There was a time when the smartest among us, like Einstein, were treated like rock stars. Now our rockstars appear to be those with more money than common sense. Somewhere, our priorities have gotten skewed. And I hope the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the oncoming train, but I am not optimistic. With access to internet, the only thing a person really needs in order to become educated is curiosity, willpower and the ability to learn. Having said that I think some of the anti-intellectual backlash we find these days comes directly from religion, where faith is a virtue. And asking questions is actively discouraged and books are banned that discuss things like evolution.
I think intellectualism is, at the root, the ability and desire to seek intellectual challenge and stimulation. And the best source of intellectual challenges is to intelligently talk and debate with other people. Today’s culture wets their pants over shallow literature like Twilight, and gush over accomplishments of pampered superstars, they listen to generic corporate music that glorifies a vapid consumer culture, and generally show a lack of regard for anything that remotely passes for critical thinking. These people are just so banal and vapid and I try and avoid them where possible, being around them causes me to want to troll the ever living shit out of them.