Showing posts from February, 2017

Book Review: Noam Chomsky's Who Rules The World?

The eminent linguist Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, pours invective at the accepted political narrative promulgated by the then-Obama Administration. Written before the possibility of President Trump’s electoral victory cast its ominous shadow over American politics, Chomsky’s book peels apart the hypocrisy of the American government, evident (provided, that is, one had the requisite information) since the onset of the Cold War. In an incisive and searing analysis of contemporary American policies, Chomsky persuasively substantiates his point: that America, for all its talk of morality and freedom, actively works against the proliferation of the values treasured at home. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent end of the ideological conflict, America has found itself embroiled in one military quagmire after another, destabilizing and radicalizing the very regions and peoples it criticizes for harboring terrorist

Be Fooled No More!

Contemporary politics has been rocked by the advent of ‘fake news’ and the relentless circulation of ‘alternative facts’. One cannot help but mention Donald J. Trump, loved and worshiped by some, yet hated and scorned by others; his election made liberal use of the penchant to believe whatever was said authoritatively, regardless of the truth, with little attempt by voters to discern the veracity of any piece of information they were fed. This perception of Trump by his votaries, as the final authority on fact, was only buttressed by the vitriolic backlash of the mainstream liberal media, who became so blatantly skewed in their representation of Trump and (more importantly) of his supposedly racist and supremacist popular supporters that it only served to ossify their obduracy. I do not claim that Trump falsified and sensationalized a narrative and imposed it singlehandedly on his unthinking entourage; rather, while the statistics presented seem no doubt cherry-picked and exag

Book Review: Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan is one of those books that has contributed saliently to daily vocabulary: the phrase ‘Black Swan’ is now pretty much standard fare when describing such events, which though were considered highly improbable before it happened, nevertheless occurred with blinding ferocity – throwing a wrench in the predictions of those handy but misleading ‘Gaussian Curve’ models. The Black Swan proves an intelligent read, and rather than forcing one to agree, it shows its conclusions through a transparent process of reasoning and substantiation. The analogies are as entertaining as they are invaluable in clarifying core concepts, and unlike many philosophers who dispense with making their work accessible, Taleb seems to place great importance in making himself understood by the layman.