Tom Wolfe tries to take down Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky with baffling and terrible results Alternate title The Wrong Stuff Tom Wolfe one day stumbled across a 2014 essay by eight eavyweight Evolutionists the famed linguist Noam Chomsky being notability among them and was startled by their conclusion that after 150 years of scientific research and academic speculation what we know about speech and language remains as mysterious as ever A poverty of evidence they wrote leaves us with no explanation of ow and why our linguistic computations and representations evolvedWolfe looked askance at this conclusion noting first The Accidental Startup how odd it was for a group of experts to announce what abject failures they were but then wisely proceeded to uestion the essay s underlying assumption According to Chomsky et al the notion that languageas evolved just like any other trait of living organisms was uncontroversial In the story which The Man in the High Castle he presents Wolfe inis inimitable style as a reporter and storyteller challenges that assumption Why must language Essays from the Visit of Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to Heidelberg have evolvedThe story of evolution begins of course with Charles Darwin or as Wolfe reminds us with Alfred Russell Wallace 1823 1913 who virtually beat Darwin to the punch on biological evolution but ultimately uestioned Darwin s conclusion on the evolution of language The DarwinWallace rivalry told entertainingly by Wolfe is juxtaposed with the author s account of a modern rivalry concerning the origin of language one which pitted Chomsky s supposition of an inborn universal grammar against that theory s challenger Daniel L Everett Don t Sleep There Are Snakes Everett concluded after closely studying a tribe indigenous to a remote part of the that language did not evolve rathere posits it is an artifact created by mankindThe story ends with Wolfe choosing sides His solution to the mystery will no doubt be uickly added to the long list of unsubstantiated theories A Taste of Darkness (Mackenzie Vampires he cites Words create meaning Wolfe suggests Yet others beginning long beforeim In Darkest London have contended far convincingly just the opposite we create words to designate meaning while meaning is simply apprehended In short the origin of languageas an essential side to it which to the reader s misfortune Wolfe never explored It is a view that Naturalistless has been with us since Aristotle walked the streets of Athens one which does not pre suppose a divinity but which consistent with Everett insists that language could notave evolved biologicallyThus in this significant way Wolfe s tour of the origin of language is incomplete Nevertheless The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler his challenge to scientific authorityas merit The eight evolutionists deserve credit for admitting what they do not know but to suggest their uest for an evolutionary basis of language is uncontroversial opened them up to the very entertaining smack down Wolfe Babys Mealtime has thoughtfully delivered inis The Kingdom of Speech A great entertaining read Wolfe gets off some magnificent and irreverent lines aimed at the neo Darwinian The Miracle Equation hand wavers Moreovere is largely invulnerable to any counter attack from them because the one place The Dawn of Modern Thought he doesis own The Infamous Ellen James (Infamous, hand waving is a place where none of them can go Iope to write about this later This book forms a loose trilogy with The Painted Word Wolfe s dissection of art and art criticism and From Bauhaus to Our House Samael Aun Weor, The Absolute Man his similar evisceration of architectural theory This book is different in that Wolfeas ventured into scientific theory or actually oly writ ie Darwinian evolutionary theory Those two books also dealt with a smaller topic the conflict between American independent thought and the tendency *of American intellectuals to follow European isms one of Wolfe s particular bugaboos But even though this book deals *American intellectuals to follow European isms one of Wolfe s particular bugaboos But even though this book deals science you see the same themes as Wolfe s earlier works the importance of cultural and class distinctions in ow thoughts gain social currency the need for Satria dari Negeri Tayli 1-28 human beings to group themselves off intoostile tribes even within civilization the capacity of intellectuals to accept large concepts for largely non intellectual reasons and the importance of personality in shaping what are supposed to be impersonal concepts that shape Goethean Science how we live our lives Wolfe likes to toss these occasional grenades into the ether and watch people shrink inorror when they see their various sacred cows in art science or politics threatened Like those earlier works Wolfe does some reporting but largely relies on previously published work into which Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets! he injectsis own distinctive style One need only look at the reviews to see some of Digital Crossroads his suspicions confirmed How dare this mere journalist uestion the accepted logic of scientists What coulde possibly know of science All sounding strangely enough like offended clergymen confronted with The Origin of the Species There are various stories within the story and Wolfe enjoys showing Darwin as not so much a big brain but as a man with maladies and pride and vanity much in the same vein as Noam Chomsky and others This drives ome is point that our intellectual The Einstein Theory of Relativity heroes are not always so much concerned with truth as their own jealously guarded reputations Keeping in mind this is a 169 page book with footnotes Wolfe isn t interested in a big takedown of evolutionary theory as much as a window onow How to Negotiate Your First Job human beings digest thought One gets a sense of the vast acreage ofow much we don t really know about areas we pretend we completely understand and ow much of what we think is unshakeable scientific fact may be resting on foundations of educated guesses making us no different than the ancestors we look down upon The effect perhaps isn t so much that we should mistrust what we know as we should never be afraid to uestion any part of it Maybe Tom Wolfe should be commended for diving eadfirst into a complicated even esoteric debate raging inside linguistics and exposing it to a far larger audience than ever before But praise for this book should really end there As someone
With Some Formal Training Insome formal training in and extensive exploration of the field as a Perfect Justice (Ben Kencaid, hobby I read Wolfe s prose in the voice of a supremely confident almost entirely uninformed brat In dealing with the fraughtotly debated uestion of the origin of language Wolfe cannot resist engaging in gross simplifications and exaggerations which turned me off entirely and really limited The Literary Relationship of Lord Byron and Thomas Moore his cred. The maestro storyteller and reporter provocatively argues that what we think we know about speech anduman evolution is wrongTom Wolfe whose legend began in journalism takes us on an eye opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate The Kingdom of Speech.
characters Ð E-book, or Kindle E-pub ✓ Tom WolfeIbility as a narrator As an example Suggestions for Marketing Small Timber he repeatedly boils long windedighly technical series of academic comments ie criticisms and their subseuent rebuttals into Facebook style clickbait New Exploration headlines Everett et al DEMOLISH Chomsky and His Ilk Not once doese actually engage with the academic materials The Shaping of Western Civilization he references likely becausee does not know ow Wolfe is very obviously invested in a simple David and Goliath narrative one in which a umble soft spoken newcomer Dr Daniel Everett takes on the academic establishment and wins in resounding fashion In fact the matter in uestion is far far from settled and the thuggish intimidating Goliath in this case Noam Chomsky is mostly conjured out of thin air Perhaps most irritatingly Wolfe is not at all interested in grappling with the actual content of the academic debate The Ecology, Exploitation and Conservation of River Turtles he simply declares a winner and revels in the drama ofis unlikely victoryWhen Wolfe does get around to positing where Medicine and Religion he thinks language came from or rather whate thinks Dr Everett thinks The Hockey Saint (Forever Friends, his summation is laughably simple even crude After repeatedly mocking some of the great minds of all time eg Darwin Chomsky for failing to construct an effective explanation for language s originse puts forth an unbelievable almost comical theory that Valentino he spends all of two pages expounding Charles Darwin it turns out is no match for Tom WolfeThe whole thing is smug pretentious and frankly insulting Maybe worst of all Tom Wolfe abuses ellipses No seriously you will not believe the number of pointless ellipsese uses After Wolfe s death I looked for books e authored that I adn t read This is oneThe Kingdom of Speech is short 170 pages and leans on research than reporting However like all Tom Wolfe books it is a fun read extremely clear and non obvious as Shunned he dissects the way in whichuman language Craving (Willow Creek, has been treated in evolutionary theory by among others Darwin Chomsky and Everett Wolfe s discussion of Everett s field work with the Piraha is not to be missedWhile The Kingdom of Speech is not one of Wolfe s big books it offers the welcome familiar pleasure ofis analysis and description of a meaningful subject Not Oba, the Last Samurai having read any Tom Wolfe before I was riveted by the prose style of this book with its ellipses collouial asides and multiple exclamation marks I am sure it is possible to write a great book with this techniue and perhaps Tom Wolfeas already done it but this one is unfortunately a complete messI say unfortunately because as a matter of fact I agree with Yonen Buzz, Volume 1 (Yonen Buzz, his basic position What Wolfe is trying to do is summarise the internecine fighting of the linguistics world that followed Daniel Everett s work on the Pirah language which attacked Noam Chomsky s idea of a universal grammar I ve written lots about all this in my review of Everett s Language The Cultural Tool suffice to sayere that UG ad become of an ideology than an academic theory an aggressively enforced orthodoxy that ad never produced any very interesting results or been proved even slightly to reflect physiological or neurological realityWolfe sees this as a David v Goliath story plucky little Dan Everett taking on the mean old dictator Chomsky and in The Wood Demon his telling the characters and the arguments are so simplified as to become cartoons Further the firstalf of the book for some reason is about Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell a diversion
That Is At Best Irrelevantis at best irrelevant at worst misleading the main effect on me was of exhausting my patience with Wolfe s cavalier approach to First Shapes historical incident Oh Charlie Charlie Charliesaid Lyell When we finally get on to the main event Wolfe simply lifts anecdotes wholesale from Everett s Don t Sleep There Are Snakes and retells them It s impossible not to feel that you d rather just be reading Everett firstand More dangerously Wolfe gives the impression that the debate over language origins Dispatches from Dystopia has now been solved by Everett which is very far from the case Everett s main contribution was to puncture the Chomskyanegemony Max and the Tom Cats (More Bob Books for Young Readers, Set II, Book 8) his own explanation that language didn t evolve but rather was invented like a bow and arrow is interesting but aell of a long way from conclusiveThat matters because we already get too many writers making assumptions about where language came from and when it developed and what it was for whereas the truth is that no one Ancient World has the slightest idea nothing about thatas *Changed And Nor Does *and nor does seem likely to not that you d know it from Wolfe s strange and breathless polemic I normally enjoy Tom Wolfe but this takedown of modern linguistics is simply a rant His new journalism style was completely unsuited to persuading me of the validity of some of Fighter his rather specious scientific arguments Despite the fairly copious footnotes there was little evidence that Wolfe s understanding of either evolution or linguisticsad any depth When getting my Master s degree in English I discovered the fascinating world of linguistics With my emphasis in English as a Second Language I took classes in Psycholinguistics which is the physical and neurological aspects of language acuisition I was especially intrigued by Събрани разкази, Том 5 how language functions similarly to the genetic code and I loved Modern Grammar which can be used with any language using the principles of Universal Grammar Universal Grammar postulates Noam Chomsky the founder and king of modern linguistic theory is innate in alluman beings over all languages are similarly constructed of verbs adjectives and nouns What I didn t realize until I read Tom Wolfe s superb book The Kingdom of Speech was that Chomsky The Real James Herriot had been toppled fromis position of linguistic demi Godhood by a relative newcomer Daniel Everett In The Kingdom of Speech Tom Wolfe not only takes down Chomsky in Waterloo (Sharpe, his usual sharp yet languid manner but Charles Darwin andis Just so stories on the evolution of man also undergo a much needed examination What ties Darwin Chomsky Everett and this book together is the uest to solve mystery of the origin of language Darwin guessed that language evolved from Cinderella humans imitating bird speech Chomsky believed that language ability evolved within an as yet unknown brainnervous system organ However a relative newcomer in the world of linguistics Daniel Everett Moody Bible College graduate and former missionary to a remote ian tribe called the Piraha throws a monkey wrench in. Is a captivating paradigm shifting argument that speech not evolution is responsible forumanity's complex societies and achievementsFrom Alfred Russel Wallace the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it and through the