Somebody up the thread referred to it as an oxymoron - I myself prefer just plain old "moron" when talking about Chomsky ;)
Now, now--bogus as Chomsky's political writings are, he's far from a moron. In other threads you claim knowledge of computing, so surely you're aware of his work in formal language theory, which has been the basis of a great deal of software. (You have it to thank for most current programming languages being easier to parse than, say, FORTRAN or COBOL, whose design wasn't influenced by formal language theory and whose syntax is perverse and irregular. For that matter, I've seen people say they wish that Stroustrup had used a parser generator when he wrote cfront, so that perhaps C++ wouldn't be the ghastly mess it is now to parse.)
This seems to happen to some people who do outstanding work in one field--they turn into crackpots in another field. Vide Chomsky, Linus Pauling, Brian Josephson, Isaac Newton. Even Joseph Weisenbaum, whose contributions are mediocre compared to the above list, went off the deep end into anti-AI rants.
posted on 09/12/2002 7:10:21 AM PDT
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