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Oh dear, someone isn’t happy with Tom Wolfe’s Kingdom of Speech


Kingdom of Speech.jpgThe Kingdom of Speech

From E. J. Spode at 3 AM Magazine (“Whatever it is, we’re against it”), a longish review of Tom Wolfe’s The Kingdom of Speech:

Because, in this day and age, it isn’t about finding the truth; it’s about winning the news cycle. This attitude is pristinely reflected in a review of the book in Canada’s Globe and Mail.

“Wolfe is a reporter and an entertainer, an opinionated raconteur rather than a scientist, and that is why we will always report on his jocular provocations. And if they serve as an excuse to explain what universal grammar was in the first place – as it has done – then Chomsky should be thrilled.”

Right. Because what could thrill Chomsky more than to have the media fraudulently misrepresent his theory using a facts-be-damned line of anti-intellectual argumentation that exoticizes another human culture? Chomsky must be “thrilled” about that, because, my God, his whole life he has been complaining that the media is too serious and too concerned with getting the facts right, when it should be, you know, writing about the Kardashians and otherwise using misinformation to bring eyeballs to advertisers. THRILLED I tell you!

Now, we warned you he wasn’t happy.

And here we are. We’ve had our laughs at the expense of Wolfe and Everett and the journalists that fawn over them, but if you think about it, it really isn’t funny.

Yes it is. Things can be serious and funny at the same time.

One of the greatest scientists of our lifetime has embarked upon a fascinating research program. The program is exploring a property of human nature – the language faculty – and he is attempting to show how a half-century of research by thousands of linguists from around the world can be grounded in low-level mathematical and biophysical properties of our world. And whether that program is successful or not, it is a vision of remarkable beauty – the recursive patterns of our languages and their variety and complexity could be understood perhaps as well as we now understand the spiral patterns in the nautilus shell or the recursive patterns of the snowflake.

Well, if the program of fully naturalist interpretations of mind and consciousness is not clearly successful, why is Chomsky to be reverenced beyond question?

He came to us with that gift. He did not ask us to believe him, nor did he insist that we engage in that project ourselves. He simply told us what his project was and invited us to join him. And all we as a culture could do in our upscale magazines and newspapers and blogs was shit all over the man and clog the conversation with an endless stream of transparent gibberish from obvious charlatans. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Actually, Chomsky was not noted for being gentle with critics.

I’m not worried about Chomsky, however, no more than I’m worried about Darwin’s position in future histories of science. Chomsky’s position too will be just fine. I do worry about how we will look in those histories, however. Because from where I sit the rampant anti-intellectual responses and the failures to distinguish nonsense from solid science in the attacks on Chomsky’s work look more like harbingers of a new dark age, one that rejects thoughtful scientific probes into human nature and levels charges of a new kind of apostasy– the apostasy of using one’s mind instead of gut instinct. And I suspect that, from the perspective of future intellectual historians, Chomsky’s ability to produce this last great piece of work against the backdrop of our new dark age will make his achievements seem all the more impressive.More.

A new dark age? Just because Wolfe skewers Chomsky’s pretensions and those of the Darwinians? My, my, we are getting very fragile already.

We are informed, by way of bio, that E. J.Spode “know his shit!” and a lingering sense of social decency forbids us to question whether he knows it or not.

See also: Tom Wolfe on Evolution as a Theory of Everything

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in this day and age, it isn’t about finding the truth; it’s about winning the news cycle.
Sadly, yes. But, to LIE is to speak in disregard to truth, in hope of profiting from what is said or suggested being taken as true. Where, if one makes falsity his or her yardstich, s/he will reject what accurately describes reality -- the truth -- as it will not line up with a crooked yardstick. That might work for a time, until there is a collision with hard reality. Which seems to be the course of our civilisation just now. March of folly, that's us. KF kairosfocus
Excuse me, but I am sick and tired of the attacks upon people that disagree with the accepted paradigm. These people are befuddled and blinded with the inability to think past their "felt" convictions. They cannot and are not even able to see past their noses. I always thought that Cornelius Van Til's presuppositional theology was just Calvinism taken to the extremes, but after much talking to and relating to the anti christian atheists and they are anti christian above all else as far as I can see convinces me that Jesus when He said they would hate you because of me" and Van Til listening to Jesus were correct. How much so I will not argue, but I am now a Calvinist simply because it seems to fit the facts as well as the Biblical interpretation. The Natural man cannot come to God because he doesn't want too. How much "prevenient" grace is given to man I cannot speak to. The blindness of mankind and my experience with people in my own family and beyond that who actually believe their own lies is mind boggling, I have seen this over and over. Politics shows this, the different sides insist on doing the same thing over and over again and do not see what they have done has changed nothing or made it worse. Man's freewill cannot overcome his nature of being dead in sins and trespasses. Only the Grace of God can remedy the poor situation of everybody's soul. Einstein said it, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." By that definition Humanity is insane, where did it come from? SIN, love of darkness while being afraid of it. How sad as there are so many great works of man. jimmontg
as to:
"I’m not worried about Chomsky, however, no more than I’m worried about Darwin’s position in future histories of science. Chomsky’s position too will be just fine."
Actually, I agree that Chomsky was far closer to the truth than Everett is,,,
Tom Wolfe on Language and Evolution - Michael Egnor - August 31, 2016 Excerpt: I'll give a précis of my views on Chomsky's theories and Everett's challenge. I think that Chomsky is fundamentally right, and I am skeptical of Everett's claim.,,, This Thomistic perspective makes sense of Chomsky's observation that natives of Everett's Brazilian tribe can learn Portuguese quite easily, which is a language that exhibits both universal grammar and recursion. Members of this small tribe have the active potency to use human language fully, but don't ordinarily exercise full language ability in their speech within their culture. However, they easily learn to do so when they learn other languages. Everett's natives have a language organ, but they don't ordinarily use it. The actual use of an ability (second actuality) is not the same thing as having the ability (first actuality). http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/08/tom_wolfe_on_la103105.html
While I agree with Michael Egnor that Chomsky was far closer to the truth than Everett is, Wolfe's whole book started out with reference to this stunning admission by Chomsky,,,
Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language - December 19, 2014 Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,, (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, "The mystery of language evolution," Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).) Casey Luskin added: “It's difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.” http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/12/leading_evoluti092141.html Language Is a Rock Against Which Evolutionary Theory Wrecks Itself - Michael Egnor September 19, 2016 Excerpt: "The most fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of our linguistic capacity remain as mysterious as ever," [the authors] concluded. Not only that, they sounded ready to abandon all hope of ever finding the answer. Oh, we'll keep trying, they said gamely... but we'll have to start from zero again. One of the eight was the biggest name in the history of linguistics, Noam Chomsky. "In the last 40 years," he and the other seven were saying, "there has been an explosion of research on this problem," and all it had produced was a colossal waste of time by some of the greatest minds in academia. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/09/language_is_a_r103151.html
Exactly what is Spode's gripe against Wolfe when Chomsky himself basically provides the own rope for his hanging? Moreover, Sound and/or Language has a far deeper reach into reality than materialists presuppose https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/scientific-american-chomsky-largely-overturned/#comment-616993 Moreover, although humans are fairly defenseless creatures in the wild compared to other creatures, such as lions, bears, and sharks, none-the-less, humans have, completely contrary to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking, managed, (as Wolfe made mention of in his book), to become masters of the planet, not by brute force, but simply by our unique ability to infuse information into material substrates in order to create, i.e. intelligently design, objects that are extremely useful for our defense, basic survival, furtherance of our knowledge, and also for our pleasure. https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/nprs-interview-with-tom-wolfe-on-his-new-book/#comment-616016 bornagain77
"A new dark age? Just because Wolfe skewers Chomsky’s pretensions and those of the Darwinians? My, my, we are getting very fragile already." They have always been fragile creatures desperately clinging to a delusion called Darwinian evolution. Their leadership is completely unhinged at the moment, with wild-eyed lunatics like Lawrence Krauss taking the point position. Utter fools. Truth Will Set You Free

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