I read Pinker’s “Language Instinct” in the 1990s and as long as I overlooked his obsession with “hard-wired”, it was pretty good stuff … but… …as the years went on, I started to realize he REALLY believes that hard-wired stuff and found that he was anti-connectionism. Now, I know the downsides of EXCESSIVE connectionism (singularity) which I stay away from but he was way too far in the opposite direction with far more in common with Chomsky’s linguistics than he may even notice…. and THEN…. …i started noticing his politics. Oh lord, who IS STEVEN PINKER? The more he strayed from linguistics and into politics, opinions about gender and evolution and purpose and the “society today – everything’s great except for those who think it’s not” attitude, I realized “I had no idea what this guy’s about”. So now this. Am I surprised that he’s a myth away from Jordan Peterson and a rape’s only sex away from “just a smidgen of pedophilia can’t hurt you” Dawkins? Not now. And the whole, “Everybody hates me for controversy which means I’m right” attitude’s getting stale. I’m a nobody. But watching a potential hero crash slowly was a weird experience for 25 years. Rewriting his own history is probably the saddest bit here but his tenure’s secure and his base is solid. He doesn’t need defending. But it confirms for me that I should’ve paid more attention to his hard-wired stance. It would’ve saved me an awful lot of little surprises.

I read Pinker’s “Language
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I controlled a computer with my feelings in the early 1980s. Made colored lines go up and down. Played a video game, such as they were then, “feeling” my way through the mazes and “intending” to shoot things, which I did. biofeedback stuff. What this thing is, is a lot closer than that as mine was skin-contact. But I’m ok with it, so long as there’s no pop-up ads.

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I went to a small school for high school, after public school. It no longer exists, sadly, but it was beneficial to me. Vail Deane Alums – when Vail-Deane was in Mountainside, NJ, it was PreK – 12th grade. I attended from 1986-1990 with 12 total kids in my class. The total school size was approximately 200, including faculty and staff. Each Senior was assigned a little brother or little sister in the Kindergarten which was a favorite thing and the age-mixing in general was, I think beneficial to us all. Most classes were still grade/age segregated but not always strictly so. A child who was more advanced would just go to a next level. It wasn’t a big dramatic thing. Ideally, 8th grade public school me wanted Summerhill. I’d read the book in 8th grade, fascinated by its promises. But I recognized ENOUGH of that kind of quality in Vail-Deane so I put my all into scholarship essays and interviews and got a full scholarship. Sadly it shut down in 1992, probably due to adult controversies I wasn’t aware of at the time beyond rumors. Such things happen. But it gave me room to expand myself in ways that a cliquey public school would not have allowed. I’m grateful.

I went to a
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