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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Three Ideas of Noam Chomsky

Today I heard an interview with Noam Chomsky.  He expressed three ideas that I want to set down for safekeeping.

·        *  We are constantly inculcated by doctrines and ideology (sets of fixed ideas) that can misdirect us in understanding the world.  One purpose of higher education, for example, is to over several years “finish” students and have them buy into ideological maps to consistently thereafter channel thought.  This can be unfortunate, as these set ways of seeing phenomena may prejudice us against perceiving things as they actually occur—often contrary even to what otherwise would be obvious.

·       *   Intellectual study includes not only university pursuits but the work of craftsmen and tradesmen.  They intellectualize seemingly intractable problems on a regular basis and use fresh insights to solve them.

·        *  In attacking difficult problems, it is often not fruitful to attack them at their most difficult and problematic center.  It can be more productive to attack problems on their periphery where there is greater possibility of successful insight.

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