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New Pic of NC
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Noam_Chomsky_Jorge_Majfud_April_2016.jpg — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 00:20, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I find the overall tone of this article to be overly enthusiastic about Chomsky's positive attributes - like an extravangent book blurb, saying what a great guy he is. It could do with being toned down. I'm not saying the eulogies are inaccurate, or that they don't come from valid sources, but they seem to be selected just for the fact that they paint Chomsky as some sort of hero (which, incidentally, he would reject).
An example would be the section, "Reception and Influence" which begins, "Chomsky's legacy is as both a "leader in the field" of linguistics and "a figure of enlightenment and inspiration" for political dissenters." Another example would be the section "In politics", which states, "John Pilger described him as a "genuine people's hero; an inspiration for struggles all over the world for that basic decency known as freedom. To a lot of people in the margins – activists and movements – he's unfailingly supportive.""
There are several more examples in the article.
I would also comment on some of the factual content. It's roughly right, but in places, could do with more accuracy. Take for example, "Part of the reason why he focuses most of his criticism on the U.S. is because during his lifetime the country has militarily and economically dominated the world, and because its liberal democratic electoral system allows for the citizenry to exert an influence on government policy".
Well, yes, but not quite - what he usually says is that he focuses on the crimes of his own state because he feels responsible for them and is in a position to influence them - that's what the article should say. In the Buckley debate for example, he states, "I, as a matter of principle almost, restrict myself to the discussion of American terror ... because I feel that we have some responsibility for it. You see, in the same sense I’ve never written about the terror carried out by both sides in Nigeria, let’s say. I don’t like it, obviously, but I don’t see any point in my giving them good or bad marks for it. On the other hand if we were carrying out the terror I would very definitely write about it."
Not that the electoral system allows citizenry to exert influence - rather that he personally is motivated by a sense of responsibility. In my view, a more restrained and careful assessment would be beneficial. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 09:46, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Additionally I think the characterization of his critics as "corporate interests" is an absurd oversimplification. Of course some of his detractors could be characterized in this way, but many also cannot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 07:28, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
- I don't find the overall tone to be overly enthusiastic about Chomsky's positive attributes, as you describe it, however your specific examples I find very reasonable, and could use an edit as you indicate. Reading the article with your comments in mind though, I am not seeing the broad issues as you see them, but rather very specific issues that you correctly point out. I would be in agreement for some modest changes in those areas. q (talk) 01:16, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
- I don't mind the praise if legitimate criticisms are included.
- Chomsky often states that he is critical of US hegemonic power not only for his conscience, but as a US citizen with privileges and freedoms other nations' citizens do not have and cannot affect. Worth noting, he's pointed to study statistics proving most citizens are voiceless, ineffective influencing policies meanwhile policy influence only comes from corporate and elite interests who are only swayed by effective activist movements, of which he is an exceptional voice.
- Many times he's stated he's a social libertarian appreciative of Marxist, socialist, and anarchist ideas. That deserves actually mentioning.
- As for Chomsky criticisms I only have two.
- He admits his presentation is monotonous and dry and the information content should speak for itself. I wouldn't expect him do be a Donald Trump salesman, hypnotist, dancing clown, but I feel there's an ironic paradox because he's co-authored Manufacturing Consent about media, advertising, and propaganda. He clearly has goals and an agenda to change the status quo but declines to engage in the art of persuasion and convincing which he clearly understands too well. Perhaps he doesn't wish to fight fire with fire or violence with violence.
- Lastly, he's stated contradictory ideas about 9-11 and JFK's assassination. I suspect he's either aware of limits to what he can say or he's been silenced somehow. He speaks out about the illegitimacy of the Iraq War and criticizes Obama for refusing to dwell on the past preferring to look forward, something no one would say to a serial killer, mass murderer, or any other war criminal. But he refuses to acknowledge the importance or investigate the motives and cover-ups of these deep state false flag events that changed the world. To my knowledge, he's never even questioned the necessity of an unaccountable giant deep state secret agency complex running the world. But at least he's publicly reporting their activities and raising some awareness.
- I hope some of this has been helpful. JasonCarswell (talk) 13:54, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
- I believe that the issue here is not about a specific criticism that should be added (However, I may be way off with that statement). I think that the article needs to be assessed for neutrality, as I would agree that it lavishes extensive praise on Chomsky. Your specific comment about Chomsky's admitted shortcomings in terms of presentation skills is not quite what is being looked for. I think it would be beneficial to explore critics views of his ideas, instead of an issue of appearance. Olision889 (talk) 18:17, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Comparison with Skinner
This is not a debating point but just a request for clarification. Skinner had a functional approach to language, Chomsky a causal one -- he explains language as the result of an antecedent brain structure, while Skinner explained language use as the result of consequent reinforcement. These approaches are not antithetical -- I'm sure Chomsky wouldn't argue that the differences in the language use of English-speakers and Cantonese-speakers were due to differences in brain structure rather than differences in learning experience. I don't think, either, that Skinner would have disagreed with the statement that language is "unlike modes of communication used by any other animal species". I believe Skinner actually assumed an innate language ability. Maybe this issue could be fleshed out a bit. John FitzGerald (talk)
In the section near the bottom beginning "In May 2007, Jamia Millia Islamia...", Noam is misspelled. Having the "lock" on the article prevents me from dealing with it myself while reading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 03:24, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
- fixed, thanks. nableezy - 04:12, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Wrong link / misspelled name, it should say "Michael Albert" instead of Mike Albert (I couldn't edit it myself, there was no option) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 17:17, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Cut the lede down to a normal (large) size
The lede was far too long. I cut repeated biographical content that comes immediately after the lede. It's fantastic content, it's just the lede is ridiculously long. Now it's a tighter summary before coming into the article. q (talk) 03:25, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
- Thanks for explaining; to tell the truth, I assumed that the mass removal of over 50% of the lede was just vandalism and accordingly reverted it. I agree that we could perhaps trim the lede a little (that fourth paragraph in particular), but I really can't see how the mass removal of biographical detail from the lede was a good idea. The lede is only marginally longer than various other FA- and GA-rated political biographies, and as per WP:Lede we really do need to use the lede to summarise the rest of the page, and that includes the biographical outline of his life. Midnightblueowl (talk) 09:51, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
The Noam Chomsky Reading List
Hello, The Noam Chomsky Reading List uses references, taken from the notes and bibliographies in some of Chomsky's important works, to create book lists. The site catalogs 1,069 books, from 2,281 references in 17 works by Noam Chomsky.
I wondered if a link might be added to the website in the external links section as this is a useful tool for Chomsky fans that want to learn about his influences and that want to explore his major sources too.
The site has been shared twice on Chomsky's official facebook page, was linked to on his official website, and is a permanent link in the navigation section of the Chomsky subreddit. Chomsky has also visited the site and said, "Interesting list. And a fair number of surprises."
Readers might find The Top 100 Books Referenced by Noam Chomsky page the most interesting.
- While I was sympathetic to adding this, I have several issues:
- 1. This basically looks like an advertisement for Amazon, as anyone who explores the lists will see.
- 2. There's not much info about the algorithm they use to agglomerate the lists, or who runs the website.
- 3. As far as the Chomsky endorsement goes, doesn't that effectively make the link an advertisement for him, or the website?
- 4. There are single-sentence descriptions of each of the books in the list, so the informational value here is questionable.
- 5. The external links section is of considerable length as it is, and it seems likely that quite a few of these would be better :served either being incorporated into the article, or perhaps removed if they are redundant, as some appear to be.
- I think we should try to make the article more concise, and don't really see how this will help. <> Alt lys er svunnet hen (talk) 04:13, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
Hello, thanks for your consideration.
1. I use amazon associates to gain access to book descriptions and images legally. E.g., I like the modern library list of 100 best nonfiction books but it's a pain having to copy and paste titles into amazon to find out more. Better to have a link to more information for the user. Although there is a referral fee when visitors from my site buy on amazon, it nowhere near covers the actual cost of running the website. The website exists because I thought it was interesting and fun to spend 500 hours building it – painstakingly going through books to add references to a database – and I thought it would be fun to share the results.
2. I expect no one would be interested In more details about the algorithm that makes only one of the lists. But, as it states, that one list is a merging of the other lists available on the website. You can look at these other lists as they are unaltered. Originally, I thought that I'd do the Top 100 with the books that had the most references, but that was problematic. In On Anarchism Noam uses references to a select few books more than usual. So the top 10 largely became books on the Spanish Civil War. It seemed more interesting to combine lists; for example, merging the most referenced with the books used in more than one of Chomsky's texts (if Chomsky continues to reference a book in all of his books it's more interesting to me than a book he only references say 10 times in one book, the former has lasted and remained relevant over time). I have “manipulated” the data for the “best 100 books” to make a more interesting list for people, but only through favouring one list over another in the merge, but a more serious user can ignore that by looking at the original lists.
3. I don't think the website is useful as an advert for Chomsky. Some use it to criticise Chomsky: e.g. a book on Cambodia that some find controversial ranks high on the list. These critics can then use the site to find which chapters in which books he references that text, to find out what he says. The site only works for people that already want to find out more about Chomsky. I don't think it encourages people one way or the other about whether they should have an interest in Chomsky. It presumes they already have an interest. It would be quite dull without an interest. It might even be quite dull to all but hardcore Chomsky enthusiasts.
4. Even if there were no descriptions of the books I still think the information is useful. It depends if you want some idea of Chomsky's sources or not. Personally, I found this very useful for expanding my educational reading list. The categories section is also useful as you can quickly find all Chomsky's references to the Kurds, or to Japan, or to Anarchist books. Or if you want to know if Chomsky has referenced an author you can search the authors page. If he has used the author you'll find which books and where the references appear in Chomsky's works. I admit, the site is only useful to certain die-hard Chomsky fans. Also, it depends if you are in the UK or USA. The UK amazon often doesn't provide descriptions on the book pages, whereas US users will see them. The link to Amazon also provides a quick way to get to a description and to user comments. I should perhaps add goodreads links too.
5. I agree, but I think this link is of more value than most. Also there's no link to Chomsky's essay The Responsibility of Intellectuals, which is his most important and defining piece of writing, while there are plenty of links to other less worthwhile articles and interviews. Also I'd ditch the interview videos and perhaps add the movie (available on youtube) Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media instead. I'd also ditch the goodreads link. If chomskylist is an advert for amazon, goodreads is more so and is actually owned by amazon. I actually think goodreads is great, but any user of goodreads will already know about his page, and any non-user won't be interested. And goodreads is book centred anyway, author pages don't matter too much. --19th October 2016 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 13:44, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
- One issue raised in other discussions about Goodreads (which should probably be removed from the article per Other Spam Exists) relates to your website - that it may used for self-promotion. The [Links] section is (IMO) already approaching WP:BOOKSPAM, and several of these external links should be integrated into the article or removed. Whether or not Chomsky himself endorsed your website is largely irrelevant - of course Chomsky has a financial incentive to support websites that might help him sell books. You appear to have a conflict of interest as the owner/operator of the site, and at least some financial interest involved by sending readers to Amazon through this Wikipedia article. Another editor would have add this material if it is found to have redeeming informational value to the reader, but I still personally don't support adding the link under EL Advertising guidelines. Here's why:
- It is still not clear to me why the books on the Top 100 references list are so different from the first 100 entries on the Total References list of 1025 books under "More Lists". I understand why you modified the list, but this raises questions about reliability because there is no way to verify why certain sources are listed higher or lower, or whether the process of deciding which of his works are "most important" was based on some kind of source, or instead arbitrary. Amazon and Goodreads are not reliable sources. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the 17 books you classified as "most important" likely correlate with Chomsky's top-selling books on Amazon. By omitting all of his work on linguistics, it gives the impression that his most important works have been about politics... which would be a very biased and demonstrably false idea for this Wikipedia article to suggest, even by proxy in an EL section.
- Also in the future, please sign your posts by adding four tildes (~) at the end of your comment. <> Alt lys er svunnet hen (talk) 00:21, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Hello again, I can see that even official site with affiliate links are to be considered spam. My site certainly has plenty of affiliate links so I understand why it won't be included. I apologise for taking up your time. I admire all the work done on wikipedia. Just to answer a few of your interesting criticisms I've written the following. I'll change the site to add information on the "algorithm" and add a bit about how I chose the Chomsky texts. You're right that it may be useful to others. What information about myself were you looking for on the site?
How the top 100 list is created
Select all books excluding any Chomsky has written Find total references to each book from all of Chomsky's books (see references list) Find author for each book Get author score (number of authors books referenced by Chomsky) Find how many of chomsky's books the book in question has appeared in (see multiple books list)
Bernard Fall, Last Reflections on War $total_score=$row[reference_score]+(6*$row[bibliographic_score])+(6*$row[author_score]); $total_score= 8 + (6 x 7) + (6 x 3) = 68
Marx, Capital v1 $total_score=$row[reference_score]+(6*$row[bibliographic_score])+(6*$row[author_score]); $total_score= 4 + (6 x 2) + (6 x 8) = 62
Broue, Revolution and Civil War in Spain $total_score=$row[reference_score]+(6*$row[bibliographic_score])+(6*$row[author_score]); $total_score= 13 + (6 x 1) + (6 x 1) = 25
You can see that the third book has the lowest score even though it has the highest number of references. However, the other two books were referenced in more than one book by Chomsky and their author has a higher score, as more of his works are referenced by Chomsky. Therefore, these other two books have overall higher scores and rank higher on the Top 100 list. But as you can see with the first two, the total references still make a difference to the ranking.
Only include top scoring book for each author. Each author gets one book on the list.
Why did I choose those particular 17 works by Chomsky as sources.
Initially, I began by using every Chomsky book I had, which was a lot of books. But I was careful to reduce duplication, as many books of essays contain the same essays and therefore duplicate references. Later, I used a full biography of Chomsky's political works to try and ensure that there was some kind of balance over the decades, trying to ensure that works from every era were included. I also used my knowledge of Chomsky's oeuvre to include most of the classics. I found “hidden” classics during the process of creating the lists; for example, of all his books Chomsky references Deterring Democracy the most, so I made sure to include this work. Some were chosen to ensure that particular, relevant topics were covered, such as anarchism or the Middle East. There are still at least two or three others I'd like to include when I have free time: Fateful Triangle, New Mandarins, and Understanding Power. There are more modern works than older ones because I suspect the modern sources will be of more use / interest to readers, so I concentrated my efforts there. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 16:44, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
- Not a waste of time at all! WP policy actually does allow sites like this in EL sections if they're found to have redeeming informational value. Lets say you flipped the script on your site and made a repository of authors/books that cited Chomsky's work - they would be almost entirely about language and linguistics, not politics. If your standards for inclusion were A) Chomsky books that you own, & B) Chomsky books/sources that you feel are more interesting/useful/relevant to readers - then these would be arbitrary standards. While his political/philosophy works are likely more interesting for 90% of the readers who come to this article, even if you used all of them we would still be misleading people because Chomsky has written about a lot more than politics. I certainly don't expect you to go and revamp your site to include all of his groundbreaking work in linguistics, because that clearly isn't what you were going for. However, if you make the changes you described above, it is possible that the site could be added so long as the wikilink clearly states that it is based on a selection of his political work. I think we should both sit back for a while and let other editors chime in about this. <> Alt lys er svunnet hen (talk) 14:07, 21 October 2016 (UTC)