1 Following


Currently reading

The New Foundations of Evolution: On the Tree of Life
Jan Sapp

The Intellectual

The Intellectual - Steve Fuller Basically, he is (the one and only?) intellectual. Too philosophical to be my cup of tea. Some of his claims seemed reasonable (why Palestinians aren't just terrorists), some weird (racists just promote genetic diversity).

About what an intellectual is like - I would agree with some of these, but all together on a pile? Looks too much like an intellectual is one to always complain, never actually do anything, and never take responsibility for his/hers acts and arguments. It's as if he's trying to be controversial, and at the same time saying a little as possible - and that's what this book is like. Here's a more or less complete list of the duties of an intellectual, with my comments:
goes against the mainstream ideas and thoughts: it doesn't matter that one week he must represent the ideas he fought the last one, he's in it for the chase - ego-tripper;
speaks for ordinary citizens - and how does he know what to speak about?does not offend the one accusing him - not doing a good job of it;
all opinions must be heard - disagree;
must display thought independence: the less material gain you have, the more intellectual integrity you get; the goal is planting the seed of doubt - is that why he's so incoherent?;
must not become a part of the dominant ideology, better to be forgotten by history - so be in the center of attention, but stick to the sidelines;
encourages the unpopular arguments - well that speaks for itself, like "global warming";
encourages mass education, reading newspapers and public debate - in general I would agree that these are all good things, but the cynic in me cannot: like these aren't the place we find most mind-numbing.

Did this just make me an intellectual?

Anyway, something that annoyed me throughout the book: making everybody else look bad is still not making you look good. I agree with some of the stuff on the scientific elites, but only up to a point. That's probably because he annoys me so much - if somebody else said it, I would probably like it.

The most interesting information for me is something mentioned casually: it's the literature-based discovery or Swanson linking, named after Don Swanson, an information scientist.

All in all, I wouldn't recommend it.

P.S. Just found out that he endorses Intelligent Design. Well that sucks. I'm sorry I even read it in the first place.