EBOOK FREE The Kingdom of Speech
If you ever wanted to read a book about a scientific field or two in Wolfe s trademark flamboyant prose that was utterly innocent of any understanding of science here s your chance This vapid piece of preening ignorance will stand as a pointless andmark or better yet sink Cell like a witless stone to sturm und drang self regard As an erstwhile colleague of mine put it in his review of the book in the Washington Post here the book is unsullied by researchYou don t have to be an evolutionary biologist or ainguist to find this book a piece of mean spirited ad hominem drivel The book is filled with incorrect assertions to take just one formal Chomskyan Bloody Acquisitions (Fred, the Vampire Accountant, linguists don t just sit around in air conditioned rooms making theories many have spent their careers doing fieldwork and documenting the intricacies of the grammars ofanguages all over the planet and the rest do the same on Fusiliers languages they don t need to travel much to study including their own native ones Without in depth careful observations about the grammars of humananguages formal The American Nurse linguists wouldn t have anything to analyze To suggest anything else is a ridiculousie Wolfe s imputation that Dangerous Desire lab scientists aren t real scientists because they don t spend theirives in the field would be The Little Book of Puns laughable coming from anyone else From Wolfe it s just sad When getting my Master s degree in English I discovered the fascinating world ofinguistics With my emphasis in English as a Second Language I took classes in Psycholinguistics which is the physical and neurological aspects of anguage acuisition I was especially intrigued by how anguage functions similarly to the genetic code and I The Complete Idiots Guide to Rumi Meditations loved Modern Grammar which can be used with anyanguage using the principles of Universal Grammar Universal Grammar postulates Noam Chomsky the founder and king of modern inguistic theory is innate in all human beings over all anguages are similarly constructed of verbs adjectives and nouns What I didn t realize until I read Tom Wolfe s superb book The Kingdom of Speech was that Chomsky had been toppled from his position of inguistic demi Godhood by a relative newcomer Daniel Everett In The Kingdom of Speech Tom Wolfe not only takes down Chomsky in his usual sharp yet anguid manner but Charles Darwin and his Just so stories on the evolution of man also undergo a much needed examination What ties Darwin Chomsky Everett and this book together is the uest to solve mystery of the origin of anguage Darwin guessed that anguage evolved from humans imitating bird speech Chomsky believed that A Strangers Touch (Psychic Triplet Trilogy, language ability evolved within an as yet unknown brainnervous system organ However a relative newcomer in the world ofinguistics Daniel Everett Moody Bible College graduate and former missionary to a remote ian tribe called the Piraha throws a monkey wrench into established Chomskyan inguistics What Everett discovers in this ian tribe is a people who do not have all of the Universal Grammar elements in their anguage Further they have no words for colors or numbers and they have no The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler language for the past or future as theyive in a state of eternal now Everett says that the uniueness of the Piraha Papyrus and Tablet language because it does not prescribe to Chomsky s Universal Grammar proves thatanguage ability is not innate but actually an artifact created by humans to The Reckoning: the electrifying new novel from bestseller John Grisham live in community In other wordsanguage is a tool a sophisticated tool somehow devised by humans over time I have a number of problems with Everett s ideas which Tom Wolfe by the way seems to totally embrace Everett see the Piraha as an example of the earliest humans They have embraced very A Foxs Love (American Kitsune little from other cultures in the rainforest because of their belief that anything outside of their culture is inferior and should be dismissed The Piraha sanguage although extremely difficult to The Provocateur learn is a veryimited Trading Christmas language in complexity sociological constructs and vocabulary This tribe can not even be counted as stone age in their technological development since they don t have stone tools Their only tools are very rudimentary bows and arrows Theyive in Never an outbreak lean to s that are easily disposed of Having no concept for the futureimits their desire or need perhaps to prepare for it Obviously such a people will Pride leave few traces of their existence however I see no reason to view them as something from which stone age and present day humans have evolved Of course I am not a macro evolutionists and what I am about to say is terribly politically incorrect but could it not be eually true that this tribe is an example of devolution Cannot change change and evolution are synonyms happen in both directions For example present day humans have smaller brains and weaker physiues than Cro Magnon people I would be very interested to see a DNA analysis of this 300 or so person tribe I would not be surprised if they all have a common ancestor that broke off a few hundred or so years ago from another ian tribe Are they really a separate and distinct people as theiranguage seems to imply I could speculate as to why their progenitors were not using a native Men language Could they have been feral children who haveittle experience of human Isotopic Carbon language What kind ofanguage would such a pair or of ferals create And although the extreme conditions of the rainforest make it seem unlikely for a child to survive without adults perhaps this is the case for the origins of the Pirahas Perhaps the progenitors were deafmutes I assume the tribe has no The Robotics Primer (Intelligent Robotics Autonomous Agents) (Intelligent Robotics Autonomous Agents) (Intelligent Robotics Autonomous Agents Series) legends of their beginnings since they haveittle concept of the past so why or how they came to be will remain a mystery However the magnitude of Everett s claim The maestro storyteller and reporter provocatively argues that what we think we know about speech and human evolution is wrongTom Wolfe whose egend began in journalism takes us on an eye opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate The Kingdom of Speech.
EBOOK FREE The Kingdom of Speech
Lity as a narrator As an example he repeatedly boils ong winded highly technical series of academic comments ie criticisms and their subseuent rebuttals into Facebook style clickbait headlines Everett et al DEMOLISH Chomsky and His Ilk Not once does he actually engage with the academic materials he references The Eyes of the Dead likely because he does not know how Wolfe is very obviously invested in a simple David and Goliath narrative one in which a humble soft spoken newcomer Dr Daniel Everett takes on the academic establishment and wins in resounding fashion In fact the matter in uestion is far far from settled and the thuggish intimidating Goliath in this case Noam Chomsky is mostly conjured out of thin air Perhaps most irritatingly Wolfe is not at all interested in grappling with the actual content of the academic debate he simply declares a winner and revels in the drama of his unlikely victoryWhen Wolfe does get around to positing where he thinksanguage came from or rather what he thinks Dr Everett thinks his summation is Rules for a Lady laughably simple even crude After repeatedly mocking some of the great minds of all time eg Darwin Chomsky for failing to construct an effective explanation foranguage s origins he puts forth an unbelievable almost comical theory that he spends all of two pages expounding Charles Darwin it turns out is no match for Tom WolfeThe whole thing is smug pretentious and frankly insulting Maybe worst of all Tom Wolfe abuses ellipses No seriously you will not believe the number of pointless ellipses he uses This book forms a oose trilogy with The Painted Word Wolfe s dissection of art and art criticism and From Bauhaus to Our House his similar evisceration of architectural theory This book is different in that Wolfe has ventured into scientific theory or actually holy writ ie Darwinian evolutionary theory Those two books also dealt with a smaller topic the conflict between American independent thought and the tendency of American intellectuals to follow European isms one of Wolfe s particular bugaboos But even though this book deals with science you see the same themes as Wolfe s earlier works the importance of cultural and class distinctions in how thoughts gain social currency the need for human beings to group themselves off into hostile tribes even within civilization the capacity of intellectuals to accept arge concepts for ABC largely non intellectual reasons and the importance of personality in shaping what A great entertaining read Wolfe gets off some magnificent and irreverentines aimed at the neo Darwinian hand wavers Moreover he is Odd Man In largely invulnerable to any counter attack from them because the one place he does his own hand waving is a place where none of them can go I hope to write about thisater Tom Wolfe one day stumbled across a 2014 essay by eight heavyweight Evolutionists the famed Palace Intrigue (A Medieval Tale linguist Noam Chomsky being notability among them and was startled by their conclusion that after 150 years of scientific research and academic speculation what we know about speech andanguage remains as mysterious as ever A poverty of evidence they wrote Parking Lot Rules 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children leaves us with no explanation of how and why ouringuistic computations and representations evolvedWolfe Carlyle Marney looked askance at this conclusion noting first how odd it was for a group of experts to announce what abject failures they were but then wisely proceeded to uestion the essay s underlying assumption According to Chomsky et al the notion thatanguage has evolved just Shameful like any other trait ofiving organisms was uncontroversial In the story which he presents Wolfe in his inimitable style as a reporter and storyteller challenges that assumption Why must anguage have evolvedThe story of evolution begins of course with Charles Darwin or as Wolfe reminds us with Alfred Russell Wallace 1823 1913 who virtually beat Darwin to the punch on biological evolution but ultimately uestioned Darwin s conclusion on the evolution of anguage The DarwinWallace rivalry told entertainingly by Wolfe is juxtaposed with the author s account of a modern rivalry concerning the origin of Sacred Landscapes language one which pitted Chomsky s supposition of an inborn universal grammar against that theory s challenger Daniel L Everett Don t Sleep There Are Snakes Everett concluded after closely studying a tribe indigenous to a remote part of the thatanguage did not evolve rather he posits it is an artifact created by mankindThe story ends with Wolfe choosing sides His solution to the mystery will no doubt be uickly added to the Angel Without Mercy (Agnes Carmichael, longist of unsubstantiated theories he cites Words create meaning Wolfe suggests Yet others beginning Gold Rush long before him have contended far convincingly just the opposite we create words to designate meaning while meaning is simply apprehended In short the origin ofanguage has an essential side to it which to the reader s misfortune Wolfe never explored It is a view that has been with us since Aristotle walked the streets of Athens one which does not pre suppose a divinity but which consistent with Everett insists that Girl Reporter language could not have evolved biologicallyThus in this significant way Wolfe s tour of the origin ofanguage is incomplete Nevertheless his challenge to scientific authority has merit The eight evolutionists deserve credit for admitting what they do not know but to suggest their uest for an evolutionary basis of anguage is uncontroversial opened them up to the very entertaining smack down Wolfe has thoughtfully delivered in his The Kingdom of Speech Tom Wolfe tries to take down Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky with baffling and terrible results Alternate title The Wrong Stuff. Ontroversial work of modern day anthropologist Daniel Everett who defies the current wisdom that anguage is hard wired in humans Wolfe examines the solemn Gingerbread Heart long facedaugh out oud zig zags of Darwinism old and Neo and finds it irrelevant here in the Kingdom of Spee.
As not been thoroughly examined it seems to me He is saying the Piraha s anguage is akin to a prima Biz Talk-2 lingua If this is true it should be easily proven by the Piraha tribe having a separate and distinct DNAineage because as we have seen throughout history when different people groups intermingle their Ricky Ricottas Mighty Robot vs the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn (Ricky Ricotta, languages also intermingle Everett is claiming by using them as an example of a prima indigenous people that this tiny tribe has somehow stayed intact separate an unchanged for what 10000 100000 1 million years It is hard to say because evolutionists throw out numbers for humanity s beginnings as easily as strippers throw off clothes All that is needed is a simple DNA test to prove if the Piraha are truly a separate indigenous people group In other words to make a whole new case for the origins ofanguage based on one tiny tribe of people seems A Historical Atlas of Tibet ludicrous I suppose my true colors as a Chomskyite are being exposed I do believe in an innateanguage ability that is wired into our brainsnervous system I only disagree with the evolutionary as in macro evolutionary origin of speech I would say that we are endowed by our creator with the ability to use speech and to understand The Last Awakening (Curse of the Phoenix, language In Genesis the very first task that Adam was given was to name the animals And in the Gospel of John in the New Testament it states that In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God Language is divine It was especially interesting to me that Everett the former missionary turned away from Christ to follow the God of Anthropology and Evolution Interesting but hardly surprising There is no uicker way to derail and ruin a career in academia than to be a Christian Any theory of anything that is based on Intelligent Design rather than evolution is dismissed out of hand in this very small and narrow world Unfortunately the evolutionary worldviewimits scholars to new hypotheses and possibilities as to the origin and development of Italian Warships Of World War II languageIf you are interested inanguage or in understanding the philosophical trendsetters in the ast 150 years I highly recommend The Kingdom of Speech Wolfe makes the journey in this 185 page book not only educational but enjoyable I normally enjoy Tom Wolfe but this takedown of modern inguistics is simply a rant His new journalism style was completely unsuited to persuading me of the validity of some of his rather specious scientific arguments Despite the fairly copious footnotes there was Critical Social Theory and the End of Work little evidence that Wolfe s understanding of either evolution oringuistics had any depth Not having read any Tom Wolfe before I was riveted by the prose style of this book with its ellipses collouial asides and multiple exclamation marks I am sure it is possible to write a great book with this techniue and perhaps Tom Wolfe has already done it but this one is unfortunately a complete messI say unfortunately because as a matter of fact I agree with his basic position What Wolfe is trying to do is summarise the internecine fighting of the The Traps linguistics world that followed Daniel Everett s work on the Pirahanguage which attacked Noam Chomsky s idea of a universal grammar I ve written Simple Wicca lots about all this in my review of Everett s Language The Cultural Tool suffice to say here that UG had become of an ideology than an academic theory an aggressively enforced orthodoxy that had never produced any very interesting results or been proved even slightly to reflect physiological or neurological realityWolfe sees this as a David v Goliath story pluckyittle Dan Everett taking on the mean old dictator Chomsky and in his telling the characters and the arguments are so simplified as to become cartoons Further the first half of the book for some reason is about Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell a diversion that is at best irrelevant and at worst misleading the main effect on me was of exhausting my patience with Wolfe s cavalier approach to historical incident Oh Charlie Charlie Charliesaid Lyell When we finally get on to the main event Wolfe simply Protect Your Purity lifts anecdotes wholesale from Everett s Don t Sleep There Are Snakes and retells them It s impossible not to feel that you d rather just be reading Everett first hand More dangerously Wolfe gives the impression that the debate overanguage origins has now been solved by Everett which is very far from the case Everett s main contribution was to puncture the Chomskyan hegemony his own explanation that Theatre Histories language didn t evolve but rather was inventedike a bow and arrow is interesting but a hell of a Waterloo long way from conclusiveThat matters because we already get too many writers making assumptions about whereanguage came from and when it developed and what it was for whereas the truth is that no one has the slightest idea nothing about that has changed and nor does it seem Yobo likely to not that you d know it from Wolfe s strange and breathless polemic After Wolfe s death Iooked for books he authored that I hadn t read This is oneThe Kingdom of Speech is short 170 pa Maybe Tom Wolfe should be commended for diving headfirst into a complicated even esoteric debate raging inside The Last Runaway linguistics and exposing it to a fararger audience than ever before But praise for this book should really end there As someone with some formal training in Sanctuary (The New World Series, linguistics and extensive exploration of the field as a hobby I read Wolfe s prose in the voice of a supremely confident almost entirely uninformed brat In dealing with the fraught hotly debated uestion of the origin ofanguage Wolfe cannot resist engaging in gross simplifications and exaggerations which turned me off entirely and really imited his credibi. Is a captivating paradigm shifting argument that speech not evolution is responsible for humanity's complex societies and achievementsFrom Alfred Russel Wallace the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but ater renounced it and through the
characters The Kingdom of Speech
New Journalism movement of the 1960s and 1970sTom Wolfe is also famous for coining and defining the term