Charlie LeDuff has a Point

SH*TSHOW! is a great book. His reporting on the people working at the Mercedes-Benz factory opened my eyes about unions. Why did they vote to keep the UAW out? Why? In May when I wrote about the pending Supreme Court’s Janus decision I made the assumption that strong unions were the only way to resurrect the middle class. … More Charlie LeDuff has a Point

Language and Thought: Are they the same?

Dr. Steven Pinker asked the question:”What sense, then, can we make of the suggestion that images, numbers, kinship relations, or logic can be represented in the brain without being couched by words?” (Language Instinct, p. 64) He credits Alan Turing as being the man responsible for making the idea of mental representation, which Pinker calls mentalese, scientifically … More Language and Thought: Are they the same?

Can We Think without Words?

Are language and thought one and the same? Can we only know reality through the medium of language? Donald Fagen, one of the geniuses behind Steely Dan, in his autobiography Elegant Hipsters, traces entire subcultures spawned by Count Korzybski’s General Semantics. The basic idea of the book is succinctly summarized by Steven Pinker in The Language Instinct: “General … More Can We Think without Words?

Steven Pinker: Friend or foe of the Enlightenment?

It pains me to write this. This morning my Google news feed included a  review of Enlightenment Now from the Jacobin magazine denouncing Steven Pinker as a “false friend of the Enlightenment”; and this, just when I thought I could sit back and watch the march of progress from the comfort of my own home.  Dr Frim, … More Steven Pinker: Friend or foe of the Enlightenment?

What Is?

To ask this question deeply is to step into quicksand from which there may be no return for those who sincerely ask it. You may, for the rest of your life, be consumed with trying to answer it. Nothing will ever seem to be the same again. Just look at the Pied Pipers of the … More What Is?