peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2005 01 06 DistortedMorality

Distorted Morality

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Another Chomsky movie, this time just a recording of a lecture he gave at Harvard in 2002. I find it a bit annoying when he gets sarcastic about things as it becomes difficult to know when he is and isn't being supercilious. It's a weak oratory technique IMHO, at least coming from an MIT professor. Politicians use it all the time.

The solution, of course, is to realise he's primarily criticising the US and factor that into all his comments. This is hardly satisfying. It would good if he practised summarising his proof, at indicating how one might validate what he says without studying all media in existence (or the US at least). His common refrain of "It's either like what I say or I'm not aware of a counter-example" would've got me fails on my undergrad essays. :-)

But this is merely nickpicking his presentation. I don't substantially disagree with what he's trying to do — a skeptical analysis of media and the US government — and indeed think it quite worthwhile. What's interesting to me (in a "I'm not likely to do much about it" way) is how we might redirect these economic forces that apparently result in these negative outcomes (excuse the Watson-esque weasel words). Bluntly, why should Rupert Murdoch (Australia's finest export) do anything else but support the various wars if that's in his financial interest? I am not a believer in corporations-as-people, either way (rights or behaviour).