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Noam Chomsky has officially become a science fiction character

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This is a documentary about nothing less than how we perceive reality. It's from Michel Gondry, who directed the mind-melters Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep, and it stars controversial linguistics professor Noam Chomsky.

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Called Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?, the movie is also animated by Gondry, with whimsical illustrations that help illuminate difficult philosophical concepts about how we categorize objects and come to know the world by giving things names. Chomosky is known to most people as a lefty activist, but he is also a professor of linguistics at MIT who popularized the idea that humans have a biological predisposition to use language. In other words, language is hardwired into our brains.

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? is as much about Chomsky's language as it is about language in general. And Gondry's odd questions to Chomsky — "When are you happy?" — make it seem like it could be a genuine delight.

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DISCUSSION

Citizen-Kang
Citizen-Kang

I know Chomsky is hailed as a great thinker. A great deal of my political views line up with his. I remember reading some of his works for a Poli Sci class at UCLA in the mid-90s. A few years later (well...more than a few) I was watching an interview with him and he seemed like the most smug, insufferable prick which is saying a lot when you're talking about political science. Maybe he was having an off day and I caught him at a bad time.