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My opinion of Noam Chomsky's theories


The Harvard Society of Fellows 'like a rotary club'
Marvin Minsky Scientist
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I went back to Harvard from '54 to '57 for three years as part of this so-called Society of Fellows, and again that was a little community, but they were... each person was in a different field, pretty much, so it was like a Rotary Club; and there were poets like Donald Hall and John Hollander, two friends, and there was the junior Fellows at the time I was there... what’s his name, the Ant Man?

[Q] EO Wilson.

Yep. Ed Wilson was there some of the time – most of the time he would be in a little telephone booth in some jungle watching some animals – and there was Noam Chomsky, who was making his terrible theories about language at the time.

Marvin Minsky (1927-2016) was one of the pioneers of the field of Artificial Intelligence, founding the MIT AI lab in 1970. He also made many contributions to the fields of mathematics, cognitive psychology, robotics, optics and computational linguistics. Since the 1950s, he had been attempting to define and explain human cognition, the ideas of which can be found in his two books, The Emotion Machine and The Society of Mind. His many inventions include the first confocal scanning microscope, the first neural network simulator (SNARC) and the first LOGO 'turtle'.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Harvard University, 1954, 1957, The Harvard Society of Fellows, Donald Hall, Noam Chomsky, John Hollander, EO Wilson

Duration: 1 minute, 7 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 09 May 2011