Monday, October 24, 2011

Chomsky and Twitter

Jurgenson, N. (2011, Oct. 23). Why Chomsky is wrong about Twitter. Salon. Available 10-11.

BrightestYoungThings Interview with Noam Chomsky. (2011, Mar. 9). BrightestYoungThings blog (Interview by Jeff). Available 10-11.

FigureGround interview with Noam Chomsky, Dec. 17, 2010 (by Laureano Ralon and Alex Eljatib). Figure/Ground Communication, Available 10-11.


In this article the author criticizes Noam Chomsky, a famous linguist and leftwing critic of the media, because Chomsky belittled Twitter and social media.

Because Chomsky has spoken out against the mainstream media, his views on all media are important. In the present political climate, Twitter and social media are being used by young people in the Arab Spring and “occupy” movements, but Chomsky dismisses social media as shallow and not as good as other kinds of communication. The author feels that Chomsky is unfair to people who use social media, and feels that Chomsky doesn’t understand it well.


I am interested in this article because I’m interested in how social media influences our communication. Tweeting and writing on Facebook are like talking, and talking didn’t ruin our communication or our social relations, although it is shallower than writing by nature.

I disagree with the author when he points out that because Facebook and Twitter are heavily used by disadvantaged people to gain rights, an attack on them as a form of communication is a disguised power play by privileged people. Their inherent nature as good or bad communication is unrelated to who is using them and what they are using them for. Young people and people who are trying to get democracy or better rights for their country will use any form of communication that suits them, and aligning styles of communication with political movements is probably in the end bad for both. Does this mean that if I use Twitter, I’m a revolutionary? Or, if I write a book, I’m not? I think the forms of communication do affect the way we think, but that’s mostly because of how much time we spend doing each kind, and who we communicate with, or what we do, when we use them.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Patterson, M. (2011, Apr. 3). The paradox of dyslexia: Slow reading, fast thinking. Yale Scientific Magazine. Available 10-11.

Klass, P. (2011, Oct. 10). Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language. New York Times. Available 10-11.

Fujita, A. (2011, Oct. 12). 10,000 Free Round-Trip Tickets to Japan. ABC News Blogs, Yahoo News. Accessed 10-11.

Wolchover, N. (2011, Oct. 14). Early human language like Yoda sounded. CBS News. Accessed 10-11.

Schulten, K. (2011, Sept. 30). Teachers Teaching Teachers, on Twitter: Q. and A. on ‘Edchats’. New York Times. Accessed 10-11.

Quinnell, S-L. (2011, Sept. 20). Don't doubt the value of blogging in academic publishing. Higher Education Network, theguardian. Accessed 10-11.

Kolowich, S. (2011, Oct. 21). Myths of Online Education. Inside Higher Ed. Accessed 10-11.

Volsin, S. (n.d.) An online education in American slang. Washington Post Local photo gallery. Accessed 10-11.