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An Interesting Chain Of Events

After consuming information and reflecting upon it I sometimes find it interesting to trace back the chain of events - what did catch my interest in the first place to trigger that initial inquiry? How did my search for additional information branch from that point on? Here's one example. Few years ago I picked up documentary called "The Corporation" at the local Borders book store. Why? No special reason, learning more about economics and business was (and still is) of interest to me and in that context the title sounded quite promising; the fact that it was on sale probably had something to do with it as well. So, I did not have any expectations when I started watching it, but once I did - it grabbed my attention completely. The documentary was very well made in terms of the presentation, structure, and content. Plus, it had an amazing range of people appearing in it - Ira Jackson, Ray Anderson, Noam Chomsky, Richard Grossman, Howard Zinn, Michael Moore, Milton Freidman, and Jeremy Rifkin; most of whom I did not know much about at the time, but I did make it a point to learn more about the people and the opinions they expressed, starting with two people who stood out of this amazing group of folks - Noam Chomsky and Milton Freidman. First, I was quite taken by the opinions and ideas so eloquently described by Noam Chomsky in the following documentaries (as well as various articles and interviews):

For a person like me, who spent 20 first, formative years of his life in the Soviet Union, Chomsky's ideas had a great deal of appeal, but one thing kept bothering me - the somewhat narrow focus and single sidedness of his opinions. I needed a counterweight and Milton Friedman presented me with one. I started by reading two of his popular books:

His ideas appeared a lot less intuitive at first (once again, given my background, simply putting "Capitalism and Freedom" in one sentence and implying that there is a relationship between them had to be suspect at best), but there was an undeniable logic behind them. Now, I must admit that when I am "thinking with my heart" (I guess this would be feeling, not thinking) I sympathize with Chomsky's ideas, but when I turn on my mind the pendulum swings decisively towards the views expressed by Friedman. And so I stand - slightly confused and divided, but resolute in my desire to continue learning, thinking, and maybe eventually writing another post about it.


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