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Archive for June 4th, 2008

Nice post in Prawfsblog titled “Why I am an anti-intellectual”.

But to continue:  My confession of being an anti-intellectual requires a bit of explanation.  Being anti-intellectual is not the same as being anti-intellect.  My beef is with a particular social class — the “intelligentsia” — and not with the practice of using one’s intellect to reflect on experience.  In my experience, intellectuals (as a class) are ideologically intolerant, easily offended by ordinary humor, and pretentious in their prejudices, which they disguise as universal truths.  (Whether any of these adjectives applies to Professor Heller’s response to my little poke, I leave it for others to judge).

Moreover, I find a direct relationship between the academic obscurity of self-consciously “intellectual” writer’s prose and the willingness of that writer to justify the unjustifiable.

I recommend the entire post — it is funny, well-written and insightful. Of course the sentiments expressed there are not new; Bengalis have a precise term (“aantel”) to describe and parody the class of intellectuals that Rick talks about.

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I have always feared that if elected, John McCain would be an even more authoritarian chief executive than George W. Bush. Particularly worrying is his disregard for privacy and free speech, especially when it conflicts (in his world-view) with national security.

The latest statement issued by McCain’s campaign proves that these fears are justified. Here’s an excerpt:

N]either the Administration nor the telecoms need apologize for actions that most people, except for the ACLU and the trial lawyers, understand were Constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001. […]

We do not know what lies ahead in our nation’s fight against radical Islamic extremists, but John McCain will do everything he can to protect Americans from such threats, including asking the telecoms for appropriate assistance to collect intelligence against foreign threats to the United States as authorized by Article II of the Constitution.

(Link via Boing Boing)

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