courtesy Travis Hardin Home : Essays : 2005 October McWilliams Response to September

Response to "You Might Be An Intellectual If" in Sept. NorbaMensa
Originally published in "Norbamensa" the newsletter of North Alabama Mensa
From Jimmy McWilliams

To quote the NorbaMensa item "In social fact, an intellectual is often one who simply identifies himself as an intellectual". Boy, does that leave the field wide open.

Social patterns and passions, like a pendulum, swing from right to left. But they are erratic and the swing is unpredictable. In modern day parlance, this tendency is accentuated by the rapidity of communication via: news, email, TV, travel, immigration, education and technology. The adrenalin gland is continually stimulated, as intellectuals by the hundreds become proponents for all extremes. Snake handlers of all stripes are out there.

The average response is not predictable? The acquisition of Food, clothing, shelter. football, TV, beer. - you name it - is the center of activity. Joe Blow depends upon his preacher, teacher, politician, media and "would be intellectual" for his basic philosophy. Scroll the TV, any blog site, gossip group, etc. for proof.

Most Bubba’s - and a majority of voters - have little insight into the human (homo sapient - thinking man’s) mental inheritance - the brain DNA’s blue print still dominates brain development and it is basically the same as our forefather’s primitive, primate brain. Those basic instincts - flee, fight, revenge, procreate, greed etc. still dominate. (Melvin Konner’s - The Tangled Wing).

Accommodation, conciliation, agreement, accord are not our first reaction. So we follow the intellectual philosophical trend that appeals to our basic instinct. The opposition intellectuals become non-believers and often are eliminated (Iraq!) by any means possible. Read all about it in any good encyclopedia. (The history text books are selected by politicians)

So, personally, as a liberal/conservative moderate who as: a participant in the Great Depression, as a participant in WWII, as a citizen from a childhood of third world conditions, as a farmer, as a great great grandfather and as an attempted rationalist in his eighty-sixth year would advise.

All you intellectuals out there, a serious glance into any mirror will confirm we still have a lot to learn.

Send comments about this page to Travis Hardin,

Last updated April 2016