Noam Chomsky MasterClass Review: Worth It?

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“I was never aware of any other option but to question everything.” You never realize the power of your voice until you start using it. Misinformation and false news have been rampant in today’s modern world. With advancing technology and access to social media, it is hard to track what is right or wrong.

You can take COVID-19, for example. Misinformation about COVID-19 continued to circulate widely. There were numerous false claims regarding the efficiency of treatments and the safety of vaccines. Social media platforms kept contributing to vaccine hesitancy and confusion about several public health measures, leading people to make life-threatening choices. 

Due to the occurrence of several such incidents every now and then, it is essential to understand the power of the media and the idea of critical thinking. In this review, we will do just that. 

If you are short on time, here is a quick summary of what you’ll learn.

Quick Summary of Noam Chomsky’s Masterclass Review

In just 41 minutes, you will learn:

  • Think critically.
  • Valuable insights on how to question everything.
  • Identify false rumors and avoid getting caught up in fake news.
  • Not propagate misinformation and never be part of the problem.
  • Use activism and the role it plays in modern technology.
  • Opportunity to learn from an esteemed visionary.
  • Concise and straightforward content.
  • Learn about the power of AI.
  • Condensed lesson for easier understanding.
  • Cultivate intellectual and critical thinking.
  • Understand the influence of media.
  • Time duration is on the shorter side.
  • Course content is not for everyone.
  • Conversational style of teaching.

I recommend that everyone give this class a try. The topics covered are controversial, but there is much to learn. This course is an eye-opener for understanding the power of media.

During the wildfires of 2022, I became a victim of false rumors and misinformation. It wasn’t easy to believe anything laid out in the media. After that incident, I made it my personal goal to understand the role of the media and how I could differentiate between truth and fiction. My journey led me to meet Noam Chomsky, an activist and philosopher.

Going through Noam Chomsky’s work made me realize how grave the problem at hand was. News outlets and social media platforms don’t just spin controversies; they can also change the public’s opinion on important social and political issues.

I went through a couple of his books and then came across his MasterClass. Having been following his work for a while now got me intrigued, and I decided to take his class to see if I could learn anything more from this iconic intellectual. In this review, we will see if Noam Chomsky’s MasterClass is informative and delivers on what it promises. I will also share my personal thoughts on this class and what I liked about it.

Noam Chomsky MasterClass Review In 2024

So, let’s get started.

Noam Chomsky is an exceptional linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and social critic. He has been named the most important intellectual alive by the New York Times today. He has written over 150 books and is one of the most celebrated philosophers in the world. He has revolutionized the field of linguistics with his theories that also have applications in computer science.  

Chomsky’s stand against American supremacy and his criticism of media manipulation make him unique. He has openly advocated social justice, human rights, and peace.

He also frequently educates the masses on how the media brainwashes people and constantly pushes imperialist and capitalist agendas. 

His philosophical contributions and activism have earned him various awards and honors, and he continues to be an influential and inspiring role model.

Who should get Noam Chomsky’s Masterclass?

Noam Chomsky’s MasterClass is designed for people interested in learning how the media influences public opinion. This class makes you want to think critically and conduct political analysis. 

His unique insights into the dynamics of power and media manipulation have been pivotal in the fields of political science and journalism. His class universally appeals to students, budding journalists, and activists. But it is not just limited to them; this class is for anyone who wants to understand the influence of the media in society and learn how to engage with media messages critically.

Chomsky will make you want to think independently and have a skeptical approach to information. His teachings will provide you with tools to navigate the complex world of modern media.

He also tackles the concept of Artificial Intelligence and its rising power. His class is short and has a conversational tone to it, making it engaging and informative.

What does Noam Chomsky’s Masterclass cover?

Noam Chomsky’s MasterClass is only 45 minutes long. It is one of the shortest classes available on the MasterClass platform. It is divided into five main lessons and an extra bonus video. Each lesson is of varying lengths, ranging from 5 to 15 minutes. However, the shortness of the class does not impact its resourcefulness in any way.

There is no additional material included in this course, and there are also no hands-on exercises.

You do get community access that you can use to discuss your views and ideas with other like-minded people.

The lesson plan is as follows:

  1. Information and misinformation in new media
  2. The invisible control of media
  3. Truth into activism
  4. Linguistics and humanity

Summarizing the Lessons

Noam Chomsky starts the lesson with a brief introduction. He reminisces about the time he was at a camp when the news of the Hiroshima bombing came out. He talks about how the world continued to move despite such devastating news. By providing this information, Chomsky sets the tone for this course. According to him, there are so many things that can threaten humanity, and the causes may be natural or man-made. It is important to think critically and ask sound questions to differentiate between the truth and media propaganda. 

In the next lesson, Chomsky is interviewed by Jules Terpak. He discusses the effects of social media and acknowledges the changing times. With the rise of social media and everything available online, the appeal of local media has declined, and that gives power to these platforms. Social media works on algorithms, and that gives them control over the content you are exposed to. It can amplify some voices while censoring others. That can polarize public opinions and ensue chaos, and that is why it is important to think critically and always fact-check every piece of information you consume before passing it forward.

Moving forward, Chomsky talks about how the media manufactures consent to manipulate people. He explains his theory of the five filters the media uses to promote their propaganda. 

Ownership: Media and publications are owned and controlled by private corporations looking for their best interests.

Advertising: The majority of mainstream media relies on advertising for revenue, and that compromises their authenticity and reliability as their opinions are biased because they are bought.

Sourcing: As we are all aware, governments and powerful businesses have influence over the media and can often restrict them from being accurate and truthful. 

Flak: Any negative response that the media receives is known as a flak. To avoid flak, the media might stop showing content that can cause discord. 

Anti-Communist Ideology: The media has a great influence on public opinions, and they need fear to control people to serve those who are in power. 

Noam Chomsky explains how you need to turn the truth into activism. Doing your research and having the ability to identify misinformation is not enough. It would be best if you actively worked towards a better future. Chomsky believes that privileged people should unite and champion causes against social injustice and media manipulation. He urges people to listen to the young voices. He believes that youth activists like Malala Yousafzai can bring about huge change in society. (I wouldn’t know what he thinks of activists like Mari Copeny and Leah Namugerwa.). His aim in doing so is to educate people who have no voice and teach them how to think critically. 

In this bonus lesson, Chomsky talks about the impact language has on humanity and how words are the most powerful weapon that there is. He also briefly talks about AI and how it can be used constructively while warning people about its dark side as well.

Key Points From Noam Chomsky’s Masterclass

Noam Chomsky’s MasterClass provides valuable insights on thought-provoking topics like activism, media manipulation, and critical thinking. I always assumed that people who fall for media gimmicks and false news might just be stupid and that I am much smarter than them. But I was shocked to learn that it was not the case. I realized how I have been a victim of false news while also being guilty of unknowingly spreading misinformation. 

I learned how to filter information and fact-check everything that I am consuming. It also made me think about the impact of social media on my perception. Social media is all about condensed content, and it is very easy to take it out of context.

Media is all about monetizing content, and I realized that it is necessary not to believe everything they say. It is also significant to check the credibility of the news you have received or are propagating.

Also, check: What Is Masterclass, How Much Is MasterClass? and Is MasterClass Worth It?

What I Liked about Noam Chomsky’s MasterClass?

I found Noam Chomsky’s MasterClass to be a one-of-a-kind experience. It has valuable insights and knowledge on how to think critically and not get enticed by everything the media presents to you. His intellect and wisdom know no bounds, and they keep you engaged throughout his course. 

The content is crafted and presented well despite being such a complicated concept. That shows what a masterful instructor, Noam Chomsky, is. The conversational style of delivery and flashbacks from his past work draw a clear picture of his career and ascertain why he is one of the most cited professors in the world. 

The short duration of the course and the way it is structured allows the audience to absorb the content more effectively.

Overall, taking a MasterClass by Noam Chomsky is a privilege. He provides valuable information that has practical application. He has broken down such complex subject matter into easily understandable lessons, and it is commendable. Being a fan of his past work, I thoroughly enjoyed his MasterClass.

But there are a few downsides, like the lack of supplemental course material or exercises to follow through. Also, the class duration is incredibly short and leaves you wanting more. On the plus side, it allows you to do your in-depth research to understand this concept. 

Despite all that, Noam Chomsky’s MasterClass should be on your must-watch list.

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