The Instigator
Grape
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
wamba
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

METADEBATE!: Noam Chomsky vs. J.Kenyon

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/28/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,153 times Debate No: 14168
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (79)
Votes (5)

 

Grape

Pro

This is a just-for-fun debate. It is not meant to be offensive to either Noam Chomsky or J.Kenyon, both of whom I consider very intelligent and articulate people. J.Kenyon's repetition of Chomsky's quote about not understanding economics inspired me to do this debate.

Resolved: If Noam Chomsky were to join DDO and face J.Kenyon in a debate about a topic in economics, Noam Chomsky would win the debate.

Definitions and Assumptions:

1. Noam Chomsky is an emeritus professor of linguistics from MIT and famous political critic. J.Kenyon is Jeff Kenyon, a neuroscience and philosophy student at Kalamazoo College and member of DDO. This should exhaust any possible confusion as to who I am referring to.

2. Assume the debate follows the normal parameters (3 rounds, 8000 characters) and both participants have enough time to devote a full effort to it.

3. No one on the site knows that Noam Chomsky actually is Noam Chomsky, so this does not effect anything. People will not vote for or against him because he is famous; Kenyon will not try harder or be intimidated as a result of his opponent's reputation.

4. Assume Noam Chomsky understands the general method of debate on debate.org

If my opponent has any other assumptions that he/she feels are necessary or wishes than one of my assumes be removed, please specify in the next round. I am fine with removing anything except #1, which is obviously essential. The debate will technically start in round 2 and will be 3 rounds long.

Because I think he is a cool guy, I will not try to attack J.Kenyon except in rebuttal to my opponent; I will focus my constructive on building the case for Chomsky. Regardless, it may be better that J.Kenyon not take this debate (unless you really want to) because the difference between my actual case and an ad hominem attack could become dreadfully confusing.

Next up after this debate: Noam Chomsky vs. J.Kenyon - Hand to Hand Combat! I will be switching sides of course...
wamba

Con

I would like to thank my opponent or presenting this argument and ask that he make a clearly defined resolution as his current one or lack thereof is vague, broad, as well as undefined. There is no criterion for successfully debating the issue besides a slew of quotes which will emerge no real victor. Furthermore this debate has a high chance of delving into unnecessary adhominems which will foster no true exchange of knowledge

Noam Chromsky: "People talk about a return to Keynesianism, but that's because of a systematic refusal to pay attention to the way the economy works. There's a lot of wailing now about "socializing" the economy by bailing out financial institutions. Yeah, in a way we are, but that's icing on the cake. The whole economy's been socialized since -- well actually forever, but certainly since the Second World War. This mythology that the economy is based on entrepreneurial initiative and consumer choice, well ok, to an extent it is. For example at the marketing end, you can choose one electronic device and not another. But the core of the economy relies very heavily on the state sector, and transparently so. So for example to take the last economic boom which was based on information technology -- where did that come from? Computers and the Internet. Computers and the Internet were almost entirely within the state system for about 30 years -- research, development, procurement, other devices -- before they were finally handed over to private enterprise for profit-making. It wasn't an instantaneous switch, but that's roughly the picture. And that's the picture pretty much for the core of the economy. "

Source: http://www.chomsky.info...

As my opponent can see, Chromsky makes few assertions which I will boil down into a list:

1. Spending money from taxation is the "core of the U.S. economy".

2. Computers and the Internet are "entirely within the state system".

3. Entrepreneurship and consumer spending is a myth.

4. Without states spending large amounts of taxpayer dollars, the internet would not exist nor would ever exist.

Allow me to introduce some sense.

Essentially the argument Noam is trying to make is that because the government utilized existing technology to create networks. They are responsible for the internet and all commerce done on i.

Even just with this statement, a reasonable person would assume that J.Kenyon wouldn't be as unschooled.

There are several flaws both on an educational basis as well as with logic:

A. Claiming that an inventor produces all inventions off the original.

A perfect analogy would be like saying that because the native americans made trails and paths in the woods (which was the first forerunner for the modern U.S. highway as well as the railroads, planes and all forms of transportation) that the native americans have a claim on all the commerce that was produced as a result of all U.S. transportation. Furthermore since the plain was invented in the U.S. and since paths were a forerunner for planes, then without a doubt the Indians were responsible for the creation of most of the United States and all the commerce produced from it since without roads, paths, and transportation none of it could have happened.

Therefore the native americans are responsible for the GDP of the U.S. as well as all tourism that occurs as a result of planes which is core of the worlds economy. So one can clearly see that it was not government spending that is the core of the U.S. economy but really native americans.

B. There are many more reasons for the internet than ARPNET.

In reality though the ARPNET isn't the reason we have the internet, the real reason is entrepreneurs:

# Ethernet - The physical communication technology underlying the Internet, Ethernet was created by Robert Metcalfe and David Boggs in 1973.

# TCP/IP - In May, 1974, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) published a paper titled "A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection." The paper's authors - Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn - described a protocol called TCP that incorporated both connection-oriented and datagram services. This protocol later became known as TCP/IP.

Email - Long before the World Wide Web, email was the dominant communication method on the Internet. Ray Tomlinson developed in 1971 the first email system that worked over the early Internet.

None of these were through government spending but rather entrepreneurship, so not only is his logic incorrect, but also his basic premise which he uses through faulty logic.

Source: http://compnetworking.about.com...

It is apparent from the above that not only does Noam Chomsky use ridiculous logic, but also does not understand what he is talking about in the first place. J.Kenyon has taken the time to research things he is ignorant of before presenting an opinion. Since Noam's hogwash is printed on his website, he clearly believes what he said in the interview. I'd venture to say that in any debate on this site regardless if Noam was aware of how style. Noam is both illogical and ignorant and per his interview gives his opinion about things he is ignorant of then publishes it. The voters of this site do not favor both ignorant and illogical people.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 1
Grape

Pro

Thanks to wamba for accepting this debate. I feel that my resolution is adequate: I am arguing that given a certain clearly defined situation, a certain outcome would occur. If my opponent would like additional clarification then he should specify and I will happily oblige.

Constructive Case in Favor of Noam Chomsky:

1. Experience
Chomsky is a far more experienced debater than Kenyon. He has debated against many brilliant and famous individuals, including Jean Piaget, Michel Foucault, William F. Buckley, and Christopher Hitchens. These debates were often on television, placing him under extreme pressure and forcing him to work off only his own knowledge and think on his feet quickly. If Chomsky can hold his own against the greatest intellectual titans of the 20th Century under these circumstances, he should have no trouble defeating a college student of above average intelligence with ample time to write and do research. Chomsky's 60 extra years of intellectual life in general would also give him no small advantage. In this area, Chomsky's advantage is overwhelming.

2. Knowledge
Despite his claims to to contrary, Chomsky's knowledge is quite immense. His talks, interviews, and debates demonstrate that he has internalized a volume of knowledge that is beyond what most people are capable of. He has written numerous books on economic and political philosophy as well practical economic and political analysis of real events. Over the course of his years of doing this, he has surely learned much more about economics than Kenyon could possible have in his limited years of unfocused study. He has literally hundreds of sources at his fingertips that he has already used and can knows many of them from memory. Over the time span of a debate it would be virtually impossible to do enough research to match Chomsky's accumulated knowledge.

Conclusion:
Based on these two factors, it is highly likely that Chomsky would win the arguments and sources part of the vote, which comprises the majority of the points. It is extremely unlikely that the conduct and spelling and grammar sections would be awarded to either debater because both are courteous people and excellent writers. The sheer volume of Chomsky's knowledge and his outstanding proficiency and experience in delivering his arguments would make him extraordinarily difficult to beat in a debate. Chomsky is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, long time professor at MIT, winner of the Kyoto Prize, and he was voted the most important intellectual in the world in 2005. I state these credentials not because they are relevant to winning a debate, but because that say that it is with no exaggeration that I describe Chomsky's intellect and intelligence.

Defense of Chomsky:
My opponent's argument is against Chomsky's statements about economics and not his ability to debate. I assume (and he can correct me if I am mistaken) that we are supposed to draw from the argument that Chomsky's views are irrational the conclusion that if he argued for these views, he would be defeated. As far as this is concerned, I would like to make a few observations before proceeding:

1. Whether or not voters agree with the debaters is not a factor in the scoring. Making views that are generally not believed makes them much harder to defend, but not impossible. Kenyon himself showed that a skilled enough debater can win with even a ridiculous resolution (It is reasonable to believe that Santa Claus exists). Chomsky's advantage in skill is so overwhelming as to render the topic nearly irrelevant.

2. Wamba has not correctly interpreted Chomsky's philosophy. While this is not vital to the debate, I will explain it to some extent in order to avoid confusion.

First off, the existence of the American highway system was not continent on pre existing trails whereas advances in computer technology are continent on those technologies that precede them and form their foundation. Wamba's analogy is without merit and his assertion about Chomsky's beliefs regarding invention is an absurd interpretation. Chomsky is simply using the Internet as an example of a technology that was developed largely by public resources before entrepreneurial innovation took over in order to make the point that entrepreneurial innovation is not essential to progress. It is a true fact that taxpayer dollars spent by the state during the Cold War did in some ways contribute to the invention of the Internet. This basic historical fact does not really merit elaboration. The existence of technological innovations made by private groups does not contradict Chomsky's claim and more importantly the history of Ethernet cables could not be more irrelevant to the outcome of a hypothetical online debate between Noam Chomsky and Jeff Kenyon.

Rather than taking Wamba's straw man of Chomsky's philosophy for granted, I suggest voters read more about directly from Chomsky himself if they so wish. I will provide some links to facilitate this. However, Chomsky's philosophy is not essential to this debate and I will not waste anyone's time describing and defending it. It is completely unreasonable to assume that Chomsky would have reached his level of renown and success if his views were the utter garbage described by Con. They are at least reasonable enough to be successfully defended on an international stage over the course of many years, and they should suffice for the level of intellectual rigor demanded by the voters of DDO.

This argument is not an appeal of authority but an appeal to common sense. Could Chomsky have had a successful career as a public intellectual if his views are so absurd that they cannot so much as be taken seriously on a casual debate website? Of course not, yet this is the only argument my opponent has to offer against Chomsky's chances of winning the debate. I doubt anyone here fully agrees with Chomsky and many people vehemently disagree with him, but one would have to be very closed-minded to simply dismiss his arguments as ridiculous without any further consideration.

Conclusion:
The only thing my opponent has done is attempted to convince us that a world renowned intellectual is actually "ignorant and illogical." He would have us believe that an intellectually 20 year old college student has done more research and has more carefully examined his views than an 82 year old professor and social critic whose academic resume is arguably the best in the world. In attempting to make this point, he has focused on one comment by Chomsky and strayed far away from anything resembling the topic of this debate in a failed attempt to disprove the argument of this one paragraph (thus, presumably, destroying Chomsky's credibility forever). Besides this, he has offered absolutely nothing else. He has not offered anything in to support Kenyon's debate abilities, so if it were not for my honest presentation of him we would not be unjustified in assuming Kenyon was an Internet user of average intelligence who could not locate New Zealand on a map. There is virtually no constructive argument in my opponent's case at all, only a lengthy and uninformed diatribe against a man who is, for better or worse, one of the most influential thinkers of recent history.

Sources and Resources for Readers:

Biographical information about Chomsky found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Information about Chomsky's politics found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Noam Chomsky's Website:
http://www.chomsky.info...

J.Kenyon's DDO Profile:
http://www.debate.org...
wamba

Con

How does one win a debate on this site? Is it by using logical fallacies that fool others? Is it by having a record of more experience? No.

Whenever I debate someone I don't copy my record on this site, then use a bunch of logical fallacies and attempt to win. Let's face it, it doesn't work on this site.

1. Experience

Famous people usually have extreme and incorrect opinions. They then argue these opinions by use of logical fallacies. Clearly the evidence I provided of Chromsky I provided shows this. The fact that these debates have been on television only exemplifies my point. They are entertaining because they possess extreme views. Not because they are brilliant individuals. They are idiots who are unbelievably arrogant. These people debate other idiots on television to increase their own perceived self importance.

When it comes to economics, the brilliant individuals are running the country in businesses, the federal reserve, and wall street. They are not on TV debating others. Therefore his experience of making a fool of himself with other fools, is completely irrelevant on website that values not extreme views, but ones that adhere to logic.

2. Knowledge

What is knowledge?

(ii) what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information

Does Chomsky know facts or information? Not really. Anyone who read the excerpt I posted knows that's not true. His views are not knowledge, but rather extreme views backed by logical fallacies. Not only does Chomsky use logical fallacies to support what he does, but so does my opponent. If the above argument is not riddled with appeals to authority, I don't know what is.

JKenyon does not harbor extreme views and thus can use basic logic to support what he says. Economics is not a subject where you can have an opinion as to the reality of things. They either are, or they aren't. When Chomsky states that the internet is entirely started by the government, it either is, or it isn't. It's a yes or no answer. Chomsky is flat out wrong, and literally anyone capable of using logic can defeat this.

Conclusion:

I'd like to think that the members of this site do not vote for famous people, but rather vote for those who are correct. Chomsky harbors extreme views and defends them with logical fallacies. My opponent's only favor of chomsky is his experience at which I laugh at.

Was Ben Bernake any less intelligent or knowledgeable about the economy when he was in college? I think not. His experience is irrelevant to whether or not he would win on this site. If you use logical fallacies and your opponent can make your argument look like swiss cheese, you won't stand a chance.

Defense of Defense

1. Whether or not voters agree with the debaters is not a factor in the scoring.

Clearly this is incorrect and anyone reading it can tell it is incorrect. It is ideal for this site that the above be true, but it's not unfortunately. I would go out on a limb and say that at least half of the voters on this site vote for someone they agree with. This site is crowded with libertarians. Based on how this site works, Chomsky would lose.

2. Unfortunately, Chomsky's quotes are not of the bible and thus cannot be interpreted. What he says is what he says. One cannot "interpret" it one way or the other. Especially with the amount of content I posted.

My opponent clearly hasn't read anything I posted instead attempting to make appeals to authority in order to win his argument. Below are a few of instances of him skimming over what I said:

A. Saying that trails were not continent on pre-existing trails is completely false. Highways were built on top of that existing technology. Trails prevented having to clear things out of the way as trails had already accomplished this.

B. "It is a true fact that taxpayer dollars spent by the state during the Cold War did in some ways contribute to the invention of the Internet. "

It is not true at all. The technology invented the Internet, not a military network that used the technology. To say that without the military making a network we would not have the Internet is absurd and clearly shows a lack of knowledge (similar to Chomsky) on the subject you are talking about.

Furthermore Chomsky doesn't say "IN SOME WAYS". Chomsky says that the Internet was "ALMOST ENTIRELY WITHIN THE STATE FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS"

Sound different then "IN SOME WAYS"

Yeah it does.

My opponent calls my argument a "STRAW MAN". How can someone's opinion of the economy be a strawman when the debate is whether that person would win in a debate against J.Kenyon? Clearly my opponent cannot defend Chomsky based upon his quote. Therefore he's incorrectly attempting to call it a strawman to avoid having to deal with how ridiculous the opinion is.

In case my opponent didn't know, Technology and the Internet composes a large sector of the economy, and it is continuing to grow as time goes on. Chomsky clearly has no clue that computers exist.

Conclusion:

1. The only thing my opponent has done is make appeals to authority.

2. "It is a true fact that taxpayer dollars spent by the state during the Cold War did in some ways contribute to the invention of the Internet. "

It is not true at all. The technology invented the Internet, not a military network that used the technology. To say that without the military making a network we would not have the Internet is absurd and clearly shows a lack of knowledge (similar to Chomsky) on the subject you are talking about.

Furthermore Chomsky doesn't say "IN SOME WAYS". Chomsky says that the Internet was "ALMOST ENTIRELY WITHIN THE STATE FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS"

3. Whether or not voters agree with the debaters is not a factor in the scoring.

Clearly this is incorrect and anyone reading it can tell it is incorrect. It is ideal for this site that the above be true, but it's not unfortunately. I would go out on a limb and say that at least half of the voters on this site vote for someone they agree with. This site is crowded with libertarians. Based on how this site works, Chomsky would lose.
Debate Round No. 2
Grape

Pro

Sorry for my slow reply. I've been rather busy lately because it just so happens that all of my college applications are due other the course of the next week.

I must say I take offense to my opponent's rude demeanor. It's all fun and games to insult people when they're not smart enough to know they're being made fun of, but I am hurt by his tone. For all his bombastic rhetoric and accusations of poor logic, my opponent is being a but hypocritical in this debate. For instance:

"Famous people usually have extreme and incorrect opinions. They then argue these opinions by use of logical fallacies."

Is making the generalization that famous people are usually wrong logical? I should think not. It is my opponent that seems to be harboring some more bizarre views:

"Does Chomsky know facts or information? Not really."

From this we are to assume that he is a better judge of Chomsky's knowledge than, for instance, the MIT faculty who hired him and gave him tenure? I think that Chomsky's extensive bibliography proves that he does indeed know something.

I generally find it annoying when people make rebuttals through long sequences of quotes and replies, so I'm going to try to avoid that. However, I really can't believe how ridiculous some of my opponent's statements are. Normally I am used to inane nonsense, but my opponent is far too articulate for me to believe that he's making these mistakes because he's stupid. Does he seriously think that the US Highway System exists as a result of Native American trails built hundreds of years before, that Chomsky "has not clue that computers exist", or that Chomsky's quotes cannot be interpreted because they are not "of the Bible?" I think not. I think he is trying to persuade voters into accepting his position through presenting arguments he knows don't make sense as arrogantly and self-assuredly as possible.

I feel like I am being either yelled or scoffed at when I read his argument, and yet it is entirely without substance. Using the phrase "logical fallacy" over and over again does not constitute a legitimate counterargument. Trying to discredit a renowned intellectual on the basis on one paragraph in which you believe he exaggerated one claim is not a recipe for success either. I am not going to derail this debate and turn it into an argument about the role of the government in the history of the Internet because it isn't necessary to do this in order to establish why Chomsky would be able to win a debate. If Chomsky were here to defend that claim himself, I am confident he would be able to for the reasons I have described above.

To go back to my original arguments for a moment:

1. Experience
Notice that in the counterargument, all my opponent did was attack televised debates and accuse more world renown intellectuals of being useless hacks. Are we honestly to believe that the only reason anyone listens to Christopher Hitchens, Michel Foucault, and Noam Chomsky is because they are entertaining? Hitchens is occasionally a bit entertaining, but for the most part intellectuals are boring and their "extreme" views don't make this any less true. People listen to public intellectuals because they have something valuable to say, whether or not you may agree with it. I also brought up that fact that Chomsky has been writing, debating, speaking, and generally making a living by doing things that are conducive to debate skills for about sixty years longer than Kenyon has. This is obviously a major advantage.

2. Knowledge
Just calling views logical fallacies does not make them so. In any case, only two sentences of this rebuttal are actually spent talking about knowledge. "Does Chomsky know facts or information? Not really." No one seriously believes that an MIT professor does not know facts or information. I think it would have been very difficult for Chomsky to publish dozens of works without knowing anything. In reality-land, Chomsky's body of knowledge is far greater than that of what a twenty year old college student could reasonable be able to attain. I also mentioned that fact that Chomsky has far greater access to academic resources than Kenyon, a point which was dropped. These factors, again, provide Chomsky with a massive advantage.

My opponent's style of debate has prompted me to make another point:

3. Rhetoric and Debate Style
Chomsky is by no means a writer of great literature, but he is a strong writer. I realize that my opponent will mindlessly reject this claim and rant about Chomsky's inability to pass a spelling test, but I will make it anyway. Not only would it be virtually impossible for a linguist to lose the spelling and grammar vote, his style would also give him an advantage in impressing voters. Chomsky's writing combines the systematic and thorough logic of a scientist with the indignation of a moral activist. Anyone who has read Chomsky's work (with an open mind, and not merely for the purpose of disparaging it) will agree that even when you do not agree with Chomsky, he is very convincing. Chomsky has had a successful career precisely because he has been able to pull skeptics over to his side and convince people that he is right. It is not so that the denizens of DDO are too enlightened to be persuaded by him; Chomsky has done well specifically because he is able to convince logical and well educated people. If my opponent's pile of accusations of poor logic are true, they have not impeded Chomsky's ability to convince people that he is right.

Another advantage that Chomsky has in this area is his superior ability to belittle his opponent, as seen in Freeman's video in the comments section. I suspect my opponent knows a thing or two about how that can make someone appear to have a better case than they really do.

I would also like to make a few clarifications about things I said that my opponent has presented unfairly. When I said agreement was not a factor in scoring, I meant it literally. I agree that votebombing and general bias is an issue, but there are just as many liberals on this site as libertarians. Indeed, it seems to me that most of the votebombing is done by liberals and people in Kenyon's school of thought have pretty clean hands. Note the debate on free markets that RoyLatham is losing even though he clearly should be winning.

Also, when I wrote of Chomsky's general philosophy I mentioned that fact that my opponent was not interpreting it correctly and was therefore making a strawman. Chomsky is not "the Bible" but there is a right and wrong way to understand what he means. I am not going to waste my time and effort outlining Chomsky's views when voters can read about them elsewhere if they find it important, because the exact details are irrelevant. Chomsky's views are not so absurd, as my opponent claims, to cost him the debate by default. Kenyon's views, in any case, are just as extreme compared to, say, the mainstream American public. I don't think he would deny that his position is also somewhat radical.

There are a few remarks I would like to make in conclusion. First of all, my opponent has still made no positive case for Kenyon. Unlike with Chomsky, there is nothing about Kenyon that leads us to reasonably assume that he is a proficient debater. Furthermore, I had realized that because my opponent chose to disregard my stipulation that the debate would start in Round 2, he will have the first and last word. This is a rather rude mistake for someone who accuses me of not reading his rebuttals. I will have to ask that he not post an argument in Round 4 so that we will have an equal number of opportunities to argument.

What my opponent has still amounts to little more than an angry rant. One paragraph and an overdose of sarcasm are not enough to prove, in spite of strong evidence to the contrary, that a world renowned intellectual cannot stand up to a college kid in a debate.
wamba

Con

My opponents argument, if you really can call a rephrasing of his previous appeals to authority into an argument that seems this time to completely ignore any views Noam Chomsky actually has on the economy. Since there is actually very little content to his argument, I'll try to break it down so the reader doesn't have to re-read what has been written:

1. "my opponent is far too articulate for me to believe that he's making these mistakes because he's stupid. Does he seriously think that the US Highway System exists as a result of Native American trails built hundreds of years before"

In this statement my opponent either purposefully or unintentionally does not understand what an analogy is. My entire "highways exist as a result of trails" is simply an analogy that is meant to show the reader (who may not be familiar with terms such as TCIP and Ethernet) how ridiculous chomskys statement is that the ARPNET (and moreover the state) is responsible for the "core of the economy".

2. "From this we are to assume that he is a better judge of Chomsky's knowledge than, for instance, the MIT faculty who hired him and gave him tenure? I think that Chomsky's extensive bibliography proves that he does indeed know something."

Readers this is a clear logical fallacy and a clear appeal to authority. So because Chomsky was hired, He knows about the economy? This is ludicrous to anyone reading.

3. "I am not going to waste my time and effort outlining Chomsky's views when voters can read about them elsewhere if they find it important, because the exact details are irrelevant"

I think this statement speaks for himself that my opponent is unwilling to "waste time" discussing Chomsky's economic views in a debate about whether Chomsky can win a debate on economics.

Unfortunately the rest of my opponent's argument is a copy and paste of his original appeals to authority which have no real substance.

Extend all arguments from the above as my opponent is unwilling to actually debate and seems to find more pleasure in wasting my time with logical fallacies and Chomsky's irrelevant credentials.
Debate Round No. 3
Grape

Pro

My opponent seems to be someone mistaken about the resolution of this debate. It was, "If Noam Chomsky were to join DDO and face J.Kenyon in a debate about a topic in economics, Noam Chomsky would win the debate," and not, "All of Noam Chomsky's views are 100% correct, and if my opponent provides one statement by Chomsky that is unreasonable then I will concede defeat." Despite my opponent's allegation that I did not argue, I have repeatedly expressed my reasons for not wasting my time debating that paragraph about the Internet. It is completely off topic to go into a debate about the Internet, and I don't believe Chomsky was correct in making that statement. My opponent wanted to focus the debate entirely around one topic to make it appear as though Chomsky knows nothing because he exaggerated a single claim. However, one paragraph is not a body of work and you cannot hope to prove that Chomsky's views on a whole are not credible on the basis of one statement.

I will admit to one mistake: my opponent is so rude and ridiculous in his exaggerations that I could not tell that he was being sarcastic in making the statement that highways are not based off of Indian trails. However, I still don't think this is analogous to saying that the effort the Fed put into developing the Internet has no impact on the Internet today. The main point about my opponent's quote from Chomsky, however, is that the fact that he made one hyperbolic statement does not discredit his entire body of work.

My opponent's constant complains about appeals to authority show a severe lacking in how we understand knowledge and incorporate it in to our world view. Why do we value a statement made by a respected scientist over a random blogger? Because some people have the credentials that lead us to believe that they know what they're talking about. I have never been to Alabama, but I am justified in believing it is a real because of sources that tell me. Is trusting a map an appeal to authority? Noam Chomsky was the most cited living person in the world in academic papers from 1980 to 1992 and the 8th most cited person of all time (1). I suppose it is a ridiculous appeal to authority to wonder if my opponent is really such a better judge of Chomsky's knowledge than the thousands of scholars who use his work. Perhaps we should believe in that radical notion that it is often better to defer to people who know more than you about something. Screaming "appeal to authority" and "logical fallacy" over and over won't work, especially when I'm only arguing that Chomsky knows what he's talking about and not that he's right about specific statements (then it would be a logical fallacy, yes).

Chomsky's economic views are not the topic of this debate. The resolution was not that my opponent could pick any related topic. We know that Chomsky and Kenyon both have fairly extreme views that are similar in that they are libertarian but on opposite ends of the "left-right" scale. Even an anarcho-capitalist should not take the argument "Chomsky's whole economic viewpoint is wrong, and therefore he would lose the debate" seriously. It's one thing to disagree with someone, but it's foolhardy to think that your view is so superior that you cannot lose a debate. I doubt anyone rationally believes this. My opponent has not really criticized Chomsky's economic position as a whole anyway, he provided us with one paragraph (which include !/a single sentence/! that he actually challenged) which he argued was false and asked us to conclude that Chomsky is wrong about everything else, too. Well, I'm sure if Chomsky were challenged and that position he could defend it but I'm not going to turn this into a debate about the history of the Internet because no one's credibility rests on one claim.

I find it very ironic that my opponent accused me of copy-pasting my arguments (which, obviously, I didn't) when he literally copy-pasted statements within the same round. I rewrote much of the same thing because my opponent doesn't understand the difference between an appeal to authority (Statement X is true because Person Y says so) and and using credentials as evidence (Person Y is awesome because he has achieved such and such). I am doing that second of the two. Arguing that someone would win a debate because they have the most impressive collection of scholarly awards of any living person is not a "logical fallacy," it's practically common sense.

I would like to remind voters that my opponent has made no constructive case yet. Kenyon is coherent and a good debater, but his opinions are just as radical as Chomsky's. He is not more reasonable. Compared Kenyon to Chomsky: he is far less experienced, far less educated, has no comparable accomplishments, has less demonstrated knowledge, and has an inferior demonstrated writing ability. Kenyon is a smart 18 year old college student who is a strong debater. Chomsky is an 82 year old scientist and philosopher who revolutionized his field, and I would hazard to say that Chomsky has more honorary degrees awarded that Kenyon has credit hours earned. A debate between these two would be completely one-sided in favor of Chomsky.

Furthermore, I will mention again that my opponent ignored my stipulation that the first round would not be used for debating in order to get an extra round. I think he should bow out of the next round so we will have had an equal number of opportunities to argue. If he chooses to ignore this request, I strongly urge that voters make him lose the conduct vote, as he intentionally ignored a request I made in Round One in order to gain an advantage.

Conclusion: My opponent does not understand what an appeal to authority really is in a logical sense, and he cares more about crying foul at "logical fallacies" than using common sense. While this may impress some voters, dogmatic adherence to the perceived rules of argument does not trump a well reasoned conclusion. In terms of substance, his case is seriously lacking. He is trying to demolish Chomsky's credibility on the basis of one paragraph, from which he calls one sentence into question. The fact that Chomsky has exaggerated an example to make his point is not grounds to dismiss his entire body of work and claim that he's too ignorant to win a debate. To say that Noam Chomsky is ignorant and that an 18 year old college student would beat him in a debate is practically delusional. Kenyon himself argued that Santa existed and crushed his opponent, and there are people who could do similar things to him. On a fair, or even slightly unfair topic, Chomsky would win commandingly. My opponent has absolutely no affirmative case an never made one statement about why Kenyon would win the debate, he just expected us to infer that Chomsky would lose from the absurd claim that he doesn't know what he's talking about. He has also been consistently rude and sarcastic even though I did nothing to provoke this behavior, and he ignored the rules I outlined in Round One in order to gain an advantage. His sources amount to one quote from Chomsky's website and a link to information about computers that has nothing to do with the actual debate. My opponent's unsubstantial diatribe against Chomsky does nothing to prove his side of the resolution and little to hurt mine.

Sources:
(1) http://web.mit.edu...
wamba

Con

wamba forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
79 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Kerry Katona would win a debate with J.Kenyon on economics.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
I bet you didn't forget to finish with your girlfriend.
Posted by wamba 6 years ago
wamba
Wow my bad on this one. Girlfriend came over, and I thought I had time left on the debate to finish afterwards. Aparently not
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
Shame wamba
Posted by Freeman 6 years ago
Freeman
RFD:

You know what, Pro's conclusion was so spot on that I'm just going to quote it is as my RFD:

"[Wamba] does not understand what an appeal to authority really is in a logical sense, and he cares more about crying foul at "logical fallacies" than using common sense. While this may impress some voters, dogmatic adherence to the perceived rules of argument does not trump a well reasoned conclusion. In terms of substance, his case is seriously lacking. He is trying to demolish Chomsky's credibility on the basis of one paragraph, from which he calls one sentence into question. The fact that Chomsky has exaggerated an example to make his point is not grounds to dismiss his entire body of work and claim that he's too ignorant to win a debate. To say that Noam Chomsky is ignorant and that an 18 year old college student would beat him in a debate is practically delusional. Kenyon himself argued that Santa existed and crushed his opponent, and there are people who could do similar things to him. On a fair, or even slightly unfair topic, Chomsky would win commandingly. My opponent has absolutely no affirmative case an never made one statement about why Kenyon would win the debate, he just expected us to infer that Chomsky would lose from the absurd claim that he doesn't know what he's talking about. He has also been consistently rude and sarcastic even though I did nothing to provoke this behavior, and he ignored the rules I outlined in Round One in order to gain an advantage. His sources amount to one quote from Chomsky's website and a link to information about computers that has nothing to do with the actual debate. My opponent's unsubstantial diatribe against Chomsky does nothing to prove his side of the resolution and little to hurt mine."

There's not much more I could add than that.

Arguments, sources and conduct to Pro-- for the forfeit.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
So no matter how bad Chomsky's arguments are, you still insist on using his career as a proxy for his arguments.

I don't see why you would have to do that if you can just look at his arguments directly. Wamba didn't do a good job showing how Chomsky is just a troll. The troll theory of Chomsky also explains why he's so successful - people like listening to him because he validates their worldview without actually asking them to think.
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
That is a misinterpretation of what I said. I argued that Chomsky would win because he is more experienced, more articulate, more knowledgeable, and generally smarter than the overwhelming majority of the human race, including J.Kenyon. I am arguing that people would vote for Chomsky because he would make better arguments and use better sources.

The massive conflict over appeals to authority and whether or not people take Chomsky's argument's seriously ensued because my opponent did not accept the fact that Chomsky has had the most successful academic career of any living person as evidence that he is not a blathering idiot.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
Hmm, well they're basically talking past each other. Pro argues that people would vote for Chomsky because so many people like Chomsky-style work. Con argues that Chomsky would *actually* lose to Kenyon because Kenyon would actually be right about economic and political arguments, regardless of what people think.
Posted by suriaguru 6 years ago
suriaguru
Chomsky may win Kenyon.
Kenyon may win Chomsky.
But, neither Chomsky nor Kenyon can defeat the theory of sivashanmugam.
Long live the fame of these mad people!
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
I never said Linguistics and Chomsky weren't intrinsically important. I'm saying his linguistic observations are not discussed or used frequently by the majority of his admirers.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
GrapewambaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by askbob 6 years ago
askbob
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Vote Placed by darkkermit 6 years ago
darkkermit
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Vote Placed by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
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Vote Placed by Freeman 6 years ago
Freeman
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