Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Academics: Still Totally Lame - Greg Egan

"Count me as a friend of Deirdre.

What’s lame is when intellectuals (or anyone else) aspire to be “hip” and “edgy” — notions that are, rightly, wholly owned subsidiaries of the Coca Cola corporation. If algebraic geometers want to skydive nude into South American war zones on the weekends, that’s fine with me, but let’s not make it compulsory. Ninety-nine percent of worthwhile intellectual achievements are made by people who had the courage to swim against the tide of adolescent conformity that gave us fans of Hunter S. Thompson. Instead of trying to make academics fashionably interesting, it would be infinitely preferable to encourage and celebrate the independence of mind of those who don’t give a shit what anyone thinks is cool."

4 out of 5

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