Chomsky reference

Ask me anything about Noam Chomsky

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Leaf Cutter Ant—Megachile chomskyi

I learned yesterday, at a lecture given by Noam (Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East —http://events.mit.edu/event.html?id=15002934&date=2013/9/10 ) that a new species of Leafcutter bees was named in honor of Noam.

New Species of Leafcutter Bee Discovered in Texas

Megachile chomskyi

A new species of leafcutter bees, Megachile chomskyi, has been discovered in Texas. The genus Megachile is a cosmopolitan group of solitary bees, often called leafcutter bees. It is one of the largest genera of bees, with well over 1,500 species in over 50 subgenera. A male Megachile chomskyi is pictured above.

The new species is named after Professor Noam Chomsky, Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research was published here in ZooKeys.

Dr, Cory Sheffield, the author of the study, said in a statement, “In addition to naming the species after Dr. Chomsky to honour his many accomplishments, I also have been a huge fan and follower of his writings, lectures, and political views for a long time.”

Photo: Cory S. Sheffield (Royal Saskatchewan Museum)



Posted on April 4, 201

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Noam’s continuing gifts to the MIT Libraries

From MIT’s Serials cataloguer’s facebook:
Noam Chomsky has been giving his personal library to the MIT Libraries over the years. Now we are on the obscure leftist newsletters from the 1960s through the 1980s.

One is from the “Front uni national du Kampuchea”, or F.U.N.K. I am not making this up.
  • Christopher Walker The PRC government of that era had immense difficulty imagining the “national” ambitions of folks outside their sphere of influence. They would not have caught the irony in that name.
  • Ben Abrahamse Christopher I was wondering if they wrote in French (the language of their former colonial masters) to avoid Chinese censors, or simply because there were no Cambodian alphabet typewriters available (it’s a typescript).
  • Christopher Walker these were Norodom Sihanouk’s then-cronies, right? He had a French education.
  • Ben Abrahamse I don’t see Sihanouk mentioned anywhere. The only name that shows up regularly is one Khieu Samphân, (established in the NAF under n87-143906), who styles himself, “Membre du Bureau politique du C.C. du F.U.N.K., Vice premier-ministre & Ministre de la defense nationale.”
  • Dana Elder Authority work at its finest.
  • Paul Abrahamse Khieu Samphan was Pol Pot’s lieutenant, essentially Bootzilla to Pol’s Starchild in the Parlement F.U.N.K. - adelic.
  • Ben Abrahamse Useful context from a modern Asian history/post-disco funk expert.
  • Paul Abrahamse Wish I could have written a doctoral dissertation on that. I’m sure someone has
  • Martin Sirois Still, it’s better than the Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society. Bonus points if you know where I took this!

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Peruvian President Humala visits MIT

Noam was traveling ( to Lebanon and Germany) during President Humala’s visit, but I hope he reads this book: “To commemorate the visit, Humala presented Reif with a silver frame — a token of Peru’s long history in silverwork. In return, Reif presented Humala with a gift of two books: a signed copy of Instiute Professor and Professor of Linguistics Emeritus Noam Chomsky’s “Interventions,” in Spanish, and “Countless Connecting Threads: MIT’s History Revealed through Its Most Evocative Objects.”

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Question from user outside of chomskyref

Has NC ever used the term “Brind” to describe Brain + mind?
I have the vague notion that it was he that coined this term, but no proof on internet.
It is used very occasionally in connection with LAD within pyscholinguistics…

I searched full text sources for brind in Noam’s writings and found nothing, but proving a negative is very difficult, so I asked Noam directly last week.  He said definitively that he has never used the term and certainly did not coin it.

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ceramicfiver asked: What's Chomsky's daily life like? Where does he get his news/what does he read/how can I get access to it? and is there a biography on him I could read? Also, is he a vegetarian? I'm assuming he would be, more or less, given the huge amounts of fossil fuels dedicated the livestock industry, and his health in old age. How focused is he on his health? does he try to live as long as he can to give as much as he can to the world? Thank you!

Some of your questions are about Chomsky’s personal life,which I will not comment on.  He reads a wide variety of media, both in print and online daily.  He reads the major U.S., British, Canadian, and Israeli newspapers, and subscribes to a large variety of magazines and newsletters.  Most are available to you on the web.

There are two biographies:  Robert F. Barsky, Noam Chomsky: A life of Dissent (MIT Press, 1997, and Wolfgang B. Sperlich, Noam Chomsky, London, Reaktion Books, 2006.  I have a slight preference for the Sperlich title.

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flatulenceontoast asked: Has Noam Chomsky ever written specifically about the Mass Culture Debate, or some variant of it (i.e. the concept of a certain value being placed to certain cultural works over others, and the assumed criteria for superiority)?

I could not find any specific references in Chomsky’s works, but you may find this book of interest:

The Social and Political Thought of Noam Chomsky

By Alison Edgley, Routledge  2002 ISBN: 978-0415285674


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kropotkin1 asked: Hello from Fukushima, Japan! I was wondering if you may have an updated list of all of Professor Chomsky's awards, honorary degrees, etc...I know there is quite a list on wiki, but it has been the same for several years I believe, and I'm sure there are at least a few (hundred?) more. Thanks! Kropotkin Beard

I hope you are well in Fukushima, Japan. 

Yes, I keep a list of his awards, honors, prizes.  Here is the list for 2012:

Awards and Honors

2012   Lifetime of Leadership for Peace and Justice, Coalition for Peace  Action, NJ

2012   People Before Profits Award, Center for Popular Economics, Amherst, MA

2012   Latin American Peace and Justice Award in honor of NACLA’s 45th Anniversary

Honorary Degrees

2012   Honorary Degree, Islamic University, Gaza

2012   Honorary Degree, Australia Asia Research and Education Foundation           

2012   DHC, SISSA, School for Advanced Studies, Trieste, Italy                       

2012   D.Litt, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

 

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sebastianspitz asked: At the end of the film "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media ", there is an excerpt of a speech by Chomsky that begins as follows: "Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate...". I was wondering the place and time of that speech, and whether a full transcript is available.

I cannot find a full video of this talk, but it was given at ACLU of Rochester NY.  It is mentioned in the companion book to the film, Manufacturing Consent (Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, The companion book to the award winning film by Peter Wintonick and Mark Achbar. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1994.) There is a full quote and some references to Chomsky’s ideas vis a vis predatory capitalism.

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frankroyce asked: (Kind of a broad question) How does Dr. Chomsky basically seem to read everything? I.e. does he have a team of research assistants find new scholarly literature on the subjects he's following, and do they summarize it? How does he actually manage to get so much work done and give speeches all the time and write correspondence? Does he have some Olympian time-management skills?

Professor Chomsky reads a wide array of news sources and academic journals.  He reads very quickly, and has a prodigious memory.  Many years ago, I got a call from his assistant asking me for a photocopy of a N Y Times article from 10 years ago.  He gave me the date, the author of the article and told me in was on the bottom right hand side of the page.  Being a reference librarian at the time, I dismissed his memory and went to the N Y Times index.  Indeed, the article was on the date he remembered and the page number was correct.  When looking at the microfilm, I noticed the article was in the bottom right corner. After that, I always took his memory to be accurate and went directly to the microfilm.

He has 1.5 assistants which he shares with Emeritus Professor Morris Halle.  They keep his schedule and run his office he comes in 3 or 4 days a week when he is not traveling.  He works at least 16 hours a day and answers his own e-mail.  He has lots of deadlines for his linguistics articles and his public policy articles, most of which he meets. He often uses the summer months to get a lot of work done, as he comes into the office once a week or less.

He has kept clipping files and frequently is sent articles by his correspondents.