Anyway, you can disagree. But your synopsis is wrong.

You can disagree if you like. But no, I’m not a Chomskian. I admire his historical contributions to linguistics, although I believe his ideas took far greater hold than they should have against Lakoff and others, thanks to the tie-in to early computational/symbolic ideas about the brain from the 1960s.

He doesn’t seem all that much of a subjectivist He’s rather absolute about objectivism – just witness his debate with Michel Foucault. I’m more of a fan of Foucault over Chomsky, although I think Foucault had some flaws of his own.

Anyway, you can disagree. But your synopsis is wrong.

Behaviorally, Fundamentalist Christians and leaders in New Atheism generally exhibit the same behavioral patterns. Gotta go Skinner here.

Swap the leaders, swap the books, keep the same strict letter-of-the-law absolutism and debating style and it all sounds the same.

Oh I wouldn’t go that far. I just see Sam Harris as wanting to “topple the old” and take Chomsky’s place. But Chomsky’s “been there, done that” and picks his battles carefully. Sam’s just not there yet. Chomsky might be buried before that happens.

But still, Harris isn’t all that bad at what he does. He makes an excellent motivational speaker for those that are already in agreement with him, so i give him props where it’s due. I have 11000+ followers on Vine but that pales in comparison to Harris’ millions of devoted fans. He’s like Pewdiepie in that way. Brofist

Mind you, I probably have more criticisms of Chomsky than I do Harris, mostly because I’ve known about Chomsky for far longer. Not so much in this area, but in others.


He knows how to get fans to follow him around, quote him, etc. There’s a bias when someone gains popularity and gains followers; the people that are enthusiastic about them often become blind to hearing other voices in their enthusiasm. That’s what I’m referring to. Cultish. Doesnt take away from what he says per se… but it just means, to me, that the popular person is part politician, catering message-to-audience and trying hard not to appear to be doing so.


And more literally Politically, he’s Donald Trump-for-atheists.


Yup. He gives them a voice. A voice they can quote in memes. A voice they can point people to his youtube videos.

In short, Bishop Sam Harris. He’s in a powerful position and people who are fans repeat leaders when they say they’re only speaking for themselves… but just knowing what popularity and followings do to the followers, there’s little freedom of thought happening there.

In a sense, both are tied together now: Sam Harris can’t change his opinion drastically on something or he might lose his following. He has to be consistent – give them what they expect from him.

The people that follow him, in tern, aren’t likely to have opinions contrary to Harris’, generally.

It’s not a blindness of anything like that. Just the nature of popularity and fandom, whatever the popularity and fandom is about.



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