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Do you think our culture is anti-intellectual? - Page 9

post #161 of 229
Ok, to put this another way, I guess I'd look at it from the opposite approach. Do we as a culture value ignorance? No. There are no institutions (other than perhaps the default of failing ones due to public funding inadequacies or lack of personal responsibility) that teach ignorance that are culturally accepted.

(I'm sure someone is going to argue with that and say public schools or prisons or something like that is an institution that teaches ignorance...but I'm talking about intent, not mismanagement.)

Ignorance and lack of education are not valued by our culture. We have cultural institutions in place to combat those things.

Now, is achievement or monetary success valued? Yes. Of course. Probably disproportionately so (I would argue that anyway).

But that does not take away from the fact that intellectualism is held in high regard by our culture i.e. valued.

Honestly, what intellectual who is known in a cultural way (authors, playwrites, scientists, etc) is not highly regarded? Our culture celebrates modern day and historical high intellectuals and cultural creatives.
post #162 of 229
Also, I think the examples of public school failings and/or mismanagement are not indicative of our culture not placing value on intellectualism.

Many of our streets and bridges are in need of repair due to age and structural obsolescence. Does that mean society and culture does not value public infrastructure? No, of course not. We have finite public resources. But we have a long standing history of placing value on public infrastructure in our culture.

It is a shame that schools and teachers are not fully equipped (whether that be because of unawareness, poor training and education, inadequate funding, internal politics, individual personalities and limitations, whatever) to accommodate highly gifted students who might be bored or have other issues such as sitting still, ADHD, being on the Autism spectrum, and many other things.

We need to do better, obviously. Children have many different strengths and weaknesses and that needs to be reconized and supported better. Obviously.

But school is one subset of culture at large. The failings of public schools, or, as another example, the general population's preference to watch tv over read a book, are not indicators alone for culture at large not placing value on intellectualism.

Albert Einstein is the classic example (often overused, yes and factually debatable) of a student who flunked and failed in school because he was misunderstood...until his genius was aroused by something that interested him. And yet, he is one of the most culturally significant icons in North American history.

He was not more beautiful physically. He was not more athletic. He was not unusually talented as a singer or dancer or anything remotely "pop culture."

He was known and is remembered for his intellect (yes, of course it was applied during a war time and there are cultural overtones to achievement in that). But, by and large, Einstein (and others) are cultural significant because of their intellect.

We wouldn't have cultural icons like this if we as a culture did not value intellectualism.
post #163 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I'm looking at culture at large, what we do as a collective public. Therefore, I think because the collective public builds and funds such things as museums, libraries, public art we value intellectualism. I think because we as a collective public provide public schooling through high school (wasn't always the case), public universities, community colleges, student loans, etc, that we value intellectualism. I think because we hold cultural creatives and innovators in high regard, that we value intellectualism.

I'm defining value as holding in high regard, respecting, not necessarily pursuing in one's own life.
I think we are all using close to the same definition. You see these things as being held in high regard and some of us do not see that for one reason or another. Maybe it is because we live in different areas. As a collective, there are public schools, universities, student loans, libraries, etc. but the existence of those things do not automatically mean that we value intellectualism. I have stated before that the education system is not set up to encourage people to pursue things from an intellectual standpoint. They are set up for people to get jobs and gain skills. Colleges tend to encourage thinking moreso than the K-12 schools. When I was in college, most of the people were there to get a degree so they could get a job. The education system was set up to create workers, not intellectuals. I don't have a link but I recall reading that somewhere in my studies.

If the institutions that you mention are valued, why do they not receive more funding. A lot of the museums are funded by philantropists and probably would not exist if they had to rely on public funding alone. Why are public schools not funded better? If schools and intellectual pursuits are so highly valued, why aren't teachers paid better? If libraries are so valuable, why are some of them closing down in some areas? If intellectualism is valued, why do libraries have to fight so hard to get funding? There are some public schools where the libraries are not given budgets. Why is it that cities will vote for and fund huge sports complexes but not vote for pay raises for teachers or increased supply budgets for teachers to have the materials that they need? Physical prowess is valued much more than intellectual prowess. Just because something exists does not mean that it is valued.

The only cultural creatives and intellectuals that are valued are those that have money. If you don't have monetary success, like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, then your intellectual and creative pusuits are seen as silly at best. A lot of the people that we hold in high regard, such as Einstein, were looked upon as freaks when they were alive. It wasn't until they had passed and people saw the real implications of what they had been doing that he was held in high regard. I wish I could remember all of my history or had time to look it up but I do not recall a lot of great people that were patted on the back and valued during their time.

I am sorry but the Nobel Peace Prize winners never get near as much press as the quarterback for the winning superbowl team. People as a whole do not care about hearing about the Nobel Peace Prize winners. I know that you will claim that people respect them but I see it as more of an ambivalence. You know, "oh that's nice, whatever" kind of attitude.
post #164 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Honestly, what intellectual who is known in a cultural way (authors, playwrites, scientists, etc) is not highly regarded? Our culture celebrates modern day and historical high intellectuals and cultural creatives.
When are these people celebrated by the general population? Seriously, do you believe most people have a favorite playwright and discuss it with their friends?

The people I see being celebrated by US society are generally REALLY dumb, or at least pretending to be (e.g. Paris Hilton, reality show stars).

Intellectuals may celebrate intellectualism, but that doesn't show what the society as a whole values.

I'm curious-- why are you so passionate about this thread?

ZM
post #165 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by library lady View Post
People as a whole do not care about hearing about the Nobel Peace Prize winners. I know that you will claim that people respect them but I see it as more of an ambivalence. You know, "oh that's nice, whatever" kind of attitude.
True.

I am not sure if people personally care or not. I don't know.

But I know that the Nobel Peace Prize, etc, is culturally significant, and the work of recipients is valued.

I value culture more than pop culture personally. I don't care, or know, or remember who wins a Super Bowl for instance. But just because I don't care doesn't make it less significant from a pop culture standpoint.

The same is true of Nobel Peace Prize winners, etc. Heck, even electoral politics, for that matter. I mean, the majority of our population doesn't vote, but that doesn't mean that the election is cultural (and historically) significant.
post #166 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post

I'm curious-- why are you so passionate about this thread?

ZM
I'm not! I just like debate. And I truly do believe that our culture values intellectualism.

But I don't define culture as pop culture or people's individual behaviors.
post #167 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by library lady View Post
If the institutions that you mention are valued, why do they not receive more funding. A lot of the museums are funded by philantropists and probably would not exist if they had to rely on public funding alone. Why are public schools not funded better? If schools and intellectual pursuits are so highly valued, why aren't teachers paid better? If libraries are so valuable, why are some of them closing down in some areas? If intellectualism is valued, why do libraries have to fight so hard to get funding? There are some public schools where the libraries are not given budgets. Why is it that cities will vote for and fund huge sports complexes but not vote for pay raises for teachers or increased supply budgets for teachers to have the materials that they need? Physical prowess is valued much more than intellectual prowess. Just because something exists does not mean that it is valued.
I think because of the same reason that our public infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc) are not funded well. Public funding is a finite resource, with lots of needs.

Society/culture values public infrastructure...we just don't always have adequate funds and there are lots of competing needs, and most people don't want taxes raised.

Sports stadiums are not publicly funded. I liken sports stadiums to shopping malls or restaurants or something. They are privately funded.

And, yes, it is a shame that there isn't more public funding available for and support to increase the funding for public institutions.
post #168 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post

The people I see being celebrated by US society are generally REALLY dumb, or at least pretending to be (e.g. Paris Hilton, reality show stars).
I don't know. I don't think the reality show stars or Paris Hilton are really celebrated in a cultural way.

Are they a pop culture or media sensation? Sure. But what is the staying power? What will their cultural significance be in 20 years? 100 years?

I think the reason we see so much of the reality tv, Paris Hilton, MTV kind of stuff is because that's what is on television, and to some extent newspapers and magazines. That's only because the teen and 20 generation are being target marketed to buy things.

If you draw your news and information from sources that have a different target market (client base) the ads and coverage are vastly different...more news relevant, current events oriented, political, etc.

Pop culture and marketing are but subsets of the culture at large. It's easy to lose sight of that if we spend too much time on one medium.

People and events with cultural significance are important in a historical sense, a monumental sense.

We have a very weird society, I agree. The media feeds on it and I don't understand the attraction to reality stars, Paris Hilton, etc. I don't know if it's real or created. Even Paris Hilton has said she herself is a brand. She is selling and marketing herself (quite astutely I might add) to make money. So, she's not really a cultural icon or culturally significant as much as she is a brand.
post #169 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by library lady View Post
The only cultural creatives and intellectuals that are valued are those that have money. If you don't have monetary success, like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, then your intellectual and creative pusuits are seen as silly at best.
I don't think so. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are two of the wealthiest men in the world (and look what they've done by the way in terms of contributing to culture and the human condition ). As the wealthiest of course they'll be recognized for that.

But I think people who are not billionaires are also recognized for the intellectualism. As we already brought up, Nobel Peace Prize winners, Pulizer Prize winners, authors, playwrites, scientists, astronauts, etc. Yes, they are achievers, but they are not all millionaires known only for their money.

I am recalling an independent film maker who won an Oscar a few years ago. I wish I could come up with the name. Anyway, I remember during her acceptance speech she said something like, "You know you're in a different league when your borrowed dress cost more than your entire film budget."

Not everyone is wealthy who is an intellectual and celebrated. But, yes, with intellectualism AND achievement often comes success. It's hard to separate this and come up with examples that we would all have heard of.

I know of a few locally celebrated researchers and scientists who most people have never heard of and who have been featured only on local news. They are doing amazing, cutting edge work. They are highly regarded. If you told anyone on the street what they were researching and finding cures for, people would likely give a casual thumbs up.

That's not anti-intellectualism.
post #170 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I
Pop culture and marketing are but subsets of the culture at large. It's easy to lose sight of that if we spend too much time on one medium.

People and events with cultural significance are important in a historical sense, a monumental sense.

We have a very weird society, I agree. The media feeds on it and I don't understand the attraction to reality stars, Paris Hilton, etc. I don't know if it's real or created. Even Paris Hilton has said she herself is a brand. She is selling and marketing herself (quite astutely I might add) to make money. So, she's not really a cultural icon or culturally significant as much as she is a brand.
Somehow, it seems like you define what our society values to be what intellectuals value. Intellectuals may not care about pop culture, but if anyone were to study North American society and ignore pop culture, they would be missing an important facet. People pay a lot more attention to pop culture than they do science or literature. I believe this is a reflection of our society's values.

ZM
post #171 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
but if anyone were to study North American society and ignore pop culture, they would be missing an important facet. People pay a lot more attention to pop culture than they do science or literature. I believe this is a reflection of our society's values.

ZM
Oh, I am not saying to ignore pop culture. I said it is but one subset of culture at large.

Also, what time period are we talking about...just a snapshot of cultural history?...right now? Or are we looking at this past century? Longer? Shorter?

For whatever reason, our society right now is hyper focused on celebrity pop culture. Mores o than even 20 years ago. It might be just a fad, started by reality tv. I don't know. I think it has a lot to do with trying to sell consumer goods. It's a marketing scheme. It will most likely recede at some point (the economy might help that!).

But I don't think it has lasting power. Who knows, though?

And I don't think it is so culturally significant that it erases who we have been as a culture for the last 100 years or more.

We need to look at history (look how far public education has come in such a short time moving us from an agrarian population to a culture where high school education is standard), and culture at large, not just subsets.

Then again, it is the intellectuals (usually) who write and record history. What will go down as culturally significant from our time? It might be different than what is playing on MTV, E, and VH1, or, I don't know, Extra! or Entertainment Tonight. As I said, that is not our culture. It is a small, small piece of it.
post #172 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I think because of the same reason that our public infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc) are not funded well. Public funding is a finite resource, with lots of needs.

Society/culture values public infrastructure...we just don't always have adequate funds and there are lots of competing needs, and most people don't want taxes raised.

Sports stadiums are not publicly funded. I liken sports stadiums to shopping malls or restaurants or something. They are privately funded.

And, yes, it is a shame that there isn't more public funding available for and support to increase the funding for public institutions.

I am sorry but I completely disagree with your statement that sports stadiums are not publicly funded. Here is an article that discusses how much funding comes from the public: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...10/ai_n9472619

Historically speaking, yes, sports complexes were privately funded. Nowadays, that is clearly not the case. I ask again, why are public funds going to build sports complexes rather than public infrastructure such as roads, schools, etc. and so on? If intellectualism were valued, the funding would be going to schools and libraries rather than for a sports complex that focuses on physical prowess. Most jocks are not known for being highly intelligent. I know there are a lot of exceptions to that but I am just speaking in generalities. There are a lot of super smart sports players but that side of them is never focused on or highlighted. Who cares that these football players have intellectual pursuits on the side? That side is pretty much forgotten and overlooked. You may say that education and intellect do not sell so they are not going to focus on that. It doesn't sell because that is not what people want. The advertisers and medial push what sells. Education and intellectual pursuits do not sell. They do not sell because they are not valued.

You talk about things standing the test of time and having a historical and cultural significance. Having a historical or cultural significance does not equal being valued. What about wars? They all have a very cultural and historical significance yet they are not all valued.

According to Wikipedia, "Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation. Culture has been called "the way of life for an entire society."[3] As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, norms of behavior such as law and morality, and systems of belief as well as the art." There is no distinction between pop culture and regular culture. There will be a lot of elements of pop culture that survive the test of time. Look at the Beatles for example, in their time, the older generations considered them to be hoodlems with long hair. How many older people find artists like Elvis revolting because of the way he moved his hips? They are very significant now but at the time, they were not that big of a deal. There are a lot of intellectuals/artists/etc. that are not valued and are seen as rebels or just plain weird. The value does not come until much, much later. During their time, they are actually shunned or seen as problems.
post #173 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Oh, I am not saying to ignore pop culture. I said it is but one subset of culture at large.

Also, what time period are we talking about...just a snapshot of cultural history?...right now? Or are we looking at this past century? Longer? Shorter?

For whatever reason, our society right now is hyper focused on celebrity pop culture. Mores o than even 20 years ago. It might be just a fad, started by reality tv. I don't know. I think it has a lot to do with trying to sell consumer goods. It's a marketing scheme. It will most likely recede at some point (the economy might help that!).

But I don't think it has lasting power. Who knows, though?

And I don't think it is so culturally significant that it erases who we have been as a culture for the last 100 years or more.

We need to look at history (look how far public education has come in such a short time moving us from an agrarian population to a culture where high school education is standard), and culture at large, not just subsets.

Then again, it is the intellectuals (usually) who write and record history. What will go down as culturally significant from our time? It might be different than what is playing on MTV, E, and VH1, or, I don't know, Extra! or Entertainment Tonight. As I said, that is not our culture. It is a small, small piece of it.
You know, I don't expect to read about our culture in 150 years. Right now I live in it, and I am talking about what our society values at the moment, which is mainly pop culture. That was what the OP mentioned too-- what people will see as valuable about our culture a hundred years from now is a fundamentally different question.
post #174 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by library lady View Post
I am sorry but I completely disagree with your statement that sports stadiums are not publicly funded. Here is an article that discusses how much funding comes from the public: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...10/ai_n9472619

Historically speaking, yes, sports complexes were privately funded. Nowadays, that is clearly not the case. I ask again, why are public funds going to build sports complexes rather than public infrastructure such as roads, schools, etc. and so on?.
You are correct. There is a recent trend for some public money to be used to build stadiums, mostly with hope of stimulating economic development. I think there are a few stadiums that are 100% publicly funded and owned, but I believe they are the exception.

It's different pots of money, though, and different levels of government. And sport stadiums typically aren't line items in government funding, as are roads, bridges, schools, etc. They are usually special projects due to economic stimulus policy or a special referendum.

Schools are usually funded locally, with some state or federal aid. Local school districts are most often the taxing body. They often have to put additonal funding projects to a referendum.

Sports complexes are probably built with municipal and county funds, with additional state (maybe even some federal) money mixed in. A lot of times, this is only partly publicly funded as a means of economic development. For what it's worth, the same public funding structure and reasons build cultural infrastructure, too, such as civic centers, art centers, museums, etc.

Public funds do go to roads, bridges, highways for economic development reasons, the same justification as for sports stadiums, but also to meet public health and safety needs.

Schools usually aren't used as economic development generators. Different pots of money, different community funding priorities.
post #175 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
But I think people who are not billionaires are also recognized for the intellectualism. As we already brought up, Nobel Peace Prize winners, Pulizer Prize winners, authors, playwrites, scientists, astronauts, etc. Yes, they are achievers, but they are not all millionaires known only for their money
really? ok, off the top of your head, name 5 Nobel winners from the past 3 years?
ok, can you name 5 actors from the past 3 years of movies?

this is an interesting thread. Not exactly a poll, but I would vote that the US is not anti-intellectual. Wouldn't vote that it is intellectual either.

America is a melting pot. It's like saying this country is obese. Well, alot of people are obese. But if you go someplace like Boston proper, or the area where I live, you don't see many obese people. Uncommon actually.
Similarly, to put one label on an entire country, which is constantly changing due to shifting population, would be inaccurate imo.

I think (agree) that the US worships money. And beauty. Not necessaily just power, as some have mentioned. Who knows of a Putin or Chavez fan?

Then again there are definitely circles/ regions/ setting, where intellectualism is highly valued. Problem is (if one considers it a problem), not every American has access or the means to participate or live there.
I do believe though, that if you want to "do" something with your intellectualism, that America is a great place to be.
... haven't heard of a rush of post docs into Central America, or sub-Saharan Africa.
if you want to just contemplate and have deep thoughts, and have your livelihood and retirement paid for.... I hear Europe is a great place for that. (btw, i have lived and worked in Europe for a few years).
post #176 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
You know, I don't expect to read about our culture in 150 years.
You don't think our current culture will be historically significant enough to write about in 150 years or 200 years?

I think many events will be.

There are many exciting technological, medical, scientific, and humanitarian developments occuring.

Of course, we have a few very large mistakes happening as well that might overshadow our collective accomplishments and contributions.
post #177 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by p.s View Post
really? ok, off the top of your head, name 5 Nobel winners from the past 3 years?
ok, can you name 5 actors from the past 3 years of movies?
I was just saying that the existence and recognition of such cultural institutions as the Nobel Peace Prize is one sign that we are not anti-intellectual.

I happen to follow the news quite closely and seriously, so I always note when the Nobel Peach Prize or Pulitzer, etc are awarded and I like to read why they were awarded. Probably most people don't do that? I don't know. I know it's easily accessed and always in the news.
post #178 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by p.s View Post
I do believe though, that if you want to "do" something with your intellectualism, that America is a great place to be.
... haven't heard of a rush of post docs into Central America, or sub-Saharan Africa.
if you want to just contemplate and have deep thoughts, and have your livelihood and retirement paid for.... I hear Europe is a great place for that. (btw, i have lived and worked in Europe for a few years).
That is actually a great point! Much of the talent of the world comes to our great universities.

I also believe that if you want to do something with your intellectualism, that America is a great place to be. That is changing, as the world becomes flat (a la Thomas Friedman, NY Times).

Also, I completely agree with your last statement.
post #179 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I was just saying that the existence and recognition of such cultural institutions as the Nobel Peace Prize is one sign that we are not anti-intellectual.

I happen to follow the news quite closely and seriously, so I always note when the Nobel Peach Prize or Pulitzer, etc are awarded and I like to read why they were awarded. Probably most people don't do that? I don't know. I know it's easily accessed and always in the news.
but the Nobel Prize is not an American cultural institution. granted, alot of Americans have won it in the past. I also enjoy reading about the winners each year. as someone who works in the field of science, i also participate in the guessing game. I knew Kary Mullis would win after I learned about/ ran PCR gels. And i search out the books of lit winners. But hey! that's not average. and just cause i do it, doesn't mean it's applicable to the entire country.
when publishers say they sell out of periodical issues with Princess Diana on the cover, well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
That is actually a great point! Much of the talent of the world comes to our great universities.

I also believe that if you want to do something with your intellectualism, that America is a great place to be. That is changing, as the world becomes flat (a la Thomas Friedman, NY Times).
but as Friedman chronicles in his World is Flat book, they're still coming to the US.
hey, you bring up another good point. I think the World is Flat is written on a mass media level. I would guess seventh grade, since it's not more difficult to read than USA today. So even Friedman realizes to capitalize on his efforts, and to best appeal to the masses (American, those who may buy), it is best water down the intellectual flavor of his book.
wait again... come to think of it, the last part of his book is about the dumbing (my paraphrase) down of America.
post #180 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
Well, it varies widely depending on the various circles in which you travel....but you are asking about North America as a whole. I think society values high achievers more than it value intellectuals. Intellectuals who are also high achievers are valued. So, society values "intellectual," inventive achievers such as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, etc., but also values the physical achievements of professional athletes, the financial achievements of the rich, the self-evident beauty of the beautiful, etc. Many children will want to achieve the type of success that is valued by society as a whole.
:

We do tend to value intellectualism when combined with achievement. But what sparked or created the achievement?

It's that magical mix of intellect, ambition, and luck (IMO). Intellect is part and parcel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I can't tell you how many conversations I've stopped just by telling people that I'm a professor. You don't get the same reaction if you're an engineer or a construction worker or a doctor, but you do if your occupation is clearly intellectual.
This really surprises me. Everywhere I've ever lived (and that's been a few states) people have always been impressed by and respected college professors.

I think universally people respect (ok they may disagree with them) doctors, lawyers, professors, scientists, college professors, etc. I don't think it's just the money. I think it's the brains, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
Definitely. And in the African-American community (which I'm part of) it's chronic.
:

This is a major problem, I think. This has been brought a number of times on the national level during this election season and also by leaders in the African American community.

It is sad.

But I have to wonder if it's more about the socioeconomics than about race. I say that because I am white. I grew up poor in rural America. Many of the people I knew growing up were not educated (and still aren't) and they are anti-intellectual. I think the root is lack of self confidence and self-esteem...feeling like you don't measure up.

With hard socioeconomic conditions, it can become an epidemic in sub-sets of cultures. I have seen the very same thing in poor, white America.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftField View Post
Yes, I do. Traditional U.S. culture promotes the idea that people can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and achieve anything with hard work.
Well, that is true. I am a person who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps through hard work, but the bootstraps consisted of public education and access through loans to college. The hard work was homework and dedication to my studies.

But you are right, there has to be a certain level of intellect involved (and that often plays into good decision making). Luck is also involved. It's not just one thing. But in America it's at least possible. In some countries, it's not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by library lady View Post
Who gets picked on in school the most? It certainly isn't the jocks. It is the geeks (aka intellectuals).
Is it? I know that's the stereotype?

In my experience, the poor kids and kids from messed up families got picked on the most.

The smart kids weren't inherently the popular kids because of their smarts, but they were left alone and not made fun of for being smart.

I was very poor, and people made fun of me a lot, until I started to really shine academically. Then I was respected a little more by all kids, actually. The popular kids who also happened to be smart respected me, and that had a trickle down impact.

If I'd just been poor, and not smart, I would have been made fun of horrendously, as some poor souls were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
"People look up to Bill Gates and value his intelligence because he has MONEY. His intelligence has nothing to do with it. People look up to his money."

I, for one, value his inventiveness and intelligence
Yeah, me, too. And, secondly, for what he does as a philantropist.

There are a lot of a-holes with money who don't do a damn thing. I don't see them have the same level of respect as Bill Gates.

I actually think Bill Gates is known more because he's in the news for his innovation (which led to $$$) but also for his charitable giving. That's why he has stayed in the news and limelight.

Whenever I see the billionaire list, I don't really recognize the names. Bill Gates I do because he's newsworth for reasons other than just his money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by library lady View Post
Intellectualism is associated with elitism because the average person gets a college degree to make money. Period. College degree does not equal intellectual. When I was in college, I was talking to my dad about a major. He dissuaded from doing anything that wasn't practical.
This is true. But really, how do you pay the bills without something practical?

You can be intellectual and major in practical fields in college. That is where the elitism comes in, I think. I mean, the old joke, what do you do with a philosophy degree? Work at the philosophy factory?

I would have loved to study a lot of things in college other than what I ended up studying, but having limited resources (and who doesn't???) I had to choose something practical to pay the bills.

That doesn't automatically mean I'm not an intellectual, or that people who are practical aren't intellectuals.

These things are not mutually inclusive or exclusive.

The trick is finding ways to get through school without letting it stifle learning and exploration. Majoring in something practical in no way stifled me. Sure, I didn't take all the classes I wanted to take in college, but now that I have my degree, I can learn about anything I want.
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