A friend posted an article on FB today, The War on Stupid People.
A quick read reveals that the author fears that intelligence is not only an innate and unfair advantage, but that the intelligent are setting up society for their own purposes.
"we have embraced the idea of a meritocracy with few reservations, even
treating it as virtuous. That can’t be right. Smart people should feel
entitled to make the most of their gift. But they should not be
permitted to reshape society so as to instate giftedness as a universal
yardstick of human worth."
Wow! There's a lot tied up in that closing. Maybe some day I'll care enough to pick it apart.
For now I'll share this.
I think there is far more anti-intellectual bias in the U.S. than otherwise. Ask any parents who has had to deal with getting services for their gifted child, or just look at the Trump presidential campaign.
Here is the response I wrote on FB
article. It seems to have a fear based premise (that those who can't
keep up are/will be left behind),which would make it appeal to those who
are feeling threatened by their own current situation.
It seems to be a bit muddled - mixing education
level, socio-economics and intelligence. (While related, those items
are discrete.) Also, he doesn't seem to back up most of his statements
Intelligence is a source of power, as is
size, as is gender, socio-economic position, race, etc.. some of these
things are inherent, and some are social constructs. While we can work
to change the culture, do we really want to hinder those who can do
Personally I'm super enjoying watching
the Olympics. Even though I will never accomplish such feats, I can
appreciate them, and only be a little bit jealous.
But, here is something useful to work with from the article:
with the details all you want, but there’s no escaping the conclusion
that most Americans aren’t smart enough to do something we are told is
an essential step toward succeeding in our new, brain-centric
economy—namely, get through four years of college with moderately good
And that's something I think isn't true and this myth needs to be addressed.
do not all have to have college degrees to be economically successful.
In fact, the exorbitant cost of university means that the college
educated graduate with more debt, and possibly less income (depending on
major and geography) than those who chose a different route.
The culture of valuing white collar work over blue collar work has got to change.
people, including plenty of high IQ, do not fair well in a traditional
classroom. Not all of us are cut out for college, or desk work. Add to
that the fact that we have a looming shortage of necessary
tradesworkers (due to an aging generation) and I think we have all the
reason in the world to improve our valuation of those who work with
their hands, provide necessary services, and contribute to our society.
Harrison Berergon, by Kurt Vonnegut
Anti-Intellectualism in the U.S.
Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, by Richard Hofstadter