Friday, March 26, 2004

Thanks to The Persian Blogger Chronicles, I found out that Noam Chomsky has started a blog . I'm so happy. Chomsky is so dry and precise even in his blog that i can't do a skim-job of what he has written. this is good news for my brain.

Some years ago, I saw Chomsky speak about East Timor in a super small room on the Berkeley campus. He was giving two talks then, one big huge one on linguistics which was widely advertised and the little talk on East Timor which was kept on the down low.

I can't quite remember how i'd found out about the smaller talk because i was a stupid self-involved undergraduate who wasn't into political activism at all. maybe i heard about it from a Colombian guy i was briefly dating and whose name i can't even remember. i can picture myself in a long green dress, sitting next to the very unobtrusive and sweet Colombian dude (oh, maybe that's where i met him?), listening very intently to Noam Chomsky and having no idea what he was talking about.

Up to that point, the only thing I knew about Chomsky was his linguistics, and that was filtered through John Searle, who always had some story about how some great thinker or another, in this case Chomksy, had admitted to him in private that he (meaning Searle) was really right about whatever philosophical dispute they were hashing out in academic conferences and essays.

so there i was, in a small room in Kroeber Hall, expecting to hear a philosophy of language talk and more or less convinced that Searle's theories on Intentionality really did explain pretty much all there was to figure about meaning and consciousness, and Chomsky was going on and on about Indonesian dictatorship and U.S. foreign policy.

out of it as i was, i think that listening to Chomsky on that day made a small dent in the right direction in my psyche. i'm hoping reading his blog will do for me now what his talk on East Timor did for me then....