Courtesy of Instapundit comes this little historical gem:
The twentieth century was one in which limits on state power were removed in order to let the intellectuals run with the ball, and they screwed everything up and turned the century into an abattoir. . . . We Americans are the only ones who didn’t get creamed at some point during all of this. We are free and prosperous because we have inherited political and value systems fabricated by a particular set of eighteenth-century intellectuals who happened to get it right. But we have lost touch with those intellectuals.
There are folks that claim that anti-intellectualism is all the rage in America. I think it sort of depends of what one is calling "intellectual" as there are some ideas that can be dressed up in as many pretty university degrees as you like and they still won't be more than the rhetorical equivalent of pig in poop.
Curiousity about Mr. Stephenson led to this quote:
"The difference between stupid and intelligent people -- and this is true whether or not they are well-educated -- is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambigous or even contradictory situations -- in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward."
Examples are left to the student as an exercise.....