustelu.skepsis.fi/Message/FlatMessageIndex/132482?Page=2

Minä pysyn väittessäni, että perusero on, että ihminen pystyy pitämään päässään mielikuvan jostakin asiasta ILMAN, ETTÄ SIIHEN SUUNTAUTUISI MINKÄÄNLAIS- TA TOIMINTAA, vieläpä useistakin kohteista yhtä aikaa (ja siis myös (ajatuksellisesti ympäristöstä riippumatta yhdistekllemään noita mielukuvia), mutta eläin ei pysty.

(Jos ajatustoimintakin lasketaan "oikeaksi" toiminnaksi, niin ihminenkään ei pysty, eli tuo taito on silloin OPITTU kuin ajatelun alkeetkin! Ja taidon taustalla on ihmisen hermoston suurempi herkkyys ja tiedonsiirtokapasiteetti niiden erilaisten sokereiden vaikutuksesta ihmisellä ja muilla lajeilla.)

Jos tuon rekursioteorian menestystä veikkaisi kuin raviruunan, niin ihan varmasti en voi sanoa, onko "makkaratehtaan leima kaakin takapuolessa", mutta sen pystyn sa-nomaan vuorenvarmasti, että sillä on SYLTTYTEHTAAN LEIMA KANTAKIRJASSA.

Eli "jäljet johtavat..." jne!  RK



Kielessä ei ole rekursiota:

http://www.res-per-nomen.org/respernomen/pubs/ling/SEM26-PFrath-no-recursion.doc


Uusinta kotimaista antia aiheesta sisältää Osmo Eerolan väitös,vaikka vain sivuaa aihetta ja on alaltaan ATk-teknologiaa:

Prototype Modeling of Vowel Perception and Production in a Quantity Language

Abstract

Vowel prototypes refer to the psychological memory representations of the best ex-emplars of a vowel category. This thesis examines the role of prototypes in the per-ception and production of Finnish short and long vowels. A comparison with German as a linguistically different language with a similar vowel system is also made. The thesis reports on a series of four experiments in which prototypes are examined by means of behavioral psychoacoustic measurements and compared with vowel pro-ductions in quiet and in noise. In the perception experiments,Finnish and German lis-teners were asked to identify and evaluate the goodness of synthesized vowels rep-resenting either the entire vowel space or selected subareas of the space.In the pro- duction experiments, only Finnish speakers were recruited, but earlier reported pro-duction data were used for the comparison of Finnish and German.The new concept of the weighted prototype (Pω) is introduced in Study I, and its usability in contrast to absolute prototypes (Pa) and category centroids (Pc) is examined in Study IV.

Generally, the results support the finding that vowel categories are not homogenous in quality, but have an internal structure, and that there are significant quality differences between category members in terms of goodness ratings.

The results of Studies I, II and III support the identity group interpretation of the Fin-nish quantity opposition by showing that the differences in the perceived quality and in the produced short and long vowels are not demonstrably dependent on the phy-sical duration of the stimuli, although the production experiments in Studies I and III indicated that the short peripheral vowels,especially /u/ in Study III, are more centralized in the vowel space than the long vowels.

On the basis of the results of Study II, the spectral and durational local effective vo-wel indicators of the initial auditory theory of vowel perception appear to be indepen-dent of each other, thus suggesting that the auditory vowel space (AVS) is orthogo-nal in terms of the measures used in the experiment. Furthermore, the reaction time results of Study II indicate that stimulus typicality in terms of vowel quantity affects the categorization process of quality but not its end result.

The noise masking of production in Study III indicated that both of the noise types applied in the experiment, pink noise and babble noise, resulted in a prolongation of all vowel durations as reported earlier on the Lombard effect. However, the noise masking did not affect the Euclidean distances between the short and long vowels, but caused a minor systematic drift on F1–F2 space in both vowel types.The minor diffe-rences suggest that prototypes act as articulatory targets in a fire - and - forget manner without the auditory feedback affecting the immediate articulation.

The results concerning the different prototype measures indicated that the Pa and Pω differ significantly from the Pc,with the Pa being most peripheral.This gives some support to the adaptive dispersion effect in perception. The individual variations of the measures were normally distributed, with some exceptions for Pa in Finnish, and were, in terms of the coefficient of variation (CV),of the order of difference limen (DL) of frequency.These results suggest that,for normally distributed prototypes,  and es-pecially for Pω, which showed the least variation, two thirds of the subjects detected the best category representatives from a subset of stimuli that lie within the limits of DL of frequency from each other in the F1–F2 space. This finding can be regarded as a strong evidence for prototype theories, in other words, the best category representatives play a role by acting as templates in vowel perception.

The listeners were able to recognize quality differences between and within vowel categories, but the majority of them ranked the best category exemplars from a sub-set of stimuli that were hardly distinguishable from each other. There were some mi-nor differences in the vowel systems of Finnish and German as indicated by the dif-ferent prototype measures: the absolute prototypes showed the largest differences between the languages in /e/, /ø/ and /u/. This is in line with the earlier investigations on pro-duced vowels in Finnish and German. Generally, the vowel systems of these two linguistically unrelated languages were strikingly similar, especially in the light of the Pω measure.

As presented in this thesis, the prototype approach provides a feasible tool for re-search and the results lend support to the idea that speech comprehension on the auditory, phonetic, and even on phonological processing levels is based on the me-mory representations of typical speech sounds of one’s native tongue, formed during the early language acquisition phase, and these representations may be similar for the speakers and listeners of two different languages with comparable vowel systems.

Tiivistelmä

Psykologiassa prototyypillä tarkoitetaan tietyn käsiteluokan tyypillisintä edustajaa. Ih-misaivoissa prototyypit muodostuvat automaattisesti aistialtistuksen kautta ja tallen-tuvat pitkäkestoiseen muistiin. Prototyyppiteorioiden mukaan nämä luokkansa tyyppi-edustajat toimivat hahmontunnistuksessa vertailukohteina, joihin uusia havaittuja ärsykkeitä verrataan. Puheen havaitsemisessa prototyyppien oletetaan vaikuttavan äänteiden tunnistuksessa ja ohjaavan artikulaatiota puheen tuottamisessa.

Väitöstyö muodostuu neljästä alkuperäisjulkaisusta, joissa tutkitaan puhesyntetisaat-torilla tuotettujen suomen kielen vokaalien laatuerojen havaitsemista psykoakustisin kuuntelukokein sekä verrataan koehenkilöiden mitattuja havainto-prototyyppejä hei-dän tuottamiinsa vokaaleihin Julkaisussa I esitetään uusi painotetun prototyypin (Pω) käsite,jonka avulla voidaan laskea usean hyväksi arvioidun vokaaliärsykkeen joukos-ta prototyyppien formantit. Julkaisuissa I ja IV painotettua prototyyppiä verrataan absoluuttisiin prototyyppeihin (Pa) ja kategorioiden keskuksiin (Pc).

Julkaisussa IV vertailukielenä käytetään saksaa, jonka vokaalijärjestelmä on saman- kaltainen kuin suomen. Julkaisussa II tutkitaan suomen vokaalikeston ja -laadun kes-kinäisvaikutusta vokaaliparilla /y/ ja /i/ neljällä eri kestolla (50 ms, 100 ms, 250 ms ja 500 ms). Julkaisussa III tutkitaan kahden eri kohinatyypin vaikutusta suomen vokaa-lien tuottoon.Tulosten perusteella vokaalikategoriat eivät ole homogeenisia, vaan nii-den sisällä on tilastollisesti merkitseviä laatueroja eri allofonien välillä. Koehenkilöi-den tuottamat vokaalit /i/,/e/,/y/ ja /ø/ olivat F1-F2-formanttiavaruudessa lähempänä kyseisen vokaalin havaintoprototyyppiä kuin muiden vokaalien prototyyppejä, mutta tuotetut vokaalit olivat sentraalisempia kuin prototyypit. Koehenkilöiden välinen tilas-tollinen hajonta oli pienempi painotetuilla kuin absoluuttisilla prototyypeillä. Vokaalien keston ja laadun keskinäisvaikutusta ei löydetty, vaan koehenkilöt kuulivat pitkät ja ly-hyet vokaalit laadullisesti samankaltaisina,vaikka puhuttuina niiden välillä on mitattu pieniä spektraalisia eroja. Tulos tukee suomen kvantiteettiopposition identiteettiryhmätulkintaa.

Reaktioaikamittauksin osoitettiin, että vokaalin laadun tunnistamiseen kuluu enem-män aikaa, kun vokaalin kesto on tyypillisen lyhyen tai pitkän vokaalin väliltä (100 ms). Taustahälyn käyttö sai aikaan Lombard-ilmiön,mutta ei muuten vaikuttanut koe-henkilöiden tuottamien lyhyiden ja pitkien vokaalien spektrirakenteisiin. Tästä päätel-tiin, että havaintoprototyypit toimivat tuottoa ohjaavina malleina hälystä huolimatta.

Suomen ja saksan vokaalijärjestelmät osoittautuivat prototyyppien perusteella sa-mankaltaisiksi ja useimmilla vokaaleilla prototyyppien erot kielten välillä eivät olleet kuultavissa. Prototyypit Pa ja Pω erosivat tilastollisesti merkitsevästi Pc:stä ja Pω oli sentraalisempi kuin Pa. Pω:n keskihajonta oli lähellä psykoakustista formanttitaa-juuksien erojen havaintokynnystä (DL), minkä perusteella voidaan päätellä, että painotetut prototyypit toimivat äänteiden havaitsemisen referenssinä

1. Introduction

1.1. Origin of speech

Speech is our species-specific,innate and ancient way to communicate. Speech is much older than writing, and proto-speech may be even older than conscious thin- king, the prerequisite for the development of symbol function and language (Hackett 1969; Damasio 2000;Aaltonen 2012).When exactly speech emerged in human evo-lution, is and may remain unresolved due to the lack of direct evidence (Johansson 2005; p. 85). Fossils and other archaeological findings (Lieberman 1987; Lieberman et al.1992;Lieberman 2000), the spread, development and relations of contemporary languages and speech sounds (Nichols 1998;Perreault & Mathew 2012), the proces-ses of first and secondary language acquisition (Houston &Jusczyk 2003; Kuhl 2004; Garcia-Sierra et al.2011), auditory neuroethology (Suga 2006), and evolutionary ge-netics (Fisher et al.1998;Lai et al.2001) have deepened our understanding about the origin of speech (Berwick et al.2013).However,the estimated time span for the emer- gence of speech is wide, 50000 – 300 000 years ago. This is much earlier than the known emergence of transcription of speech to literal signs 4000-2500 B.C.E. (Iivo-nen 2009), but much later than the known ge-nealogy of hominids, starting 2.5 mil-lion years ago. Whether the ability to speak appeared as a sudden stage in evolution or over the course of gradual development, is under debate (Ulbaek 1998). The best known proponent of the biological evolution theory is Steven Pinker, who argues that language and grammatical reasoning result from Darwinian evolution (Pinker&Bloom 1992; Pinker 2010), i.e., they are necessary adaptations for survival, similar to the echolocalization in bats (Suga 1988).

Noam Chomsky originally claimed that humans have a genetically programmed uni-versal grammar (UG),that is, an innate language instinct that makes language acqui-sition possible, and that the UG appeared through a mutation about 100000 years ago. It represents the specific brain structures,often called the language module (Fo- dor 1983) or language faculty, that can resolve the general rules of other humans’ speech and utilize recursion in doing so (Hauser et al.2002;Chomsky 2004).

Chomsky developed his theories on natural and formal languages originally in the 1950s, and since then revised them several times because empirical research has shown some of his original ideas inaccurate or false. For example, Chomsky empha-sized the importance of recursion as a language feature that cannot be learned with-out an innate grammar.However,it has been argued that a connectionist network can ‘learn’ recursion to the degree 1 needed for human language processing (Johansson 2006).

The opponents of the sudden appearance theory maintain that speech, as an extre-mely complicated phenomenon,has evolved and gradually developed during the his- tory of thousands of generations to the current variety of about 7000 languages (Falk 2004;Masataka 2007;Botha 2008).Scholars in this camp emphasize the role of social interaction (Knight & Power 2012) and slow cultural evolution in language de-velopment (Tomasello 1996),and, in principle, do not presume a human language in- stinct or organ, but rather regard the connectionist plasticity of brain as the enabler of speech and language. They view speech as a strongly social phenomenon, e.g., speech ability does not develop for children who have grown up in entire isolation from other human beings, and a single deaf child does not develop a sign language but only a few distinct beckons. History knows a few documented feral child cases, with Victor of Aveyron, found in a forest in France in 1798, and Genie, found in Los Angeles in 1970 after about 13 years of abuse and isolation,being perhaps the most famous.Victor’s story was made widely known by a movie in 1970 (L'Enfant sauvage (The Wild Boy) 1970). The rehabilitation of Ge-nie was studied and documented by Curtiss (Curtiss 1977). Recent research on a genetic mutation in the FOXP2 trans-scription factor (Fisher et al.1998; Lai et al. 2001) has shed light on the biological ba-sis of speech. The mutation in FOXP2 re-sulted in changes in the proteins contribu-ting to brain plasticity and the development of speech organs that strongly favored the evolution of speech ability. This mutation has been timed to have taken place around 100000 years ago in the human hominid lineage. Interestingly, this finding from genetics research can be interpreted to support both the sudden appearance and continuous development theories of language evolution: the gene mutation im-proved the basic apparatus needed for speech communication which facilitated the fast evolution of language since spoken language communication formed a strong competitive advantage in the battle of existence.

1.2. From code units to meanings

In the communication system theory, when resolving information of an encoded and modulated message,a demodulator is first needed to separate the code chain from the carrier,then a code book to segregate or decode the elementary units,and finally, a lexicon for mapping the permitted combinations of elementary units to a meaning-ful message (Carlson 1986; p. 559). This information processing view has influenced many theories of human speech communication (Klatt 1979; McClelland & Elman 1986) arguing that, on the abstract level, the same phases are applicable in the message encoding and decoding of speech: Glottal excitation or airflow noise serve as the carrier, which is modulated by the articulators under the control of cerebral commands that are mediated by facial and tongue nerves. The resulting acoustic pressure fluctuations  bear all the

2.2. Modeling speech production

Speech perception and production are closely related counterparts that should be studied in parallel for the better understanding of spoken language processing (Blumstein & Stevens 1979; Nearey 1992; Rosner & Pickering 1994; Eerola et al. 2002; Ru et al. 2003; Jacquemot et al.2007). Language acquisition takes place via exposure to one’s native tongue (or parents’ tongues in bi- and multilingual children) and through imitations 14, first by babbling and gradually by forming words and ex-pressions of thoughts (Cheour-Luhtanen M.et al.1995;Cheour et al.2002;Kuhl 2004). The correct pronunciation of a foreign language can only be learned by listening and emulating the reference utterances of speakers of that language.

Congenital deafness prevents proper learning of spoken language in childhood, whereas later deafness does not prevent speaking although it may interfere. Deaf children start babbling as the normally hearing do,but without the necessary auditory feedback, they soon cease to mimic the caretaker’s speech (Milner 1999). Children with cochlear implants develop better speaking skills if the operation is done during the first 12 months (Miyamoto et al. 2008). These observations sug-gest that, for ac-quiring a spoken language, the necessary innate ability is not suf-ficient, but proper reference models and their imitation are equally essential.

Elements of speech and language from phonemes to syntax are learned in a social process by listening and by speaking. A theoretical basis and experimental evidence for the importance of mimicking can be provided by the finding of mirror neurons in monkey’s ventral premotor cortex area F5, which has a possible homology to the Broca’s area of human brain (Rizzolatti et al.1996; Kohler et al. 2002; Ferrari et al. 2003).

Mirror neurons discharge similarly regardless of whether the monkey performs an action or observes another monkey to perform a similar action. It has been debated whether mirror neurons exist in human brain, and some evidence for their existence has been found in fMRI studies (Chong et al. 2008; Kilner et al. 2009; Heyes 2010). The mirror neuron system is suggested to be either an adaptation to action under-standing, or a part of neuron network behind sensory-motor associative learning (Heyes 2010). In the human speech organ, there are six articulators that can be acti-vely manipulated for producing sounds with distinctive acoustic attributes: the vocal folds, pharynx, soft  palate, tongue body, tongue blade and lips. In addition, the slac-kening or stiffening of glottis can alter the acoustic output (Stevens 2000; p.249).The acoustics of human speech production is generally modeled by means of source-fil-ter models (Fant 1960; Fant et al.1985;Veldhuis 1998;Stevens 2000) (Figure 1) or articulatory models (Goldstein 1980; Maeda 1990; Perkell et al.2000) (Figure 5), and since the 1960s, synthetic speech has been produced on the basis of these models (Karjalainen 1978; Klatt 1980; Laine 1989; Alku et al. 1999; Dang & Honda 2002). In the source-filter model of vowel production, the imaginary parts of the poles on the s- plane 15 of the vocal tract transfer function represent the natural frequencies (for-mants) of the tract, and the real parts give the decay of the oscillations at the natural frequency (see Chapter 2.3 Vowels).

When speech production is modeled in its entirety, the view has to be widened from the plain acoustic or articulatory domain to the neural control of speech (for a review see e.g. (Laaksonen 2006)).

Chomsky nojaa samoihin "auktoritteiihin" kuin NATOn pahimmat haistapaskantieteiloijät

Global Struggles for Dominance: Noam Chomsky on ISIS, NATO and Russia

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 00:00 By C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout | Interview

Noam Chomsky. (Photo: Andrew Rusk)

Noam Chomsky. (Photo: Andrew Rusk)

Stories like this can only be published because of readers like you. Show your support for independent journalism by making a small tax-deductible donation today!

Has ISIS taken a foothold inside Europe? Is Erdogan's Turkey in the process of ma-king a huge geopolitical shift that will change the balance of power in one of the most volatile regions if the world? Are NATO and the US moving toward peace or war with Russia? In this latest exclusive interview for Truthout, Noam Chomsky offers unique insights on these issues, challenging prevailing narratives about what is happening around the world.

C.J. Polychroniou: The rise of ISIS (also known as Daesh or ISIL) is a direct consequence of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq and represents today, by far, the most brutal and dangerous terrorist organization we have seen in recent memory. It also appears that its tentacles have reached be-yond the "black holes" created by the United States in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan and have now taken hold inside Europe, a fact acknowledged recently by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In fact, it has been estimated that attacks organized or inspired by ISIS have taken place every 48 hours in cities outside the above-mentioned countries since early June 2016. Why have countries like Germany and France become the targets of ISIS?

Noam Chomsky: I think we have to be cautious in interpreting ISIS claims of res-ponsibility for terrorist attacks. Take the worst of the recent ones,in Nice. It was dis-cussed by Akbar Ahmed, one of the most careful and discerning analysts of radical Islam. He concludes from the available evidence that the perpetrator, Mohamed La-houaiej Bouhlel, was probably "not a devout Muslim. He had a criminal record, drank alcohol, ate pork, did drugs, did not fast, pray or regularly attend a mosque and was not religious in any way. He was cruel to his wife, who left him. This is not what many Muslims would typically consider reflective of their faith, particularly those who consi-der themselves religiously devout".ISIS did (belatedly) "take credit" for the attack, as they routinely do, whatever the facts, but Ahmed regards the claim as highly dubious in this case. On this and similar attcks,he concludes that "the reality is that while ISIS may influence these Muslims in a general way, their animus is coming from their po-sition as unwanted immigrants in Europe especially in France,where they are still not treated French, even if they are born there. The community as a whole has a dispro-portionate population of unemployed youth with poor education and housing and is constantly the butt of cultural humiliation. It is not an integrated community, barring some honorable exceptions.From it come the young men like Lahouaiej Bouhlel. The pattern of [the] petty criminal may be observed in the other recent terrorist attacks in Europe, including those in Paris and Brussels."

Ahmed's analysis corresponds closely to that of others who have done extensive in-vestigation of recruits to ISIS, notably Scott Atran and his research team. And it should, I think, be taken seriously,along with his prescriptions,which also are close to those of other knowledgeable analysts: to "provide the Muslim community educatio-nal and employment opportunities,youth programs,and promote acceptance,diversity and understanding.There is much that governments can do to provide language, cul-tural and religious training for the community,which will help resolve, for example, the problem of foreign imams having difficulty transferring their roles of leadership into local society."

Merely to take one illustration of the problem to be faced,Atran points out that "only 7 to 8 percent of France's population is Muslim, whereas 60 to 70 percent of France's prison population is Muslim".It's also worth taking note of a recent National Research Council report, which found that "with respect to political context, terrorism and its supporting audiences appear to be fostered by policies of extreme political repression and discouraged by policies of incorporating both dissident and moderate groups responsibly into civil society and the political process."

It's easy to say, "Let's strike back with violence" - police repression,carpet-bomb them to oblivion (Ted Cruz),etc. - very much what al-Qaeda and ISIS have hoped for, and very likely to intensify the problems, as, indeed, has been happening until now.

What is ISIS's aim, when targeting innocent civilians, such as the attack on the seaside town of Nice in France in which 84 people were killed?

As I mentioned, we should, I think,be cautious about the claims and charges of ISIS initiative, or even involvement.But when they are involved in such atrocities, the stra-tegy is clear enough. Careful and expert analysts of ISIS and violent insurgencies (Scott Atran, William Polk and others) generally tend to take ISIS at its word.

Sometimes they cite the "playbook" in which the core strategy used by ISIS is laid out, written a decade ago by the Mesopotamian wing of the al-Qaeda affiliate that morphed into ISIS. Here are the first two axioms (quoting an article by Atran):

[Axiom 1:] Hit soft targets:'Diversify and widen the vexation strikes against the Crusader-Zionist enemy in every place in the Islamic world, and even outside of it if possible, so as to disperse the efforts of the alliance of the enemy and thus drain it to the greatest extent possible.'


[Axiom 2:] Strike when potential victims have their guard down to maximise fear in general populations and drain their economies: 'If a tourist resort that the Crusa-ders patronise... is hit, all of the tourist resorts in all of the states of the world will have to be secured by the work of additional forces, which are double the ordinary amount, and a huge increase in spending.'

And the strategy has been quite successful,both in spreading terrorism and imposing great costs on the "Crusaders" with slight expenditure.

It has been reported that tourists in France will be protected by armed forces and soldiers at holiday sites, including beaches. How much of this develop-ment is linked to the refugee crisis in Europe, where millions have been arriving in the last couple of years from war-torn regions around the world?

Hard to judge. The crimes in France have not been traced to recent refugees, as far as I have seen.Rather,it seems to be more like the Lahouaiej Bouhlel case.But there is great fear of refugees,far beyond any evidence relating them to crime. Much the same appears to be true in the US,where Trump-style rhetoric about Mexico sending criminals and rapists doubtless frightens people, even though the limited statistical evidence indicates that "first-generation immigrants are predisposed to lower crime rates than native-born Americans," as reported by Michelle Ye Hee Lee in The Washington Post.

To what extent would you say that Brexit was being driven by xenophobia and the massive inflow of immigrants into Europe?

There has been plenty of reporting giving that impression, but I haven't seen any hard data. And it's worth recalling that the inflow of immigrants is from the EU, not those fleeing from conflict. It's also worth recalling that Britain has had a non-trivial role in generating refugees.The invasion of Iraq,to give one example.Many others, if we consider greater historical depth. The burden of dealing with the consequences of US-UK crimes falls mainly on countries that had no responsibility for them, like Lebanon, where about 40 percent of the population are estimated to be refugees.

Are the US and the major western powers really involved in a war against ISIS? This would seem doubtful to an outside observer, given the growing influence of ISIS and the continuing ability of the organization to recruit soldiers for its cause from inside Europe.

Speculations to that effect are rampant in the Middle East, but I don't think they have any credibility. The US is powerful, but not all-powerful. There is a tendency to attri-bute everything that happens in the world to the CIA or some diabolical Western plan. There is plenty to condemn, sharply. And the US is indeed powerful. But it's nothing like what is often believed.

There seems to be a geopolitical shift underway in Turkey's regional political role, which may have been the ultimate cause behind the failed coup of July 2016. Do you detect such a shift under way?

There certainly has been a shift in regional policy from former [Turkish Prime Minis-ter] Davutoğlu's "Zero Problems Policy," but that's because problems abound. The goal of becoming a regional power, sometimes described as neo-Ottoman, seems to be continuing, if not accelerating. Relations with the West are becoming more tense as Erdogan's government continues its strong drift towards authoritarian rule, with quite extreme repressive measures. That naturally impels Turkey to seek alliances elsewhere, particularly [with] Russia. Erdogan's first post-coup visit was to Moscow, in order to restore "the Moscow-Ankara friendship axis" (in his words) to what it was before Turkey shot down a Russian jet in November 2015 when it allegedly passed across the Turkish border for a few seconds while on a bombing mission in Syria.

Very unfortunately, there is very little Western opposition to Erdogan's violent and vi-cious escalation of atrocities against the Kurdish population in the Southeast, which some observers now describe as approaching the horrors of the 1990s. As for the coup, its background remains obscure, for the time being. I don't know of evidence that shifts in regional policy played a role.

The coup against Erdogan ensured the consolidation of a highly authorita-rian regime in Turkey: Erdogan arrested thousands of people and closed down media outlets, schools and universities following the coup. The effects of the coup may in fact, even strengthen the role of the military in political af- fairs as it will come under the direct control of the president himself, a move that Erdogan has already initiated. How will this affect Turkey's relations with the US and European powers, given the alleged concerns of the latter about human rights and democracy inside Turkey and about Erdogan's pursuit of closer ties with Putin?

The correct word is "alleged".During the 1990s,the Turkish government was carrying out horrifying atrocities, targeting its Kurdish population - tens of thousands killed, thousands of villages and towns destroyed, hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) driven from their homes,every imaginable form of torture. Eighty percent of the arms were coming from Washington, increasing as atrocities increased. In the single year, 1997, when atrocities were peaking, Clinton sent more arms than the sum total [sent to Turkey] throughout the entire post-war era until the onset of the counterinsurgen-cy campaign. The media virtually ignored all of this.The [New York] Times has a bu-reau in Ankara,but it reported almost nothing.The facts were,of course, widely known in Turkey - and elsewhere, to those who took the trouble to look. Now that atrocities are peaking again, as I mentioned, the West prefers to look elsewhere.

Nevertheless, relations between Erdogan's regime and the West are becoming more tense and there is great anger against the West among Erdogan supporters be-cause of Western attitudes toward the coup (mildly critical, but not enough for the re-gime) and toward the increased authoritarianism and sharp repression (mild criti-cism, but too much for the regime). In fact, it is widely believed that the US initiated the coup.

The US is also condemned for asking for evidence before extraditing Gulen, who Er-dogan blames for the coup.Not a little irony here.One may recall that the US bombed Afghanistan because the Taliban refused to turn Osama bin Laden over without evi-dence.Or take the case of [Emmanuel "Toto"] Constant,the leader of the terrorist force FRAPH [Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti] that ran wild in Haiti under the military dictatorship of the early '90s. When the junta was overthrown by a Marine invasion,he escaped to New York, where he was living comfortably.Haiti wan- ted him extradited and had more than enough evidence. But Clinton refused, very likely because he would have exposed Clinton's ties to the murderous military junta.

The recent migration deal between Turkey and the EU seems to be falling apart, with Erdogan having gone so far as to say publicly that "European lea-ders are not being honest." What could be the consequences for Turkey-EU relations, and for the refugees themselves, if the deal were to fall apart?

Basically, Europe bribed Turkey to keep the miserable refugees -- many fleeing from crimes for which the West bears no slight responsibility -- from reaching Europe. It is similar to Obama's efforts to enlist Mexican support in keeping Central American re-fugees - often very definitely victims of US policies, including those of the Obama ad-ministration - from reaching the US border. Morally grotesque,but better than letting them drown in the Mediterranean. The deterioration of relations will probably make their travail even worse.

NATO, still a US-dominated military alliance, has increased its presence in Eastern Europe lately, as it is bent on stopping Russia's revival by creating divisions between Europe and Russia.Is the US looking for a military conflict with Russia, or are such moves driven by the need to keep the military-industrial complex intact in a post-Cold War world?

NATO is surely a US-dominated military alliance.As the USSR collapsed, Russia's Mikhail Gorbachev proposed a continent-wide security system, which the US rejec-ted, insisting on preserving NATO -- and expanding it. Gorbachev agreed to allow a unified Germany to join NATO, a remarkable concession in the light of history. There was, however,a quid pro quo:that NATO not expand "one inch to the East", meaning to East Germany. That was promised by President Bush I and Secretary of State James Baker, but not on paper;it was a verbal commitment,and the US later claimed that [that] means it was not binding.

Careful archival research by Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson, published last spring in the prestigious Harvard-MIT journal International Security,reveals very plausibly that this was intentional deceit, a very significant discovery that substantially resolves, I think, scholarly dispute about the matter.NATO did expand to East Germany; in later years to the Russian border. Those plans were sharply condemned by George Ken-nan and other highly respected commentators because they were very likely to lead to a new Cold War, as Russia naturally felt threatened. The threat became more severe when NATO invited Ukraine to join in 2008 and 2013. As Western analysts recognize, that extends the threat to the core of Russian strategic concerns, a matter discussed, for example, by John Mearsheimer in the lead article in the major establishment journal, Foreign Affairs.

However, I do not think the goal is to stop Russia's revival or to keep the military-industrial complex intact. And the US certainly doesn't want a military conflict, which would destroy both sides (and the world). Rather,I think it's the normal effort of a great power to extend its global dominance. But it does increase the threat of war, if only by accident, as Kennan and others presciently warned.

In your view, does a nuclear war between the US and Russia remain a very real possibility in today's world?

A very real possibility,and in fact,an increasing one. That's not just my judgment. It's also the judgment of the experts who set the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of Ato-mic Scientists; of former Defense Secretary William Perry, one of the most experi-enced and respected experts on these matters;and of numerous others who are by no means scaremongers. The record of near accidents, which could have been ter-minal,is shocking,not to speak of very dangerous adventurism.It is almost miraculous that we have survived the nuclear weapons era,and playing with fire is irresponsible in the extreme. In fact, these weapons should be removed from the Earth, as even many of the most conservative analysts recognize - Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and others.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.



C.J. Polychroniou

C.J. Polychroniou is a political economist/political scientist who has taught and worked in universities and research centers in Europe and the United States. His main research interests are in European economic integration, globalization,the poli- tical economy of the United States and the deconstruction of neoliberalism's politico-economic project. He is a regular contributor to Truthout as well as a member of Truthout's Public Intellectual Project.He has published several books and his articles have appeared in a variety of journals, magazines, newspapers and popular news websites. Many of his publications have been translated into several foreign langua-ges, including Croatian, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.



Mitä nimi Chomsky mahtaisi tarkoittaa?


PS: Nimi Chomsky on puolaa. Mitähän tuo mahtaisi tarkoittaa? Siihen puolalaiset eivät osaa tai halua vastata, eivätkä he sitä todennökäistä syvempää etymologiaa tiedäkään. (Eikä tämä suomalsillekaan varsisesti mikään suurkunnia ole...

http://hameemmias.vuodatus.net/lue/2012/05/suomen-sanat-fraenkelin-liettuan-etymologisessa-sanakirjassa

" Lithuanian: sóma = eräs puhallinsoitin

Etymology: (Nom. pl. sómos), im Wortindex zu Juškevič 'Blasinstrument = puhallin- soitin', 'irgendein Musikinstrument, etwa Zimbeln?'.

Oft bei Juškevič; dort auch das Verbum somúoti (-úoju, -avaũ) '(weltliche Lieder) singen' = laulaa maailmallisia lauluja (”suometa”...?), (im Volkslied) '(mit summender Stimme) singen = laulaa hyräilevällä äänellä'.

Lit. sóma (žem.) 'wer umherschleicht wie ein Narr = outo hiippailija/pelle, wer schwankend geht = huojuen kävelevä (laivaihmiset kävelivät siihen aikaan polvet koukussa huojuen myös maalla),Trottel = pölkkypää,lönkyttäjä, Einfaltspinsel = ”yksinkertainen tervapensseli”',
sominė'ti 'ohne Ziel herumlaufen = kierrellä ilman päämäärää, wie betäubt gehen = kulkea kuin huumattuna, kuurona',
sõmti...sõmsta...sõmo 'nicht recht bei Sinnen sein, den Kopf verlieren, kopflos werden' = olla päästään vialla, seota.
Unklar; gehört es etwa irgendwie zu *sōmas (ostseefinn. Stammesname) 'finne' (s. darüber s.v. sómenis)?

(Suomalainen on kuuriksi *somis, *some, ja ”suomalaisen kaltainen” = *someris, *somere...
Noiden vitsien idea on ilmeisesti, että vaatimattomassa asemassa olleista kuurilais-peräisistä henkilöistä käytettiin haukkumanimeä ”suomalainen”.(Liiviläiset olivat kun- nioitettuja itsenäisiä ihmisiä, kuten seelitkin,arvostettujen ei-feodaaliheimojen jäse-niä.) Puolassa on yhä tasan samaa perua oleva haukkumasna ”cham” (saks./ven. ich-äänne alussa) liettualaisista (ja latvialaisista).

Lithuanian: sómenis = luoteistuuli, ”tuuli Suomesta”

Etymology: 'Nordwestwind' (aus Palanga, Bez. Kretinga), sómenis dass. (Drawöhnen, Kurisches Haff), sóminis,

lett. sāmenis 'Nord(west) wind = tuuli SAAMEsta (kirjaimellisesti)'.

Darüber zuletzt Nieminen FUF 22,59 f. Nach ihm aus ur finn. *sōmas (ostsee finn. Stammesname) 'finne' durch kurische Vermittlung in das Lit.bzw.Lett. entlehnt. Būga a.a.O. nimmt gleichfalls eine Entlehnung aus dem Finn. an, glaubt aber für dieses o eine urspr.Vokalisierung mit *ā ansetzen zu sollen,weil finn.ō (oo) nicht zu lit.o bzw. lett. ā führen könne.

Endzelin bei M.-Endz. vermutet, dass lett. sāms = saamelainen,auf liv. Sārmā (est. Sāremā) 'Oesel = Saarenmaa' mit Schwund des r zurückgeht. Sanasta ”saari” kts. ”Sala” "


Asiaan liittyviä puheenvuorja poistetulta Vapaa-ajattelijoiden palstalta:

Todella mielenkiintoinen kielijuttu!
Kirjoitti: RK (IP rekisteröity)
Päiväys: 21. joulukuuta 2010 07.55


kornelius kirjoitti:
-------------------------------------------------------
> kornelius kirjoitti:
> --------------------------------------------------
> > Chomskyn tiliin laitettu näkemys olisi minustakin aivan liian vahva kanta tässä
> > asiassa ja olen kyllä kallellani neurokonstruktivismiin

> Lehdessä oli muuten ihan kiintoisa "antichomskylainen" artikkeli Piraha-nimisestä
> kielestä (tosin alkuperäinen  artikkeli jo 2005), joka ei oikein tunnu sopivan
> tuohon universaaliin kielioppiin. Asiasta voi lukea netistä, 

> Daniel Everett;"Cultural Constraints on Grammar and Cognition in Pirahã"PDF.txt
> [209.85.129.132] Kyseinen on saanut kuulemma monet universalistit
> puolustuskannalle. Hauskana yksityiskohtana Everett ilmeisesti sanoo ryhtyneensä
> ateistiksi tutustuttuaan Pirahojen totuuskäsitykseen

Harvinaisen mielenkiintoinen juttu. Tämä liittyy ns. Sapirin-Whorffin teoriaan, jossa jonkin tietyn kielen ominaisuuksilla nähdään olevan suuri vaikutus sen äidinkielisten ja varsinkin ainoana kielenään puhujien toimintaan ja psyykeen.

[www.angelfire.com]

Tuo teoria kerran muka "kumottiin täysin" värinäön avulla 1930-luvulla,jossa kaikissa kielissä (paitsi nyt sitten tuossa pirahassa,joka on vanhan ison kielikunnan viimeinen kieli) oli mustan ja valkoisen lisäksi kolme "pääväriä", jotka sitten kyllä vaihtelivat, kui-tenkin siten, että "sininen", "punainen" ja "keltainen" ovat aina "eri värejä". Vihreää, oranssia ja violettiia sovitettiin siten jompaan kumpaan suuntaan, mutta ei yhtä naa-puria enempää saman päävärin suuntaan. Eli jos vihreää liitetään keltaiseen (mm. balttikielet), niin oranssia liitetään punaiseen ja violettia siniseen ja jos vihreää siniseen (japani), niin oranssia keltaiseen ja violettia punaiseen.

Muuan tuntematon Ragnar Granit Helsingin yliopistosta, joka tutki elektrodineuloilla näköhermoa, sitten kuitenkin kaatoi sen "VASTATODISTUKSEN" "syntymäväritie-dosta", ja osoitti noille kullekin päävärille olevan "eri aistin" silmässä.

[keskustelu.skepsis.fi]

[fi.wikipedia.org]

" Peter Gordonin viimeaikainen tutkimus tarkastelee Brasilian Pirahã-heimon kieltä. Gordonin mukaan heimon käyttämä kieli sisältää vain kolme numeraalia: yksi, kaksi ja monta.Gordon osoitti koesarjan avulla,että heimon jäsenillä on vaikeuksia kuvailla kolmea suurempia numeroita (Gordon,2004).Seikkojen kausaalinen suhde ei kuiten-kaan ole selkeä. Kriitikot ovat esittäneet, että jos testin kohteet eivät jostakin syystä pysty laskemaan kolmea suurempia numeroita (ehkä koska he ovat vaeltavia met-sästäjäkeräilijöitä ilman mitään laskettavaa ja täten ei syytä harjoitellakaan laskemis- ta), ei voida olettaa,että kielessä olisi sanoja suuremmille numeroille. Toisin sanoen, tarpeettomuus selittää sekä puuttuvan laskutaidon että vastaavan sanaston puutteen. "

[de.wikipedia.org]

Kaikki tällaiset aina uutisoidaan mm. liettukasi ja latviaksi, mutta ei ikinä suomeksi...

"Heimo, joka ei tarvitse numeroita":

[gelzinis.lt]


Kunnon tutkimus pitkästä aikaa!

Kirjoitti: RK (IP rekisteröity)
Päiväys: 1. toukokuuta 2011 21.56

zaq kirjoitti:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Vielä yksi lisää. Ilmeisesti ihan ehdollistumismekanismin mukainen juttu vai
> kuinka RK? (11.04.2011 klo 10.46)


> Tuntoaistin ja näön yhdistäminen täytyy oppia

> Näköaistin kautta tulevan informaation yhdistäminen tuntoaistin kautta saatuun
> vaatii oppimista,osoittaa Intiassa tehty tutkimus. Koe tehtiin synnynnäisen kaihin
> vuoksi sokeutuneilla nuorilla ihmisillä, joille näkökyky palautettiin korvaamalla
> himmentynyt silmän linssi keinotekoisella, tavallisen kaihileikkauksen tapaan.

> Koehenkilöt testattiin mahdollisimman pian leikkauksen jälkeen, mikä käytännössä
> tarkoitti kaksi vuorokautta operaation jälkeen. Tuolloin he tunnistivat sekä
> näkemänsä kappaleetenintään että tunnustelemansa

> kappaleet erittäin hyvin, mutta aistien välinen tunnistus ei   onnistunut.

> Tunnistus oli sattuman tasoa eli nähtyä kappaletta ei pystytty yhdistämään
> tunnusteltuun. Kolmekoehenkilöä viidestä testattiin viikkoa myöhemmin ja silloin
> tuntoaistin ja näköaistin kautta saadun tiedon yhdistäminen toimi huomattavasti
> paremmin. Leikatut potilaat eivät harjoitelleet tällä välillä erikseen vaan elivät >normaaliympäristössä.

> Se riitti kehittämään aistien välistä yhteistyötä, vaikka koehenkilöt olivat jo
> näköaistin kehittymisen kannalta herkimmän vaiheen ohittaneet. Tämä vaihe on
> alle vuoden ikäisenä, kun koehenkilöt olivat 8-18-vuotiaita.
 
> Kehittyneissä maissa synnynnäisen kaihin kaltaiset, korjattavissa olevat vammat
> hoidetaan mahdollisimman nopeasti, jotta näkökyky kehittyy normaalisti.
> Kehitysmaissa niitä ei läheskään aina korjata ja ihmiset sokeutuvat pysyvästi
> turhaan. Tutkimus tehtiin kansainvälisen kehityshankkeen puitteissa, jossa >palautetaan näkökyky ihmisille, joilla se on korjattavissa.

> Eri aistien kautta tulevien tietojen yhdistäminen kiinnostaa nykyisin aivotutkijoita
> mutta filosofit ovat pohtineet kysymystä jo vuosisatoja sitten. Näkönsä saaneen
> ihmisen kykyä tunnistaa välittömästi esineitä,jotka hän on sokeana tuntenut vain
> tuntoaistillaan, pohti mm. filosofi Molyneux jonka nimellä tämä kysymys tunnetaan.

> Vastaus on ilmeisesti kielteinen:aistien välillä ei ole aivoissa valmiiksi yhteyttä, joka
>loisi toisen aistin puolelle mallin yhden aistin saadusta tiedosta.Yhteys on opittava >käytännössä.

> (Yle tiede, Nature Neuroscience)

No TÄSSÄ oli kerrankin kunnon tutkimus, ja HYVÄSTÄ tiedemaasta!

[www.nature.com]

" The newly-sighted fail to match seen with felt

Richard Held 1, Yuri Ostrovsky 1, Beatrice deGelder 2, Tapan Gandhi 3 Suma Ganesh 4, Umang Mathur 4, Pawan Sinha 1

1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
2 Tilburg University, The Netherlands
3 Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi
4 Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi

Participants and Procedures: Supplementary Material

Participants: Five subjects recruited from Project Prakash proved appropriate for our study. Subjects YS (M,age:8 years), BG (M,age:17 years), SK (M,age:12 years) and PS (M,age:14 years) presented with dense congenital bilateral cataracts.Subject PK (F, age: 16 years) presented with bilateral congenital corneal opacities. Subjects re-ceived a comprehensive ophthalmological examination before and after treatment. Prior to treatment, subjects were able only to discriminate between light and dark (diagnosis: PL), with subjects BG and PK additionally able to determine the direction of a bright light (PL/PR).

Given their profound occlusive pathologies,none of the subjects were able to perform form discrimination to attempt any of our tests of higher level visual function.YS, BG, SK and PS underwent cataract removal surgery and an intraocular lens (IOL) im-plant. PK was provided with a corneal transplant. Post-treatment, subjects YS, BG, SK, PS and PK achieved resolution-acuities for near viewing of 0.24°,0.36°, 0.24°, 0.54° and 0.24° of visual angle respectively (assessed using Landolt C patterns; subjects indicated the gap by pointing to the gap directly or to the direction of the gap relative to the C).

All subjects were drawn from rural areas in north India. Although their parents no-ticed their visual impairments at birth (both via the lack of visually directed orienting behaviors as well as the manifest whiteness of the pupils or corneas), none of the children received treatment because medical facilities were not available locally and the families could not afford care in city hospitals. They were identified as candidates for treatment during outreach sessions for pediatric ophthalmic screening.

The field-based screening was followed by a thorough ophthalmic examination in the Shroff Charity Eye Hospital.Using direct and indirect ophthalmoscopes,slit lamps and B-scan ultrasonography, this examination assessed ocular pathologies in anterior and posterior eye segments and was undertaken in conjunction with standard tests of visual function using Lea charts. For the cases described here, the pathology was confined to either the lens (YS, BG, SK and PS) or the cornea (PK) and bilaterally obviated all form vision.

Stimuli:Our stimulus set comprised twenty pairs of simple three-dimensional forms drawn from a children’s shape set. The forms were large (ranging from 6 to 20 de-grees of visual angle at a viewing distance of 30 cm) so as to sidestep any acuity limitations of the subjects. They were presented on a plain white background in order to avoid any difficulties in figure-ground segmentation.With these choices for Nature Neuroscience:doi:10.1038/nn. 2795 the stimulus set and presentation, our participants had little trouble locating and comparing these simple objects.

Procedure:

Subjects were initially tested as soon as practical after surgery of the first eye (in all cases, within 48 hours of treatment). Prior to the first experiment, an eye-patch (ac-cording to standard clinical procedure) was worn continuously except for occasional cleaning and administration of medication via eye drops.

The eye patch was removed for the duration of the experiment and for a small period of time prior to allow for the eye to adjust to light. Eye patches were no longer worn or required after the first 2 days post-surgery.

Subjects were seated in front of a table covered with a white, featureless sheet. For visual presentation of an object,the object was placed on the table approximately 12 inches away from the eyes, although subjects were free to adjust their distance or viewpoint while remaining seated in front of the presentation table. The object itself remained stationary throughout the visual presentation. Subjects were not allowed to touch the object while viewing it. For tactile object presentation,the object was placed in the subject’s hands underneath the table where neither the hands nor the object were visible to the subject; in addition, subjects were instructed to close their eyes. No feedback was provided to the subjects. Each of the three conditions entailed 20 trials, where each pair of stimuli was used only once for each condition.The choice of match and sample was randomized for each subject. The order of presentations within each conditionwas randomized across subjects.

Testing conditions followed the order:

(1) haptic stimulus presentation followed by haptic identification, which provided a baseline for general performance;

(2) haptic stimulus followed by visual identification (the primary test condition);

(3) visual stimulus followed by visual identification. The third condition provided a baseline and control for general visual performance in order to preclude the role of acuity improvement or contrast sensitivity adjustment following surgery as an expla-nation for task performance improvement. The visual-visual condition was performed following the other conditions so that no object-specific learning could occur during the session. No feedback was provided to the subjects during testing.

Suomalaisia chomskistiääliöitä: http://www.lausti.com/articles/kolumnit/stalin.html

http://www.lausti.com/articles/society/communism.html


Chomsky leninismistä:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxhT9EVj9Kk



Judy Kegl jatkaa surullista tietään...

http://nassauweekly.com/birth-language-interview-judy-kegl/



The Birth of a Language: An Interview with Judy Kegl

by Jennie Yang on


Judy Kegl is a Professor of Linguistics and the Director of the Signed Language La-boratory at the University of Southern Maine. She received a B.A. in Anthropology and an M.A. in Linguistics at Brown in 1975, as well as a Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT in 1985 and has taught at many universities, including Princeton, Hampshire, Swarth-more, and Northeastern. She has published widely on linguistics topics, in-cluding syntax and spoken and signed languages, and gained notoriety for her study of Nicaraguan Sign Language in the 1980s.

On September 20, 2017, Kegl delivered two lectures at Princeton on language ins-tincts and sign language. I was able to interview her in East Pyne before her second talk. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.


The-Birth-of-a-Language-Nora-Wildberg.jp


Jennie Yang: Did you know you wanted to study linguistics when you went to MIT?

Judy Kegl: I knew when I went to MIT, but it was when I was at Brown that I made the switch into linguistics.I always knew I liked working in languages, but when I went to Brown,I was premed. I didn’t like the competitiveness; I didn’t like the lack of colle-giality.Everybody was out to do well themselves.And so I gravitated from there to an-thropology, and I had an anthropological linguist as my adviser. I loved working with him, but he could see early on that I didn’t tolerate some loosey-goosey aspects of analysis and said,“Try linguistics.I think you’re going to like it". I said, “Nah. There’s a class in linguistics right before one of my classes, and it’s just chicken-scratch, it’s all over the board, I’m not doing it", and he said “Look, just try one class", and I said, “Okay". So I tried the one class, and I loved it. He was absolutely right.

JY: I’ve read that the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education asked you to go to Nicaragua?

JK: They didn’t ask me.There was a group called Linguists for Nicaragua. So there was Chomsky, Ken Hale,Wayne O’Neil. They would go down every year and do soli- darity work to support educational efforts in Nicaragua because at the time - there’s the Contra War - a lot of money and personnel were being drawn away from [edu-cation]. So they were down doing [work in Nicaragua], and the ministry came to them and said, “Do you have someone who specialize[s] in deafness?” and they came back and asked me if I wanted to go down there. That’s how it happened.

JY: Did you know you would be able to witness the birth of a language?

JK: Not a clue. Not a clue. When I went down there,I thought I was going down there for six weeks or something. I was going to work with people. There was going to be a deaf community. They would have a sign language; I’d just facilitate teachers getting to know that,and [I] figured it was the same as I’d seen every-where else. It was inte- resting; it was a confluence of things that contributed to recognizing how unique the situation was. For instance, I had studied with Naomi Baron at Brown when I was an undergraduate, and she had done some work on the resurrection of Hebrew. So there was this guy, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who had worked to bring Hebrew back from being a dead,classical language to being an active,modern language. One of the key features was that there was a point at which the younger the child, the more fluent [they were]. So the idea was,you fed the language through the child,but you didn’t sit and correct them, you let them innovate and change the language and bring it back to life. And if I hadn’t studied that,I don’t know that I would’ve seen as quickly, when I was in Nicaragua, that the younger children were signing more fluently than the older [children], and have recognized that there was something going on there. Not neces-sarily resurrection of a language, but the emergence of a language. Having worked with Chomsky,having studied the resurrection of Hebrew - it was a bunch of little pie-ces that all fit together - I went,“Oh,this is much more interesting than I thought it was going to be.” I had no idea, I thought I was going down [there for] six weeks, I was going to leave, I was going to come back, and that was it. I didn’t speak Spanish, so I completely changed gears when I realized what I was studying.

JY: But you did know ASL when you went?

JK: I knew ASL. I was fluent in ASL, but I made a point of not using ASL when I was there.

JY: I’ve read about how you have an educational system now. The NSLProjects?

JK: We started out documenting and doing research on the emergence of [NSL] and the grammar of the language on the Pacific Coast.In 1990,my husband went out and documented one person on the Atlantic Coast, but it was tough with the Contra War and everything; it was just ending. But in 1994, he and a deaf anthropologist - Gene Mirus - just stomped through the little hamlets and found deaf people. And so we found about seventeen people in the Bluefields area. Their parents had gotten toge-ther in a group that supported kids with disabilities, and [the kids] didn’t have any real schooling, so [my husband and Gene] went and filmed each of them.We brought the tapes back to Managua. I flew down and showed [the tapes] to the deaf community on the Pacific Coast, and then they decided to do an intervention, to go out to the At-lantic Coast and bring them their sign language and culture.So we provided interpre- ters, and then we followed through. At the end of all that, the parents came with their kids, and their kids were all sitting next to them and didn’t know each other - weren’t interacting with each other.You could see on the parents’ faces that they really didn’t think their kids would ever develop into much of anything and have much language.

When the deaf people came in, the kids just followed them like the Pied Piper of Ha-melin out into the backyard,and one of the interpreters who was the sister of the pre-sident of the deaf association said, “I know you think your children aren’t going to be able to do anything,and they’ll never be independent of you,but notice - they’re not here right now, they’re with deaf people, and they’re not here". And she said, “They can do anything. I know you hit your children because you want to discip-line them, you want to keep them safe, but you can’t communicate with them.I know. But with language,you can talk about all this.” And they were listening. And then,her brother - who was deaf - came in, and he started to sign, and she started to voice for him, and he talked about how he was the president of the deaf association and the work that he had done in Managua, and you could watch the parents’ eyes change from, “I don’t think my kid will ever be separated from me” to “My kid could be like that". They had never seen a deaf adult role model before.So after that,we opened up a session where deaf, hea-ring, family members, kids, parents, anybody could come and take part in learning about sign language. And after that,the hearing pa-rents got together and said to my husband, “We want a small school, and we want to be taught by deaf people.” And so he said, “Okay, we’ll look into it.” And then he was sitting on a fence, and this reporter from Barricada came up to him and said, “Can I ask you a ques-tion?” and he said, “Sure,” and [the reporter] said, “Are you really going to set up the deaf school?” and my husband said,“Yes,” and then the guy said, “Well, how are you going to do that?” and my husband said, “I said I’d answer one question” [laughing]. So he came back, and he collected funds,and within six months, we were down there setting up the school. So that’s how the school in Bluefields got set up.

JY: I saw the Evolution video where you communicated with Mary Noname [no name]?

JK: Yeah, Maria Noname [No-nah-mei] [laughing].

JY: No-nah-mei. Oh, wow, I didn’t know that.

JK: It is No-name.What happened was,sometimes we would get people who couldn’t tell us their names. So, at one point, somebody wrote down Maria - just, made up a name to call, said, I’ve got to call her something, so she put Maria, and then she put after there, “No name.” And somebody came in and read it as Maria No-nah-mei. From then on, we always gave the people who came in, we didn’t know who they were, the name “(Something) Noname [No-nah-mei].” She was actually the one that we had filmed also in 1990. So, four years before we came out again, she was the one that my husband had found the first time he went out.

JY: Do you know about SignWriting? What do you think about it?

JK: Yeah, my husband’s fluent in it. In Bluefields,we said, let’s give this to them as a tool and see what they do with it. We have the largest library of SignWriting stories in Nicaraguan Sign Language. So, we had a woman - Darlene Clarke - come down [to Nicaragua], and she was deaf and she taught SignWriting.And the kids really took to it. And the reality is you can teach people to write it, but you have to give them the literature to read. So we worked with teachers, and we worked on getting materials together. And for people who are trying to learn a language - late learners - writing allows things to be non-transient. So you can go back, you can look at it,you can un-derstand the grammar. They really took to it. So, all the kids in Bluefields and at the schools that we teach - can SignWrite. I would say they could read it better than they could write it. They all read it.

JY: The first school was established in 1979? In Nicaragua?

JK:There were schools that were for special education,but deaf people weren’t really in them. Or if they were in them,they’d be in a classroom with kids with other kinds of cognitive disabilities. They didn’t really have access. In 1979, that’s when the end of the Revolution happened. So right before the Revolution ended, [then-President Anastasio Somoza Debayle] and his wife set up a school for special education, which is on the site of the school that we call the Melania Morales School now in San Judas. It was the biggest one that has deaf kids in it now.But they set up a school for special education.They had a kid with special needs - I think Down syndrome.So that existed prior to the end of the revolution, but then at the end of the revolution, every-thing closed just because it was crazy [in Nica-ragua].When it reopened again, when the Sandinistas took over, they said that they would have a goal of a fourth grade education for everyone. So where before, there might have been a handful of kids just going to school without interaction with each other,now you had several hundred kids coming in.[The first deaf school] probably started closer to 1980. It took time af-ter the revolution for everything to get back in line and up again,but by the early ‘80s, it was open. And it wasn’t just the school in Managua, there were schools in León, and other places around the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua.

JY: What year did you arrive in Nicaragua?

JK: Either ‘85 or ‘86.

JY: Would you say that in the six-year difference the language was already fully-fledged?

JK:Yes,in a sense.When I got down there,what I saw was in the vocational school [for deaf children in Managua], you had older kids who were beyond critical period when the schools were formed. [From them],you got a good picture of what the [pre-language] contact-gesturing system and elaborated contact-gesturing system looked like. Now, there were many of them, [but there were many] other kids [who were] si-milar,a little big younger,but [in] the same boat,who were at this deaf school.So when the deaf school was open,it had range.Older [kids],younger [kids],etc.You had [these younger] kids who entered at age four, typically - four or five - so the process of people getting exposed to the contact-gesturing and turning it into a sign language had already started. By the time we got there,they were five years into [signing NSL], so we were seeing fluent signers already at that point.

JY: At the end of lecture, you mentioned Ann Senghas [the linguist who authored the paper we read on Nicaraguan Sign Language], and I think Professor Fellbaum said she was a student of yours?

JK: Ann was a student at Smith College, and after she graduated from Smith, she came to Swarthmore, and she worked with me as an apprentice to learn about Nica-ragua.So she went down [there],and we would film people and then,after a few years of working with me,she applied to graduate school at MIT.She was in Brain and Cog- nitive Sciences at MIT. I became her research supervisor for her work in Nicaraguan Sign Language. Her actual chair was Pinker. So she was my student in that sense.


***


Sam Harris toinen pölöhölö, mutta tässä herrat ottavt yhteen...

https://samharris.org/the-limits-of-discourse/#.VW4Bi7KVKSo.facebook

The Limits of Discourse As Demonstrated by Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky

Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky attempt to have a conversation about the ethics of war, terrorism, state surveillance, and related topics—and fail.

For decades, Noam Chomsky has been one of the most prominent critics of U.S. fo-reign policy,and the further left one travels along the political spectrum, the more one feels his influence. Although I agree with much of what Chomsky has said about the misuses of state power, I have long maintained that his political views, where the threat of global jihadism is concerned, produce dangerous delusions. In response, I have been much criticized by those who believe that I haven’t given the great man his due.

Last week, I did my best to engineer a public conversation with Chomsky about the ethics of war, terrorism, state surveillance, and related topics. As readers of the follo- wing email exchange will discover, I failed. I’ve decided to publish this private corres-pondence, with Chomsky’s permission, as a cautionary tale. Clearly, he and I have drawn different lessons from what was, unfortunately, an unpleasant and fruitless encounter. I will let readers draw lessons of their own.

–SH



*  *  *



April 26, 2015

From: Sam Harris
To: Noam Chomsky


Noam — 

I reached out to you indirectly through Lawrence Krauss and Johann Hari and was planning to leave it at that,but a reader has now sent me a copy of an email exchange in which you were quite dismissive of the prospect of having a “debate” with me. So I just wanted to clarify that, although I think we might disagree substan-tially about a few things, I am far more interested in exploring these disagreements, and clarifying any misunderstandings, than in having a conventional debate.



If you’d rather not have a public conversation with me, that’s fine. I can only say that we have many, many readers in common who would like to see us attempt to find some common ground. The fact that you have called me “a religious fanatic” who “worships the religion of the state” makes me think that there are a few miscon-ceptions I could clear up. And many readers insist that I am similarly off-the-mark where your views are concerned.

In any case, my offer stands, if you change your mind.



Best,

Sam


April 26, 2015

From: Noam Chomsky
To: Sam Harris

Perhaps I have some misconceptions about you.  Most of what I’ve read of yours is material that has been sent to me about my alleged views, which is completely false.  I don’t see any point in a public debate about misreadings.  If there are things you’d like to explore privately, fine.  But with sources.


April 26, 2015

From: Sam Harris
To: Noam Chomsky

Noam —

Thanks for getting back.

Before engaging on this topic,I’d like to encourage you to approach this exchange as though we were planning to publish it. As edifying as it might be to have you correct my misreading of you in private — it would be far better if you did this publicly.It’s not a matter of having a “debate about misreadings”; it’s a matter of allowing our readers to see that conversation on difficult and polarizing topics can occasionally fulfill its os-tensible purpose.If I have misread you,and you can show me where I’ve gone wrong, I would want my readers to see my views change in real time. It would be far less de-sirable for me to simply report that you and I clarified a few things privately, and that I have now changed my mind about X, Y, and Z.

Beyond correcting our misreadings, I think we could have a very interesting conver-sation about the ethical issues surrounding war, terrorism, the surveillance state, and so forth.I’d be happy to do this entirely by email,or we could speak on the phone and have the audio transcribed. In either case, you would be free to edit and refine your contributions prior to publication. My only request would be that you not go back and make such sweeping changes that I would have to totally revise my side of things.

While you’re thinking about that,I’d like to draw your attention to the only thing I have ever written about your work. The following passages appear in my first book, The End of Faith (2004),which was written in response to the events of 9/11. Needless to say, the whole discussion betrays the urgency of that period as well as many of the failings of a first book. I hesitate to put it forward here, if for no other reason than that the tone is not one that I would have ever adopted in a direct exchange with you. Ne-vertheless, if I’ve misrepresented your views in writing, this is the only place it could have happened. If we’re going to clarify misreadings, this would seem like a good place to start.

Best,
Sam

Leftist Unreason and the Strange Case of Noam Chomsky

Nevertheless, many people are now convinced that the attacks of September 11 say little about Islam and much about the sordid career of the West - in particular, about the failures of U.S. foreign policy. The French philosopher Jean Baudrillard gives these themes an especially luxuriant expression, declaring that terrorism is a neces-sary consequence of American “hegemony.” He goes so far as to suggest that we were secretly hoping that such devastation would be visited upon us:

At a pinch we can say that they did it, but we wished for it. . . . When global power monopolizes the situation to this extent, when there is such a formidable conden-sation of all functions in the technocratic machinery, and when no alternative form of thinking is allowed, what other way is there but a terroristic situational transfer. It was the system itself which created the objective conditions for this brutal retali-ation. . . . This is terror against terror—there is no longer any ideology behind it. We are far beyond ideology and politics now. ... As if the power bearing these to-wers suddenly lost all energy,all resilience;as though that arrogant power sudden-ly gave way under the pressure of too intense an effort: the effort always to be the unique world model. 40

If one were feeling charitable, one might assume that something essential to these profundities got lost in translation. I think it far more likely, however,that it did not sur- vive translation into French. If Baudrillard had been obliged to live in Afghanistan un-der the Taliban, would he have thought that the horrible abridgments of his freedom were a matter of the United States’s “effort always to be the unique world model”? Would the peculiar halftime entertainment at every soccer match - where suspected fornicators, adulterers, and thieves were regularly butchered in the dirt at centerfield - have struck him as the first rumblings of a “terroristic situational transfer”? We may be beyond politics, but we are not in the least “beyond ideology” now. Ideology is all that our enemies have.41

And yet, thinkers far more sober than Baudrillard view the events of September 11 as a consequence of American foreign policy. Perhaps the foremost among them is Noam Chomsky.In addition to making foundational contributions to linguistics and the psychology of language, Chomsky has been a persistent critic of U.S. foreign policy for over three decades.He has also managed to demonstrate a principal failing of the liberal critique of power. He appears to be an exquisitely moral man whose political views prevent him from making the most basic moral distinctions - between types of violence, and the variety of human purposes that give rise to them.

In his book 9-11, with rubble of the World Trade Center still piled high and smolde-ring, Chomsky urged us not to forget that “the U.S. itself is a leading terrorist state.” In support of this claim he catalogs a number of American misdeeds, including the sanctions that the United States imposed upon Iraq,which led to the death of “maybe half a million children,” and the 1998 bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant in Sudan, which may have set the stage for tens of thousands of innocent Sudanese to die of tuberculosis, malaria, and other treatable diseases. Chomsky does not hesi-tate to draw moral equivalences here: “For the first time in modern history, Europe and its offshoots were subjected, on home soil, to the kind of atrocity that they routinely have carried out elsewhere.” 42

Before pointing out just how wayward Chomsky’s thinking is on this subject, I would like to concede many of his points, since they have the virtue of being both generally important and irrelevant to the matter at hand. There is no doubt that the United States has much to atone for, both domestically and abroad. In this respect, we can more or less swallow Chomsky’s thesis whole. To produce this horrible confection at home,start with our genocidal treatment of the Native Americans,add a couple hund- red years of slavery, along with our denial of entry to Jewish refugees fleeing the death camps of the Third Reich,stir in our collusion with a long list of modern despots and our subsequent disregard for their appalling human rights records,add our bom- bing of Cambodia and the Pentagon Papers to taste, and then top with our recent refusals to sign the Kyoto protocol for greenhouse emissions, to support any ban on land mines, and to submit ourselves to the rulings of the International Criminal Court. The result should smell of death, hypocrisy, and fresh brimstone.

We have surely done some terrible things in the past. Undoubtedly, we are poised to do terrible things in the future.Nothing I have written in this book should be construed as a denial of these facts, or as defense of state practices that are manifestly abhor-rent. There may be much that Western powers, and the United States in particular, should pay reparations for. And our failure to acknowledge our misdeeds over the years has undermined our credibility in the international community.We can concede all of this, and even share Chomsky’s acute sense of outrage, while recognizing that his analysis of our current situation in the world is a masterpiece of moral blindness.

Take the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceuticals plant: according to Chomsky, the atrocity of September 11 pales in comparison with that perpetrated by the Clinton administration in August 1998. But let us now ask some very basic questions that Chomsky seems to have neglected to ask himself: What did the U.S. government think it was doing when it sent cruise missiles into Sudan? Destroying a chemical weapons site used by Al Qaeda. Did the Clinton administration intend to bring about the deaths of thousands of Sudanese children? No. Was our goal to kill as many Su-danese as we could? No. Were we trying to kill anyone at all? Not unless we thought members of Al Qaeda would be at the Al-Shifa facility in the middle of the night. As-king these questions about Osama bin Laden and the nineteen hijackers puts us in a different moral universe entirely.

If we are inclined to follow Chomsky down the path of moral equivalence and ignore the role of human intentions, we can forget about the bombing of the Al-Shifa plant, because many of the things we did not do in Sudan had even greater consequen-ces. What about all the money and food we simply never thought to give the Suda-nese prior to 1998? How many children did we kill (that is, not save) just by living in blissful ignorance of the conditions in Sudan? Surely if we had all made it a priority to keep death out of Sudan for as long as possible, untold millions could have been saved from whatever it was that wound up killing them. We could have sent teams of well-intentioned men and women into Khartoum to ensure that the Sudanese wore their seatbelts. Are we culpable for all the preventable injury and death that we did nothing to prevent? We may be, up to a point. The philosopher Peter Unger has made a persuasive case that a single dollar spent on anything but the absolute essentials of our survival is a dollar that has some starving child’s blood on it. 43 Perhaps we do have far more moral responsibility for the state of the world than most of us seem ready to contemplate. This is not Chomsky’s argument, however.

Arundhati Roy, a great admirer of Chomsky, has summed up his position very well:

[T]he U.S. government refuses to judge itself by the same moral standards by which it judges others. . . . Its technique is to position itself as the well-intentioned giant whose good deeds are confounded in strange countries by their scheming natives, whose markets it’s trying to free, whose societies it’s trying to modernize, whose women it’s trying to liberate, whose souls it’s trying to save. . . . [T]he U.S. government has conferred upon itself the right and freedom to murder and exterminate people “for their own good.”44

But we are, in many respects, just such a “well-intentioned giant.” And it is rather as-tonishing that intelligent people, like Chomsky and Roy,fail to see this. What we need to counter their arguments is a device that enables us to distinguish the morality of men like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein from that of George Bush and Tony Blair. It is not hard to imagine the properties of such a tool. We can call it “the perfect weapon.”

Perfect Weapons and the Ethics of “Collateral Damage”

What we euphemistically describe as “collateral damage” in times of war is the direct result of limitations in the power and precision of our technology. To see that this is so,we need only imagine how any of our recent conflicts would have looked if we had possessed perfect weapons - weapons that allowed us either to temporarily impair or to kill a particular person, or group, at any distance, without harming others or their property. What would we do with such technology? Pacifists would refuse to use it, despite the variety of monsters currently loose in the world:the killers and torturers of children, the genocidal sadists, the men who, for want of the right genes,the right up- bringing,or the right ideas,cannot possibly be expected to live peacefully with the rest of us. I will say a few things about pacifism in a later chapter - for it seems to me to be a deeply immoral position that comes to us swaddled in the dogma of highest moralism - but most of us are not pacifists. Most of us would elect to use weapons of this sort. A moment’s thought reveals that a person’s use of such a weapon would offer a perfect window onto the soul of his ethics.

Consider the all too facile comparisons that have recently been made between George Bush and Saddam Hussein (or Osama bin Laden, or Hitler, etc.) - in the pa-ges of writers like Roy and Chomsky, in the Arab press, and in classrooms through-out the free world. How would George Bush have prosecuted the recent war in Iraq with perfect weapons? Would he have targeted the thousands of Iraqi civilians who were maimed or killed by our bombs? Would he have put out the eyes of little girls or torn the arms from their mothers? Whether or not you admire the man’s politics - or the man - there is no reason to think that he would have sanctioned the injury or death of even a single innocent person. What would Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden do with perfect weapons? What would Hitler have done? They would have used them rather differently.

It is time for us to admit that not all cultures are at the same stage of moral develop-ment. This is a radically impolitic thing to say, of course, but it seems as objectively true as saying that not all societies have equal material resources. We might even conceive of our moral differences in just these terms: not all societies have the same degree of moral wealth. Many things contribute to such an endowment. Political and economic stability, literacy, a modicum of social equality - where such things are lac-king, people tend to find many compelling reasons to treat one another rather badly. Our recent history offers much evidence of our own development on these fronts, and a corresponding change in our morality. A visit to New York in the summer of 1863 would have found the streets ruled by roving gangs of thugs; blacks, where not owned outright by white slaveholders, were regularly lynched and burned. Is there any doubt that many New Yorkers of the nineteenth century were barbarians by our present standards? To say of another culture that it lags a hundred and fifty years behind our own in social development is a terrible criticism indeed, given how far we’ve come in that time. Now imagine the benighted Americans of 1863 coming to possess chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. This is more or less the situation we confront in much of the developing world.

Consider the horrors that Americans perpetrated as recently as 1968, at My Lai:

Early in the morning the soldiers were landed in the village by helicopter. Many were firing as they spread out, killing both people and animals. There was no sign of the Vietcong battalion and no shot was fired at Charlie Company all day, but they carried on. They burnt down every house. They raped women and girls and then killed them. They stabbed some women in the vagina and disemboweled others, or cut off their hands or scalps. Pregnant women had their stomachs slashed open and were left to die. There were gang rapes and killings by shooting or with bayonets. There were mass executions. Dozens of people at a time, inclu-ding old men, women and children, were machine-gunned in a ditch. In four hours nearly 500 villagers were killed.45

This is about as bad as human beings are capable of behaving. But what distingui-shes us from many of our enemies is that this indiscriminate violence appalls us. The massacre at My Lai is remembered as a signature moment of shame for the Ameri-can military. Even at the time,U.S.soldiers were dumbstruck with horror by the beha- vior of their comrades.One helicopter pilot who arrived on the scene ordered his sub- ordinates to use their machine guns against their own troops if they would not stop killing villagers.46 As a culture, we have clearly outgrown our tolerance for the delibe-rate torture and murder of innocents. We would do well to realize that much of the world has not.

Wherever there are facts of any kind to be known, one thing is certain: not all people will discover them at the same time or understand them equally well. Conceding this leaves but a short step to hierarchical thinking of a sort that is at present inadmis-sible in most liberal discourse.Wherever there are right and wrong answers to impor- tant questions, there will be better or worse ways to get those answers, and better or worse ways to put them to use. Take child rearing as an example: How can we keep children free from disease? How can we raise them to be happy and responsible members of society? There are undoubtedly both good and bad answers to ques-tions of this sort,and not all belief systems and cultural practices will be equally suited to bringing the good ones to light. This is not to say that there will always be only one right answer to every question, or a single, best way to reach every specific goal. But given the inescapable specificity of our world, the range of optimal solutions to any problem will generally be quite limited. While there might not be one best food to eat, we cannot eat stones - and any culture that would make stone eating a virtue, or a religious precept, will suffer mightily for want of nourishment (and teeth). It is inevi-table, therefore, that some approaches to politics, economics, science, and even spi-rituality and ethics will be objectively better than their competitors (by any measure of “better” we might wish to adopt), and gradations here will translate into very real differences in human happiness.

Any systematic approach to ethics, or to understanding the necessary underpinnings of a civil society, will find many Muslims standing eye deep in the red barbarity of the fourteenth century.There are undoubtedly historical and cultural reasons for this, and enough blame to go around,but we should not ignore the fact that we must now con- front whole societies whose moral and political development - in their treatment of women and children, in their prosecution of war, in their approach to criminal justice, and in their very intuitions about what constitutes cruelty - lags behind our own. This may seem like an unscientific and potentially racist thing to say, but it is neither. It is not in the least racist, since it is not at all likely that there are biological reasons for the disparities here, and it is unscientific only because science has not yet addressed the moral sphere in a systematic way. Come back in a hundred years, and if we haven’t returned to living in caves and killing one another with clubs, we will have some scientifically astute things to say about ethics. Any honest witness to current events will realize that there is no moral equivalence between the kind of force civi-lized democracies project in the world,warts and all, and the internecine violence that is perpetrated by Muslim militants, or indeed by Muslim governments. Chomsky seems to think that the disparity either does not exist or runs the other way.

Consider the recent conflict in Iraq: If the situation had been reversed, what are the chances that the Iraqi Republican Guard, attempting to execute a regime change on the Potomac, would have taken the same degree of care to minimize civilian casual-ties? What are the chances that Iraqi forces would have been deterred by our use of human shields? (What are the chances we would have used human shields?) What are the chances that a routed American government would have called for its citi-zens to volunteer to be suicide bombers? What are the chances that Iraqi soldiers would have wept upon killing a carload of American civilians at a checkpoint unne-cessarily? You should have, in the ledger of your imagination, a mounting column of zeros.

Nothing in Chomsky’s account acknowledges the difference between intending to kill a child, because of the effect you hope to produce on its parents (we call this “terro-rism”), and inadvertently killing a child in an attempt to capture or kill an avowed child murderer (we call this “collateral damage”).In both cases a child has died,and in both cases it is a tragedy. But the ethical status of the perpetrators, be they individuals or states, could hardly be more distinct.

Chomsky might object that to knowingly place the life of a child in jeopardy is unac-ceptable in any case, but clearly this is not a principle we can follow. The makers of roller coasters know, for instance,that despite rigorous safety precautions, sometime, somewhere, a child will be killed by one of their contraptions. Makers of automobiles know this as well. So do makers of hockey sticks, baseball bats, plastic bags, swim-ming pools, chain-link fences, or nearly anything else that could conceivably contri-bute to the death of a child.There is a reason we do not refer to the inevitable deaths of children on our ski slopes as “skiing atrocities.” But you would not know this from reading Chomsky. For him, intentions do not seem to matter. Body count is all.

We are now living in a world that can no longer tolerate well-armed, malevolent re-gimes. Without perfect weapons, collateral damage - the maiming and killing of inno-cent people - is unavoidable. Similar suffering will be imposed on still more innocent people because of our lack of perfect automobiles,airplanes, antibiotics, surgical pro-cedures, and window glass. If we want to draw conclusions about ethics- as well as make predictions about what a given person or society will do in the future - we can-not ignore human intentions.Where ethics are concerned,intentions are everything.47


April 26, 2015
From: Noam Chomsky
To: Sam Harris

The example that you cite illustrates very well why I do not see any point in a public discussion.

Here’s the passage to which you refer:

Or take the destruction of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, one little footnote in the record of state terror, quickly forgotten. What would the reaction have been if the bin Laden network had blown up half the pharmaceutical supp-lies in the U.S. and the facilities for replenishing them? We can imagine, though the comparison is unfair,the consequences are vastly more severe in Sudan. That aside,if the U.S.or Israel or England were to be the target of such an atrocity,what would the reaction be? In this case we say, “Oh, well, too bad, minor mistake, let’s go on to the next topic, let the victims rot.” Other people in the world don’t react like that. When bin Laden brings up that bombing, he strikes a resonant chord, even among those who despise and fear him; and the same, unfortunately, is true of much of the rest of his rhetoric.


Though it is merely a footnote, the Sudan case is nonetheless highly instructive. One interesting aspect is the reaction when someone dares to mention it.I have in the past, and did so again in response to queries from journalists shortly after 9 - 11 atrocities.I mentioned that the toll of the “horrendous crime” of 9-11, committed with “wickedness and awesome cruelty” (quoting Robert Fisk),may be comparable to the consequences of Clinton’s bombing of the Al-Shifa plant in August 1998.


That plausible conclusion elicited an extraordinary reaction, filling many web sites and journals with feverish and fanciful condemnations, which I’ll ignore. The only important aspect is that single sentence - which, on a closer look, appears to be an understatement - was regarded by some commentators as utterly scandalous.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that at some deep level, however they may deny it to themselves, they regard our crimes against the weak to be as normal as the air we breathe. Our crimes,for which we are responsible: as taxpayers, for fai- ling to provide massive reparations, for granting refuge and immunity to the per-petrators, and for allowing the terrible facts to be sunk deep in the memory hole. All of this is of great significance, as it has been in the past.

It goes on to review the only evidence available -.we do not investigate our crimes, indeed bar investigation of them - which is from quite credible sources, estimating that casualties might well have been in the tens of thousands.

Your response is interesting both for what it does not say and what it does say. What it does not do is answer the question raised: “What would the reaction have been if the bin Laden network had blown up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S. and the facilities for replenishing them? We can imagine,though the comparison is unfair, the consequences are vastly more severe in Sudan. That aside, if the U.S. or Israel or England were to be the target of such an atrocity, what would the reaction be?”

Anyone who cites this passage has the minimal responsibility to give their reactions.  Failure to do so speaks volumes.

Let’s turn to what you did say - a disquisition on “moral equivalence.” You fail to mention, though, that I did not suggest that they were “morally equivalent” and in fact indicated quite the opposite. I did not describe the Al-Shifa bombing as a “horren-dous crime” committed with “wickedness and awesome cruelty".Rather, I pointed out that the toll might be comparable, which turns out on inquiry (which is not undertaken here, and which apologists for our crimes ignore), turns out to be, quite likely, a serious understatement.

You also ignored the fact that I had already responded to your claim about lack of intention - which, frankly,I find quite shocking on elementary moral grounds, as I sus- pect you would too if you were to respond to the question raised at the beginning of my quoted comment.  Hence it is simply false to assert that your “basic question” is one that “Chomsky seems to have neglected to ask himself.” Quite the contrary, I asked myself right away, and responded, appropriately I believe, to your subsequent charges.  The following is from Radical Priorities, 2003. 

Most commentary on the Sudan bombing keeps to the question of whether the plant was believed to produce chemical weapons; true or false, that has no bea-ring on “the magnitude with which the aggression interfered with key values in the society attacked,” such as survival. Others point out that the killings were uninten-ded, as are many of the atrocities we rightly denounce. In this case, we can hardly doubt that the likely human consequences were understood by US planners. The acts can be excused, then, only on the Hegelian assumption that Africans are “mere things,” whose lives have “no value,” an attitude that accords with practice in ways that are not overlooked among the victims, who may draw their own conclusions about the “moral orthodoxy of the West.”

Perhaps you can reciprocate by referring me to what I have written citing your pub-lished views.  If there is anything I’ve written that is remotely as erroneous as this - putting aside moral judgments - I’ll be happy to correct it.


April 27, 2015
From: Sam Harris
To: Noam Chomsky



Noam —

We appear to be running into the weeds here. Let me just make two observations, before I recommend a fresh start:

1. I have not read Radical Priorities. I treated your short book, 9/11, as a self-con-tained statement on the topic. I do not think it was unethical or irresponsible of me to do so.

2. It still seems to me that everything you have written here ignores the moral significance of intention.

I am happy to answer your question. What would I say about al-Qaeda (or any other group) if it destroyed half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S.? It would depend on what they intended to do. Consider the following possibilities:

1. Imagine that al-Qaeda is filled, not with God-intoxicated sociopaths intent upon creating a global caliphate,but genuine humanitarians. Based on their research, they believe that a deadly batch of vaccine has made it into the U.S.pharmaceutical supp- ly. They have communicated their concerns to the FDA but were rebuffed. Acting rashly, with the intention of saving millions of lives, they unleash a computer virus, targeted to impede the release of this deadly vaccine. As it turns out, they are right about the vaccine but wrong about the consequences of their meddling - and they wind up destroying half the pharmaceuticals in the U.S.

What would I say? I would say that this was a very unfortunate event - but these are people we want on our team. I would find the FDA highly culpable for not having ef-fectively communicated with them.These people are our friends,and we were all very unlucky.

2. al-Qaeda is precisely as terrible a group as it is, and it destroys our pharmaceuticals intentionally, for the purpose of harming millions of innocent people.

What would I say? We should imprison or kill these people at the first opportunity.

While the body count might be the same,these are totally different scenarios. Ethi-cally speaking,intention is (nearly) the whole story. The difference between intending to harm someone and accidentally harming them is enormous - if for no other reason than that the presence of harmful intent tells us a lot about what a person or group is likely to do in the future.

Do you agree? Your remarks thus far leave me unsure.

Sam


April 27, 2015
From: Noam Chomsky
To: Sam Harris

I don’t circulate private correspondence without authorization, but I am glad to authorize you to send this correspondence to Krauss and Hari, who you mention.

I am sorry you are unwilling to retract your false claim that I “ignore the moral signifi-cance of intentions.” Of course I did, as you know.  Also, I gave the appropriate an-swer, which applies accurately to you in the al-Shifa case, the very case in question.

If you had read further before launching your accusations, the usual procedure in work intended to be serious,you would have discovered that I also reviewed the sub- stantial evidence about the very sincere intentions of Japanese fascists while they were devastating China, Hitler in the Sudetenland and Poland, etc.  There is at least as much reason to suppose that they were sincere as Clinton was when he bombed al-Shifa.  Much more so in fact.  Therefore, if you believe what you are saying, you should be justifying their actions as well.  I also reviewed other cases, pointing out that professing benign intentions is the norm for those who carry out atrocities and crimes, perhaps sincerely – and surely more plausibly than in this case.  And that only the most abject apologists justify the actions on the grounds that perpetrators are adopting the normal stance of criminals.

I am also sorry that you evade the fact that your charge of “moral equivalence” was flatly false, as you know.

And in particular, I am sorry to see your total refusal to respond to the question raised at the outset of the piece you quoted.  The scenario you describe here is, I’m afraid, so ludicrous as to be embarrassing.  It hasn’t even the remotest relation to Clinton’s decision to bomb al-Shifa - not because they had suddenly discovered any- thing remotely like what you fantasize here, or for that matter any credible evidence at all, and by sheer coincidence, immediately after the Embassy bombings for which it was retaliation, as widely acknowledged.  That is truly scandalous.

And of course they knew that there would be major casualties.  They are not imbe-ciles, but rather adopt a stance that is arguably even more immoral than purposeful killing, which at least recognizes the human status of the victims, not just killing ants while walking down the street, who cares?

In fact, as you would know if you deigned to read before launching accusations, they were informed at once by Kenneth Roth of HRW about the impending humanitarian catastrophe, already underway.  And of course they had far more information available than HRW did.

Your own moral stance is revealed even further by your complete lack of concern about the apparently huge casualties and the refusal even to investigate them.

As for Clinton and associates being “genuine humanitarians,” perhaps that explains why they were imposing sanctions on Iraq so murderous that both of the highly res-pected international diplomats who administered the “Oil for food” program resigned in protest because they regarded them as “genocidal,” condemning Clinton for bloc-king testimony at the UN Security Council.  Or why he poured arms into Turkey as it was carrying out a horrendous attack on its Kurdish population, one of the worst cri-mes of the ‘90s.  Or why he shifted Turkey from leading recipient of arms worldwide (Israel-Egypt excepted) to Colombia, as soon as the Turkish atrocities achieved their goal and while Colombia was leading the hemisphere by far in atrocious human rights violations.  Or why he authorized the Texaco Oil Company to provide oil to the murderous Haitian junta in violation of sanctions.  And on, and on, as you could learn if you bothered to read before launching accusations and professing to talk about “ethics” and “morality.”

I’ve seen apologetics for atrocities before, but rarely at this level – not to speak of the refusal to withdraw false charges, a minor fault in comparison.

Since you profess to be concerned about “God-intoxicated sociopaths,” perhaps you can refer me to your condemnation of the perpetrator of by far the worst crime of this millennium because God had instructed him that he must smite the enemy.

No point wasting time on your unwillingness to respond to my request that you “reci-procate by referring me to what I have written citing your published views.  If there is anything I’ve written that is remotely as erroneous as this – putting aside moral judgments – I’ll be happy to correct it.”

Plainly there is no point pretending to have a rational discussion.  But I do think you would do your readers a favor if you presented your tale about why Clinton bombed al-Shifa and his grand humanitarianism.  That is surely the least you can do, given your refusal to withdraw what you know to be completely false charges and a display of moral and ethical righteousness.


April 27, 2015
From: Sam Harris

To: Noam Chomsky

Noam—

Unfortunately, you are now misreading both my “silences” and my statements - and I cannot help but feel that the peremptory and censorious attitude you have brought to what could,in fact,be a perfectly collegial exchange, is partly to blame. You appear to have begun this dialogue at (or very near) the end of your patience. If we were to publish it, I would strongly urge you to edit what you have already written, removing unfriendly flourishes such as “as you know”, “the usual procedure in work intended to be serious,” “ludicrous and embarrassing,” “total refusal,” etc. I trust that certain of your acolytes would love to see the master in high dudgeon - believing, as you seem to, that you are in the process of mopping the floor with me - but the truth is that your emotions are getting the better of you.I’d rather you not look like the dog who caught the car.

Despite your apparent powers of telepathy,I am not “evading” anything. The fact that I did not address every point raised in your last email is due to the fact that I remain confused about how you view the ethical significance of intentions - and I answered your central question in such a way as to clarify this point (I had hoped). I was not drawing an analogy between my contrived case of al-Qaeda being “great humanita-rians” and the Clinton administration. The purpose of that example was to distinguish the ethical importance of intention (given the same body count) as clearly as pos-sible. The case was not meant to realistic (how would an “as you know” read here?).

On the topic of there being a “moral equivalence” between al-Shifa and 9/11, I’m afraid that what you have written is hard to understand. Despite your insistence that you drew no moral equivalence whatsoever between the two cases,you call Clinton’s actions an “atrocity” the consequences of which were “vastly more severe” than if the same had been done to the U.S., and you say that any comparison with the conse-quences of 9/11 is,if anything,“an understatement".You then appear to be upbraiding me for not immediately detecting an important difference between a “horrendous crime” and an “atrocity.” Is there one? You are, of course, the famous linguist, but I believe that the editors of the OED will be nonplussed by this discovery. Perhaps you can just state it plainly: What is the moral difference between al-Shifa and 9/11?

Please don’t interpret my silence on any other matter as a sign of my unwillingness to discuss it further or to have my views changed by a proper collision with evidence and argument. You have raised many interesting historical and ethical points which I would sincerely like to explore (Hitler,Japan,and so forth). But I am reluctant to move forward before I understand how you view the significance of intention in cases where the difference between altruism (however inept),negligence, and malevolence is absolutely clear.

Sam


April 27, 2015
From: Noam Chomsky
To: Sam Harris

Your effort to respond to the question that you had avoided in your published article is, I’m afraid, indeed embarrassing and ludicrous.  The question was about the al-Shifa bombing, and it won’t do to evade it by concocting an outlandish tale that has no relation whatsoever to that situation.  So you are still evading that question.  It takes no telepathy to perceive that.

So let’s face it directly. Clinton bombed al-Shifa in reaction to the Embassy bombings, having discovered no credible evidence in the brief interim of course, and knowing full well that there would be enormous casualties.  Apologists may appeal to undetectable humanitarian intentions,but the fact is that the bombing was taken in exactly the way I described in the earlier publication which dealt the question of in-tentions in this case, the question that you claimed falsely that I ignored: to repeat, it just didn’t matter if lots of people are killed in a poor African country, just as we don’t care if we kill ants when we walk down the street. On moral grounds, that is arguably even worse than murder, which at least recognizes that the victim is human.  That is exactly the situation.And we are left with your unwillingness to address the very clear question that opened the passage you cite is, instead offering evasions that are exactly as I described. And your unwillingness to address the crucial ethical question about intentions.

To adopt your terms, the matter of “altruism (however inept), negligence, and male-volence is absolutely clear” in the case of the al-Shifa bombing.  There wasn’t even a hint of altruism, inept or not,so we can dismiss that.There was clear negligence – the fate of probably tens of thousands of African victims did not matter.  As to whether there is malevolence, that depends on the ethical question I raised, which you seem not to want to consider: to repeat, how do we rank murder (which treats the victim as a human) with quite consciously killing a great number of people, but not caring, be-cause we treat them as we do ants when we walk down the street:the al-Shifa case?

And a further question.  How do we regard citizens of the country that carried out this atrocity who seek to provide some justification in terms of clearly non-existent altruistic intentions.

As you know (apologies for the accuracy), I described 9/11 as a “horrendous crime” committed with “wickedness and awesome cruelty.” In the case of al-Shifa, I said no-thing of the sort.  I described it as an atrocity, as it clearly is, and merely stated the unquestionable facts.  There is no “moral equivalence,” the term that has been regu-larly used, since Jeane Kirkpatrick, to try to undercut critical analysis of the state one defends.

As for intentions, there is nothing at all to say in general.  There is a lot to say about specific cases, like the al-Shifa bombing, or Japanese fascists in China (who you should absolve, on your grounds, since there’s every reason to suppose that their in-tention to bring an “earthly paradise” was quite real), and other cases I’ve discussed, including Hitler and high Stalinist officials.  So your puzzlement about my attitude to-wards intentions generally is quite understandable.There can be no general answer.  Accordingly, you give none.  Nor do I.

I’m glad that you are interested in looking at the other cases I’ve discussed for 50 years, addressing exactly the question you claim I ignored.  These cases shed great light on the ethical question of how to evaluate “benign intentions”. As I’ve discussed for many years,in fact decades,benign intentions are virtually always professed, even by the worst monsters, and hence carry no information, even in the technical sense of that term.  That’s quite independent of their “sincerity,” however we determine that (pretty easy in the Japanese case,and the question doesn’t even arise in the al-Shifa case).

We are left as we were.  You made a series of accusations that were quite false, and are unwilling to withdraw them.  You refuse to consider, let alone answer, the very simple and straightforward question posed in the passage you cited.  And you still refuse to reciprocate as I have properly requested several times.

That means, clearly, that there is no basis for a rational public interchange.

I’ll skip the rest.


April 27, 2015
From: Sam Harris
To: Noam Chomsky


Well, let’s chalk some of this up to the well-understood problem of email. I doubt that we would have achieved this level of cantankerousness in a face-to-face exchange.

To the point about my refusing to “reciprocate” by referring to places where you have written about me or my work: I’m unaware of your having done so. I have seen a video or two in which, when asked to comment about my views, or about the “new atheism” generally, you have said something disparaging. As I mention in my initial email, you have, on at least one occasion, referred to me as a “religious fanatic” who “worships the religion of the state". You may have been talking about both Christo-pher Hitchens and me, given the way the question was posed. The history is unim-portant. It makes much more sense to deal with what we each say in this exchange.

Here is my assumption about the al-Shifa case. I assume that Clinton believed that it was, in fact, a chemical weapons factory—because I see no rational reason for him to have intentionally destroyed a pharmaceutical plant in retaliation for the embassy bombings. I take it that you consider this assumption terribly naive. Why so?


April 27, 2015
From: Noam Chomsky
To: Sam Harris

Easy to know why you’re unaware of my having written about your work.  I haven’t done so.  In contrast, you’ve written about my work, with crucial false accusations that you evidently have no interest in correcting.  As to my “misconceptions” about you, I’m interested to see that there is no credible source.

Turning to the more important question of al-Shifa.  Why so?  For exactly the reasons I mentioned.

The bombing of al-Shifa was an immediate response to the Embassy bombings, which is why it is almost universally assumed to be retaliation.  It is inconceivable that in that brief interim period evidence was found that it was a chemical weapons facto-ry, and properly evaluated to justify a bombing.  And of course no evidence was ever found.  Plainly, if there had been evidence,the bombing would not have (just by acci- dent) taken place immediately after the Embassy bombings (along with bombings in Afghanistan at the same time, also clearly retaliation).

There’s no rational way to explain this except by assuming that he intentionally bom-bed what was known to be Sudan’s major pharmaceutical plant, and of course he and his advisers knew that under severe sanctions, this poor African country could not replenish them - so it is a much worse crime than if al-Qaeda had done the same in the US, or Israel, or any other country were people matter.

I do not, again,claim that Clinton intentionally wanted to kill the thousands of victims.  Rather, that was probably of no concern,raising the very serious ethical question that I have discussed, again repeatedly in this correspondence.  And again, I have often discussed the ethical question about the significance of real or professed intentions, for about 50 years in fact, discussing real cases, where there are possible and mea-ningful answers.  Something clearly worth doing, since the real ethical issues are interesting and important ones.


April 27, 2015
From: Sam Harris
To: Noam Chomsky


Noam—

I am hard pressed to understand the uncharitable attitude - really bordering on con-tempt—conveyed by almost everything you have written thus far. What is it adding to the discussion? If you want some disinterested feedback, we might pass this ex-change along to Lawrence and Johann, as you suggested below. I believe they will echo my concern and tell you that you are not doing yourself any favors here.

Your latest email is as strangely prickly as the others. If you haven’t written about my work, why not just say so, rather than act like you’ve sprung a trap on me? I never assumed you had written about me. In fact, I assumed you hadn’t. So what was the point of this “reciprocation” business?

And really,you’re “interested to see that there is no credible source” for my claim that you have called me a religious fanatic who worships the religion of the state? Is your own mouth a credible source? Watch this video and behold yourself speaking the very words I attributed to you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt9QCAUPPeY

I have a question that I would like you to ponder for at least 5 seconds before res-ponding to this email: Is it possible for you to enter into a discussion on these topics with me in the spirit of genuine curiosity and goodwill?

Contrary to your repeated allegation, I have not “refused” to correct my “false accu-sations” about you. I’m still struggling to understand in what sense they are false. Your dismissal of an idealized thought experiment as “embarrassing and ludicrous,” and your insistence upon focusing on real-world cases about which our intelligence is murky is not helping to clarify things. With respect to al-Shifa,for instance,you draw some very confident (and, I suspect, unwarranted) inferences from the timing of events. (Is it really “inconceivable” that the government already believed it to be a chemical weapons factory?) Do I have to accept to all your assumptions in order to discuss the underlying ethics?

And your ethical position is still unclear (to me). You say that you are NOT claiming that “Clinton intentionally wanted to kill thousands of victims". Okay. But you seem to be suggesting that he had every reason to expect that he would be killing them by his actions (and just didn’t care). And you seem disinclined to distinguish the ethics of these cases.

Perhaps we can rank order the callousness and cruelty here:

1. al-Qaeda wanted and intended to kill thousands of innocent people - and did so.

2. Clinton (as you imagine him to be) did not want or intend to kill thousands of inno-cent people. He simply wanted to destroy a valuable pharmaceutical plant. But he knew that he would be killing thousands of people, and he simply didn’t care.

3. Clinton (as I imagine him to be) did not want or intend to kill anyone at all, neces-sarily. He simply wanted to destroy what he believed to be a chemical weapons fac-tory. But he did wind up killing innocent people, and we don’t really know how he felt about it.

Is it safe to assume that you view these three cases, as I do, as demonstrating descending degrees of evil?

Sam


April 27, 2015
From: Noam Chomsky
To: Sam Harris

Let’s review this curious non-interchange.

It began with you suggesting a public debate because of “The fact that you have called me “a religious fanatic” who “worships the religion of the state” makes me think that there are a few misconceptions I could clear up. And many readers insist that I am similarly off-the-mark where your views are concerned.”

It turns out that you have published version of my views that are completely false, and that the only source you have for “the fact” that you cite is something on You-tube in which, as you wrote, that I “may have been talking about both Christopher Hitchens and [you],given the way the question was posed",or maybe about Hitchens, whose views I know about, whereas in your case I only know about your published falsifications of my views, which readers of yours have sent to me, and which I didn’t bother to respond to. Therefore, the only meaningful debate could be about your published falsifications.

These, as we have reviewed,are quite extreme.Your primary charge is that I neglec-ted to ask “very basic questions” about intentions.  As we have now established, I asked and responded to exactly those basic questions in this case and in other ca-ses, while you have completely failed to address “the basic questions” about the sig-nificance of professed intentions (about actual intentions we can only guess).  There are two important questions about these: (1) how seriously do we take them? (2) on moral grounds, how do we rank (a) intention to kill as compared with (b) knowledge that of course you will kill but you don’t care, like stepping on ants when you walk.

As for (1), I have been discussing it for 50 years, explaining in detail why, as we all agree, such professed intentions carry little if any weight, and in fact are quite unin-formative, since they are almost entirely predictable, even in the case of the worst monsters, and I have also provided evidence that they may be quite sincere, even in the case of these monsters, but we of course dismiss them nonetheless.  In contrast, it seems that you have never discussed (1).

As for (2),I posed the question,the one serious moral question that arises in the case at issue, and though I didn’t give a definite answer I suggested what I think: that one might argue that on moral grounds, (b) is even more depraved than (a).  Again, it seems that you have never even considered (2), let alone discussed it.

To summarize, then, you issue instructions about moral issues that you have never even considered to people who have considered and discussed these issues for many decades, including the very case you cite.  And when this is explained to you in detail, you have nothing to say except to repeat your initial stance.

As if that’s enough,you evaded the question asked in the passage you cite,and when I asked for a response, you did give a response – or so I assumed.

To be crystal clear, either that response was irrelevant to the question, or you inten-ded it to seriously, that is, to be relevant to Clinton’s bombing of al-Shifa.  I assumed the latter.  In that case, it follows at once, as I wrote, that the claim is ludicrous and embarrassing.  You now say that it was only a “thought experiment.” That leaves us where we were.  Either it is irrelevant, or it is ludicrous and embarrassing, or else you are refusing to answer the question.  All of that is straightforward enough so that I need not spell it out any further.

Let’s turn finally to your interpretation of al-Shifa:Clinton “did not want or intend to kill anyone at all, necessarily.He simply wanted to destroy what he believed to be a che- mical weapons factory. But he did wind up killing innocent people,and we don’t really know how he felt about it.”

I’m sure you are right that Clinton did not want or intend to kill anyone at all.That was exactly my point.  Rather, assuming that he was minimally sane, he certainly knew that he would kill a great many people but he simply didn’t care: case (2) above, the one serious moral issue, which I had discussed (contrary to your charge) and you never have.

As for the rest, you may, if you like, believe that when Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in immediate reaction to the Embassy bombings (and in retaliation, it is naturally assumed),he had credible information that he was bombing a chemical fac- tory – which also was, as publicly known, the major pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (which, of course, could not replenish supplies),and he judged that the evidence was strong enough to overlook the human consequences.But,oddly,he was never able to produce a particle of credible evidence,as was widely reported.And when informed immediately (by HRW) that a humanitarian catastrophe was already beginning he ig-nored it,as he ignored the subsequent evidence about the scale of the casualties (as you incidentally did too).


On your assumptions,he’s quite clearly a moral monster,and there’s no need to com- ment further on people who seek to justify these crimes – your crimes and mine, as citizens of a free society where we can influence policy.

It seems to me clear what your response should be on elementary moral grounds.  I’m not holding my breath.


April 30, 2015
From: Sam Harris
To: Noam Chomsky



Noam —

I’m sorry to say that I have now lost hope that we can communicate effectively in this medium.Rather than explore these issues with genuine interest and civility,you seem committed to litigating all points (both real and imagined) in the most plodding and accusatory way. And so, to my amazement, I find that the only conversation you and I are likely to ever have has grown too tedious to continue.

Please understand that this is not a case of you having raised important challenges for which I have no answer—to the contrary, I would find that a thrilling result of any collision between us. And, as I said at the outset, I would be eager for readers to wit-ness it. Rather, you have simply convinced me that engaging you on these topics is a waste of time.

Apologies for any part I played in making this encounter less enlightening than it might have been…

Sam


April 30, 2015
From: Noam Chomsky
To: Sam Harris

Very glad to see that we are terminating this interesting non-interchange with a large measure of agreement.  I agree with you completely that we cannot have a rational discussion of these matters, and that it is too tedious to pretend otherwise.  And I agree that I am litigating all points (all real, as far as we have so far determined) in a “plodding and accusatory way". That is, of course, a necessity in responding to quite serious published accusations that are all demonstrably false, and as I have reviewed, false in a most interesting way: namely, you issue lectures condemning others for ignoring “basic questions” that they have discussed for years, in my case decades, whereas you have refused to address them and apparently do not even allow yourself to understand them.  That’s impressive.

There’s also no other way to pursue your various evasions of the “basic question” that arises right at the outset of the passage of mine that you quoted.  No need to run through this again, but the plodding review makes it clear that you simply refuse to answer the question, perhaps not surprisingly.

I’ll put aside your apologetics for the crimes for which you and I share responsibility, which, frankly, I find quite shocking, particularly on the part of someone who feels entitled to deliver moral lectures.

And I’ll also put aside your interesting feeling that you see no challenge when your accusations are refuted point by point, along with a demonstration that you are the one who refuses to address the “basic questions” that you charge me with ignoring, even after you have learned that I had dealt with them quite specifically before you wrote, and in fact for decades.

It would also be interesting if, someday, you decide actually to become concerned with “God-intoxicated sociopaths,” most notably, the perpetrator of by far the worst crime of this millennium who did so, he explained, because God had instructed him that he must smite the enemy.


April 30, 2015
From: Sam Harris
To: Noam Chomsky

Noam —

I’m afraid I won’t take the bait, apart from asking the obvious question: If you’re so sure you’ve acquitted yourself well in this conversation, exposing both my intellectual misconduct with respect your own work and my moral blindness regarding the actions of our government, why not let me publish it in full so that our readers can draw their own conclusions?

Sam


April 30, 2015
From: Noam Chomsky
To: Sam Harris


The idea of publishing personal correspondence is pretty weird, a strange form of exhibitionism – whatever the content.  Personally, I can’t imagine doing it.  However, if you want to do it, I won’t object.


April 30, 2015
From: Sam Harris
To: Noam Chomsky


Understood, Noam. I’ll let you know what I do.

Sam


May 1, 2015
From: Sam Harris
To: Noam Chomsky

Noam—

I’ve now read our correspondence through and have decided to publish it (www.samharris.org). I understand your point about “exhibitionism,” but I disagree in this case.

You and I probably share a million readers who would have found a genuine conver-sation between us extremely useful. And I trust that they will be disappointed by our failure to produce one,as I am. However, if publishing this exchange helps anyone to better communicate about these topics in the future, our time won’t have been entirely wasted.

Sam

Postscript

May 3, 2015

The response to my exchange with Chomsky has been extraordinarily heated. Many people appear confused both about its contents and about my motives for publishing it.

It would not be productive - or, I think, fair to Chomsky - for me to argue my case in great detail after the fact. But I would like to close the door on a few common misconceptions:

1. I did not publish this exchange because I believe that I “won” a debate with Chom-sky. On the contrary, I spent the entire time struggling to begin a conversation that never got started. I remain confused about Chomsky’s position on several important issues and would sincerely have liked to discuss them.

2. It is now clear to me that I did (in a very narrow way) misrepresent Chomsky in The End of Faith. Obviously, he had asked himself “very basic questions” about what the U.S. government intended when it bombed the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant. Rereading that text, along with the relevant section of his book 9/11, I can see that my point was not that he literally hadn’t asked these questions but that the answers he arrived at are, in my opinion,scandalously wrong. Perhaps Chomsky didn’t literally “ignore the role of human intentions",but he effectively ignored it, because he did not appear to give intentions any ethical weight. I now see that to the extent that he does weigh intentions, he may do so differently than I would (for instance, he says that Clinton’s bombing al-Shifa without thinking about the consequences is “arguably even worse than murder, which at least recognizes that the victim is human”). This would have been interesting terrain to explore. I consider his related claims that vir-tually everyone professes benign intentions, and that such professions are generally meaningless, to be false. Professions aside, there can be vast ethical differences between sincerely held beliefs about what is “good,” and these differences are often very easy to discern. To pretend otherwise is to risk destroying everything we are right to care about.

In any case,I can now see that I was using rather rhetorical language in my book and that Chomsky was entitled to reject my characterization of him on literal (if pedantic) grounds. He had asked the questions I said he hadn’t; I just didn’t like the answers. Conceding this doesn’t render the views he expressed in 9/11 easier to digest. But given the umbrage that Chomsky took over the offending phrases, it would have been helpful if I had admitted that they were sloppily written and, in a narrow sense, untrue. Nevertheless, all our real work would still have lain ahead of us.

3. Chomsky’s charge that I misrepresented him on the topic of “moral equivalence” is far less credible. Judging from what he wrote in 9/11 (as well as in our exchange) he may view the bombing of al-Shifa to be ethically worse than the attack on the Twin Towers.

4. Because my aim was to have a productive dialogue, I ignored most of Chomsky’s initial accusations in the hopes of establishing some basic principles and a spirit of mutual goodwill. He viewed this as evasive—or as conceding points that I would not, in fact,have conceded.This contributed greatly to the sense that we were talking past each other. I agree with readers who feel that I might have done more to get the conversation on track. Still, I was quite bewildered by the level of hostility I met in Chomsky, and I did the best I could at the time.

5. Certain readers saw my focus on Chomsky’s tone as an abject attempt to dodge hard questions. I can only reiterate that it wasn’t. I had ready answers to most of the points Chomsky raised, and where I didn’t I was genuinely interested in discovering what I thought in conversation with him. For instance, his observation that my view of intentions requires that I count certain sincerely motivated horrors as “ethical” (albeit within the context of a mistaken worldview) is something I discussed in the very ex-cerpt from The End of Faith provided (see footnote 47). Whether such a charitable view can reasonably be applied to Hitler and Japan during WWII (I think not) is something that I would have been happy to discuss, had we ever got there.

What would the reaction have been if al-Qaeda had blown up half the pharmaceuti-cals in the U.S.? I’m sure it would have been considered a terrorist atrocity,and right- ly so. Where is my published attack on the religious motivations of George Bush? It’s in my book The End of Faith and in many subsequent articles.I wasn’t dodging these questions. I just viewed them as distractions from the necessary work of our first ag-reeing about basic ethical principles.  Nothing I said or didn’t say should have been construed as an unwillingness to criticize the U.S. government or to discuss any of its specific actions that may, in fact, constitute atrocities. As to whether we can trust Chomsky’s account of the al-Shifa bombing, I have my doubts

In each of my emails I was merely attempting to begin an exchange that would be worth reading - having considered the preceding volleys both unproductive and un-publishable. In the end, I decided to publish the whole mess to demonstrate how dif-ficult it can be to have a conversation on these important topics, in the hopes that some good might come of showing what that effort looks like on the page. I’m not sure I made the right decision, but I am certain that what I published bears little re-semblance to any debate that Chomsky and I would have had if we had formally en-gaged each other in print.Needless to say,I agree that a person’s tone, however con- temptuous, isn’t relevant to the substance of a debate. Had this been a debate, I’d have been happy to have Chomsky at his angriest.

Finally,I can only say that I was greatly disappointed by my encounter with Chomsky. I had truly hoped to have a productive conversation with him.  — SH


***


Tämä "MAIDAN-tieteen" hönttä
väittää "(Noam Chomskyn) muka geneettisen kieliopin" "syntyneen yhdellä mutaatiolla 70000 vuotta sitten"...

Tokkura
Viestejä6480
av.jpg


Andrey Vyshedskiy, hönttä väittää "(Noam Chomskyn) mka geneettisenkieliopin" "syntyneen yhdellä mutaatiolla 70000 vuotta sitten"... siinä "meni kätevästi" Chomskyn teoriankompastuskivi, ettei sellaista voi syntyä geenievoluutiossa (koska jokainen mutaatio olisi negatiivinen "geenikielympäristössä")...

Tokkura kirjoitti:

Tämä 37 000 vuotta vanha Saksasta löydetty patsas esittää leijonan ja ihmisen yhdistelmää. Jotta taiteilija on voinut luoda tällaisen, hänen on pitänyt ensin kuvitella mielessään ihmisen ja leijonan yhdistelmä. Taideteos viittaa vahvasti siihen, että ihmiset olivat saavuttaneet etuotsalohkon synteesin 37 000 vuotta sitten.


Wikimedia Commons

jussipussi kirjoitti:
jussipussi kirjoitti:
Ostaisitteko kännyä joka järkeilee noin 40-120 bitin sekuntinopeudella.  
Numerot puhuu,


"Tutkijoiden yllättävä havainto: Kaikki kielet välittävät tietoa 39 bittiä sekunnissa – Myös suomen kieli oli tutkimuksessa mukana

Kunkin kielen informaatiotiheys arvioitiin tekstien pohjalta bitteinä. Esimerkiksi japanin kielen informaatiotiheys oli alhaisin, ja suomen kielessä se oli vain hieman suurempi. Vietnamin ja thaimaan kielissä informaatiotiheys oli suurin.

Tämän jälkeen tutkijat palkkasivat vapaaehtoisia ihmisiä puhumaan ääneen identtisiä tekstejä, jotka oli käännetty heidän äidinkielelleen. Tutkijat analysoivat sitä, kuinka nopeasti lukijat saivat tekstit luettua, ja tästä he saivat laskettua keskimääräisen lukunopeuden kielille, mitattuna tavuina sekuntia kohti.

Kun tämä lukunopeus kerrottiin kielen informaatiotiheydellä, saatiin sel-ville, kuinka paljon informaatiota kukin kieli välitti sekuntia kohti. Tässä saatiin tutkijoita yllättävä tulos:eri kielet näyttivät välittävän informaatio- ta lähes samalla nopeudella, keskimäärin 39,15 bittiä sekunnissa. Vain ranska ja englanti näyttivät olevan muita kieliä tehokkaampia tässä.’


Teknologisessa mielessä nopeus ei ole päätä huimaava. Esimerkiksi jo 1990-luvun rämisevät ja piipittävät modeemit välittivät tietoa 56 kilobittiä sekunnissa, eli yli tuhat kertaa nopeammin.


TUTKIMUS VIITTAA vahvasti siihen, että kaikki kielet ovat kutakuinkin yhtä te-hokkaita tiedon välittämisessä, vaikka niiden välillä on suuria kieliopillisia eroja.

Lyonin yliopiston tutkija François Pellegrino sanoo, että tämä samanlai-suus saattaa selittyä sillä, kuinka paljon informaatiota ihmisten aivot pystyvät prosessoimaan. Erään taannoisen tutkimuksen mukaan ihminen pystyy käsittelemään englannin kielessä noin yhdeksän tavua sekunnissa kuultua puhetta.

Keskimääräinen ihminen pystyy kuitenkin helposti kuuntelemaan nauhoituksia, joita on nopeutettu 20 prosenttia ilman, että ymmärtämys kärsii.


Todennäköisempi selitys sille, miksi informaatio ei välity puheessa nopeammin, on tutkijoiden mukaan se, että tuota vauhtia nopeammin ihmiset eivät kykene kokoamaan yhteen eri ajatuksia puhuessaan."


https://tekniikanmaailma.fi/tutkijoiden-yllattava-havainto-kaikki-kielet... .

Puhekielellä ei ole "absoluuttista bittisisältöä" (kuten vaikka DNA:lla) vaan kieltä verrataan johonkin tekniseen laitteeseen, jolla esimerkiksi sen puheen asiasisältö voidaan valittää tulkittavassa muodossaan mahdollisimman pienellä bittimäärällä.

Lisää hörönlöröä "tekniikan maailmasta:


https://tekniikanmaailma.fi/uusi-teoria-selittaa-miten-ihminen-sai-kieli...


" Tiede

Biologia

|6.8.2019 9:06

Uusi teoria selittää, miten ihminen sai kielitaidon – 70 000 vuotta sitten ilmestyneen mutaation seurauksena lapset keksivät keskenään nykykielen perusteet

hmislaji teki suuren henkisen loikan noin 70 000 vuotta sitten, kun ihmiset oppivat puhumaan kieliä ja heille kehittyi nykyisen kaltainen mielikuvitus. Tutkijoiden kes-kuudessa on kuitenkin pitkään kiistelty sitä,mikä johti tähän loikkaan. Nyt Bostonin yliopiston neurotieteilijä Andrej Višedskij esittää uudessa tutkimuksessaan hypo-teesin, joka saattaa selittää kielitaidon kehittymisen ihmiselle.Tutkimus on julkaistu Research Ideas and Outcomes -julkaisussa.


Arkeologiset ja geneettiset tutkimukset ovat pitkään viitanneet vahvasti siihen, että ihmiselle on kehittynyt äänteiden tuottamiseen vaadittavat fysiologiset piirteet jo ennen kuin nykyihmiset erkaantuivat neandertalinihmisistä 600 000 vuotta sitten. Ihmiset kykenivät siis 600000 vuotta sitten tuottamaan yhtä paljon samanlaisia ääniä kuin nykyisissä kielissä käytetään.

... "

Juttu on hevonpaskaa: ei kieli ole geneettistä. Muka "Nicaraguan kuurojen lasten keksimä uusi viittomakielikin" on Noam Chomskyn huijausta: se oli muuta tunnettaa viittomakieltä.

Chomskyn sataan kertaan kumottua hölynpölyä uudessa "MAIDAN-paketissa"...

http://www.stethographics.com/a3/Syllabus.pdf

AV9/4/20191The Neurobiology of Consciousness and Evolution of LanguageClass description:Your brain is a bizarre device, set in place through natural selection of your ancestors and your own experience. One thing that clearly separates your brain from the brain ofany other non-human animal is the propensity of your brain for ima-gination and creativity. In this class we will dive into the neuroscience of imagination: from neurons to memory to neurological mechanism of generating novel conscious experiences. We willstudy what makes your brain unique and the selectional forces that shaped the brains of our ancestors. We will discuss what makes human langu-age special and how it evolved.This interdisciplinary class is intended for paleoanth-ropologists who want to learn neuroscience, psychologists who are interested in the question of the origin of language, biologists who are interested in the uniqueness of the human mind, neuroscientists who want an exposure to paleoanthropology and linguistics, philosophers fascinated by neurological basis of behavior and other stu-dents interested in an understanding of the mind of a man and the evolution of the brain.Instructor:

Andrey Vyshedskiy, email: vysha@bu.eduEducation:PhD in Neurobiology, MS in Biomedical Engineering, BS in Astrophysics.Class website:

http://stethographics.com/a3/Textbook:On The Origin Of The Human Mind, Second Edition, by Andrey Vyshedskiy,Free PDF is available here:

http://mobilereference.com/mind/mind.pdfPaperback isavailable at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1492963615