Friday, April 18, 2003

Friday April 18, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:17 PM

To the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits):

Have a Good Friday, Traitors

Prompted by Pilate’s question “What is truth?” and by my March 24 attack on Noam Chomsky, I decided this afternoon to further investigate what various people have written about Chomsky’s posing of what he calls “Plato’s problem” and “Orwell’s problem.”  The former concerns linguistics, the latter, politics.  As my March 24 entry indicates, I have nothing but contempt for both Chomsky’s linguistics and Chomsky’s politics.  What I discovered this afternoon is that Georgetown University, a Jesuit institution, in 2001 appointed a Chomskyite, David W. Lightfoot, as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

“Why do we know so much more than we have evidence for in certain areas, and so much less in others? In tackling these questions — Plato’s and Orwell’s problem — Chomsky again demonstrates his unequalled capacity to integrate vast amounts of material.” — David W. Lightfoot, review of Chomsky’s Knowledge of Language

What, indeed, is truth?  I doubt that the best answer can be learned from either the Communist sympathizers of MIT or the “Red Mass” leftists of Georgetown.  For a better starting point than either of these institutions, see my note of April 6, 2001, Wag the Dogma.

See, too, In Principio Erat Verbum, which notes that “numbers go to heaven who know no more of God on earth than, as it were, of sun in forest gloom.”

Since today is the anniversary of the death of MIT mathematics professor Gian-Carlo Rota, an example of “sun in forest gloom” seems the best answer to Pilate’s question on this holy day.  See

The Shining of May 29.

“Examples are the stained glass windows of knowledge.” — Vladimir Nabokov


Motto of Plato’s Academy

The Exorcist, 1973

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