My exchange with Avram Chomsky

In recent times, I asked Avram (“Ave” for short):

Greetings, Professor Avram Chomsky. I am finding myself wondering: how does losing one’s ability in, say, a second-language affect (if at all), one’s memories of conversations one had in that language? Perhaps in your journeys in linguistics you have not discovered this answer, but I did not know who else to ask.

Nikolay Sokolov
Blog: https://sciencedefeated.wordpress.com/

He replied:

Interesting question, but I’ve never seen any study of it.

This shows that my investigations have vexed even the greatest minds of our times and places! I try not to boast on this blog, but sometimes the going gets hard! I think you’d do the same!

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Mission Accomplished: Jonathan Krohn is no longer a hoax

A few years back, me here at S&MD demonstrated that Jonathan Krohn is hoax. See the studies posted here and here. Well, according to both Politco and Huffingtonpost, Krohn yielded to the moral pressure exerted by my campaign. Granted, he is saving face by referring to his hoax as a matter of “naive[ness]”. But I’m still pleased.

This also verifies my conditional claim, expounded in the second study above: If Jonathan is not a hoax, then he has Chatterbox Syndrome. Since Krohn is a hoax, the anti-cedent of my conditional is false. Now, it is an axiom of human rationality that if the anti-cedent of a conditional statement is false, then the conditional as a whole is true. So: my statement has now been empirically verified.

Spiderman, the IRS, and Brain Surgeons having heart attacks

In non-science news….

Did you know that if your kid is kidnapped, then you can still make money off him? At least that’s what is claimed over at The Prestigious Internet, one of my favorite blogs other than my own.

It’s good news for parents of kidnapped kids!

Speaking of good news, a real Spiderman has saved a real child. I think the IRS should offer a tax break for parents with kids saved by Spiderman.

Spiderman saves the day!

Spiderman saves the day!

And less importantly but still good news, a brain surgeon finished a surgery despite having a heart attack.

Technopoly and the New Animal Genocide

As any Berkeley professor can tell you, animals rights activists are getting more violent by the nanosecond. But, given certain recent events, I’m beginning to contemplate what President Obama once said: “[D]oing nothing in a period of repressive violence is itself a form of violence.” Perhaps animal rights activists are, for the first time in their angry lives, on to something.

The coming animal genocide is already being foreshadowed in zoology. And the justification appears to be tough economic times. This is known as the “starve the beast” tactic, pioneered by philosopher of rights Leo Strauss, later developed into its modern form by Richard Weaver. While politically it’s a Machiavellian brilliant move, it’s morally dispicable. But Zoology isn’t the only field where we can see that a storm is coming. Bird Studies has also issued some ominous omens, corroborated by everyone. But this is just where it starts to get interesting.

chitty

My more sophisticated readers will have read enough Neil Postman to know that our society is basically run by Technopolists. Professor Postman coined this term, and it refers to those whose primary modus of operandi is that technology not only be used, but more or less worshiped as mankind’s salvation. Sound silly? It may have back in the 1980’s when technology was largely fictional, but now it is a reality realer than realness itself. Combine the disturbing facts about birds with the recent development of flying cars, and you might begin to get the picture. Never mind the primitive out-of-date propaganda we’re sending out kids, innovations like flying cars are the wave of the future. And these innovations have a one-to-one correspondence with the animals they are replacing. Using Bayes’ Calculus a la cartes Richard Swinburne, it is enormously improbable that this is just coincidence.

Of course, as Professor Postman warned us, technopoly comes with a price. And the genocide against animal life has consequences both dire and ironic.

Looks like Postman’s “childhood” isn’t the only victim in this race to the technopological finish line; the entire animal kingdom is going down with it.

If Jonathan Krohn is not a hoax, then he has Chatterbox Syndrome

chatterboxkrohn1

Many of you have by now read the New York Times article about Jonathan Krohn. For his sting operation against the Republicans as a deep cover liberal, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Just after I (the first one!) break the story that he is a hoax, he gets a major credibility boost from the newspaper of record. I’m not too concerned, however; as Martin Eisenstadt has shown, official news organizations are not immune from being fooled in this manner.

The only arguments I’ve seen that he is not a hoax are extremely thin. For example, some lady named “Kate,” probably herself a fraud (her one identifying feature turns out to be false), thinks that because he is an actor, he must therefore not be a political hoax. Have you ever heard such an absurd argument? This Kate person thinks that being an actor makes it less likely that someone is acting. I’ve heard a lot of idiotic arguments (mostly in favor of Dark Matter), but this one might top them all. Kate, if you’re out there, the only thing maintaining my faith in humanity is my knowledge that you, like Mr. Krohn, are not being genuine.

To return to my major thesis: Jonathan Krohn’s rhetoric is vastly too empty for him to be legitimate. If he really was a “prodigy,” this would mean that his content would be above the level of a twelve year old, not just his speaking skills -his form, if you will. This makes me think of one thing: Chatterbox Syndrome, more technically called Williams’ Syndrome (to me the word “chatterbox”  sounds more technical than “William,” but since when has scientific nomenclature made any sense whatsoever?). Anyway, his words are virtually empty. They are rough, but slightly garbled, parrots of Limbaugh, Hannity, and the rest. Plus, this Krohn kid talks way too fast, is way too cheerful, and way too likable by the people he encounters. These are the exact symptoms of Chatterbox Syndrome. Look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me. It’s in the official dictionary of neuropsychology, under “cocktail party syndrome,” yet another one of its names.

Anyway, it’s really the complete utter lack of information in his words that clinches it for me. “Kate” said that his ideas are his own, but this begs the obvious question: What ideas? His ideas are non-existent, not to mention his factual knowledge. Of course this clincher comes with several lesser supports, such as they fact that he is an actor, and that his alleged book does not actually exist.

All I can say is, if he is not a hoax (unlikely), then his parents and other handlers should be ashamed of themselves for letting the poor boy continue to publicly humiliate himself with empty nonsense platitudes, as he does.

If he is serious, and does not have Chatterbox Syndrome, then I am at a loss. Perhaps he is the first known case of some other neurological disorder. What shall we call it? Krohn’s Disease.

Jonathan Krohn is a Hoax

This is not quite related to my usual theme, although I have been known to dabble in politics from time to time (and I guess the science of gender is inherently political).

Some of you may be following the “Wunderkind” story of Jonathan Krohn, alleged conservative “prodigy.” Huff Post has the story here. You can also find the Air America interview here. Lastly, to top it all off, the Mike Gallagher radio interview. Want Jonathan Krohn’s website? Here it is. If you don’t feel like clicking on links today, just watch the main video in question right here, on Science and Math Defeated, through the wonders of the Internet.

I am the first to call hoax. You can see multiple other videos on Youtube. My basic reason are as follows:

1) His views, influences, and biography are all stereotypical. He’s homeschooled, he “got into politics” through being anti-Democrat during the Clinton era and listening to talk radio. On top of all this he was homeschooled.

2) His words are virtually empty. He claims conservativism is founded upon “four principles” which are an ad hoc collection of contermporary American issues. Nothing to do with, for example, Edmund Burke.

3) In one interview he is asked who is favorite philosopher is and he says Ronald Reagan.

4) His book is virtually impossible to find or purchase online except through his website.

5) The explanatory hypothesis of him being a child actor parodying the conservative movement has much explanatory force. It explains his high level of articulation and poor level of substance. Plus, his repetition of his most inane talking points no matter what question he is asked. Most importantly, he is a child actor!

We’ll see if I turn out to be right on this. I think I will, because I turn out to be right on everything!

Others whose hoax existence makes it possible that this is a hoax: Daxflame, Martin Eisenstadt, Andy Kaufman, Joaquin Phoenix, Ann Coulter.

Two Cheers for Thanksgiving 2008

Everyone has to admit, Thanksgiving is a delicious holiday. Can anyone deny it? No one can deny it.

But what some people don’t know, and what some people do deny, is that Thanksgiving commemorates genocide against the native Indian population. The famous LaRouchian scholar Howard Zinn cites Christopher Colombus’s journals as follows:

As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts (pg 2).

With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want (pg. 1)

Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold (pg 4)

Does that make you thankful! No sir! But, there is a catch 22 about this. Consider the argument of Dinesh D’Souza, himself a decendant of Indians. He argues, in his scholarly tome Two Cheers for Colonialism, that indeed these British colonies had eventual good effects for civilization, and even on the Indians themselves. So, there’s always a bright side to things, even genocide.

So this Thanksgiving, be thankful for longterm good effects.