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Intellectuals Interviewed On The Telly

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TV doesn't like intellectuals. It likes photogenic/eccentric/popular 'characters' who will be entertaining. No long words and overly complex ideas expressed at length.

Sir Mortimer Wheeler has become Tony Robinson...

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Yes, your average intellectual is no better than your average HPC off-topicer, in fact, if anything they haven't yet reached that higher intellectual plane allowing them to fully enjoy the benefits of thrift, general dicking around and low-level misogny.

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I have nothing against 'intellectuals'.

What I wonder about is why anyone should be singled out, or define themselves, as an 'intellectual', supposedly distinct from the rest of us.

I know what you're getting at. What makes someone an "intellectual"? By whose definition?

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Yes, your average intellectual is no better than your average HPC off-topicer, in fact, if anything they haven't yet reached that higher intellectual plane allowing them to fully enjoy the benefits of thrift, general dicking around and low-level misogny.

most people aren't intellectuals and most intellectuals aren't women, in my experience.

that said, I got the idea for this thread from watching Mike Wallace interview Ayn Rand - a bona fide female intellectual, although I'm not a fan of her theories.

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an intellectual has theory.

I have lots of theories.

Does that make me an 'intellectual'?

Does that label have any significant meaning?

FWIW I tend to rebel against 'labels'.

Is Stephen Fry an intellectual? Or, a clearly intelligent and often quite sharp 'social commentator'?

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I have lots of theories.

Does that make me an 'intellectual'?

yes (Stephen Fry also) ... though it doesn't say anything about your intelligence. the terms are not synonymous.

I think one of the ways to identify an intellectual is that they have a preference in conversation for the general over the particular.

Ordinary people are the exact opposite. They will typically limit their talk to personal sense experiences, mutual friends, and feelings arising from interactions.

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yes (Stephen Fry also) ... though it doesn't say anything about your intelligence. the terms are not synonymous.

Agree (on your latter point) completely.

There is what I call 'academic intelligence' and 'social intelligence'.

The two do not necessarily go together. Indeed, actually I think it uncommon to find both in a person.

FWIW I've thought that what I would call 'the complete person' has both in fairly equal measure, and such people are extremely rare.

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ah. thanks for posting Richard Feyneman. He was a joy to listen to.

Religious people should study some of his works about asking questions and not being satisfied with the answers.

TV today is not about 30 minutes of thought provocation.

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Agree (on your latter point) completely.

There is what I call 'academic intelligence' and 'social intelligence'.

The two do not necessarily go together. Indeed, actually I think it uncommon to find both in a pe

FWIW I've thought that what I would call 'the complete person' has both in fairly equal measure, and such people are extremely rare.

Just suppose I were twins! And then triplets, and then more! And then even more! :o

One lady turned me down for being "complete".

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yes (Stephen Fry also) ... though it doesn't say anything about your intelligence. the terms are not synonymous.

I think one of the ways to identify an intellectual is that they have a preference in conversation for the general over the particular.

Ordinary people are the exact opposite. They will typically limit their talk to personal sense experiences, mutual friends, and feelings arising from interactions.

Ah, so people who generalise are intellectuals.

That's a really useful definition of an intellectual.

Ordinary people never generalise.

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Good riddance. If you want intellectual ideas, read a book, or listen to a podcast. TV has too general an audience and too time constrained to pitch interesting ideas properly. It should stick to visual stimulation, sports and porn.

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ah. thanks for posting Richard Feyneman. He was a joy to listen to.

Religious people should study some of his works about asking questions and not being satisfied with the answers.

TV today is not about 30 minutes of thought provocation.

Good old Richard! His bongos got me a B.Sc,

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Guest eight

TV today is not about 30 minutes of thought provocation.

I was thinking that about the party leaders debates. If they just sat them in a closed room, around a table, with a bottle of wine and no agenda, for three hours, I might be tempted to watch and stand a chance of learning something about them.

Something like this would be great.

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There are some astonishingly "intellectual" old programs on BBC iPlayer.

There's currently an edition of Horizon from 1965 in which Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann and some other physicists spend the entire program talking to camera or writing on a blackboard about particle physics. The Feynman segments in particular are surprisingly informative and easy to understand. There are none special effects, intrusive presenters or sequences showing people driving around looking thoughful that Horizon seems to go for these days.

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There are some astonishingly "intellectual" old programs on BBC iPlayer.

There's currently an edition of Horizon from 1965 in which Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann and some other physicists spend the entire program talking to camera or writing on a blackboard about particle physics. The Feynman segments in particular are surprisingly informative and easy to understand. There are none special effects, intrusive presenters or sequences showing people driving around looking thoughful that Horizon seems to go for these days.

not even dramatic backround music?

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ah. thanks for posting Richard Feyneman. He was a joy to listen to.

Religious people should study some of his works about asking questions and not being satisfied with the answers.

TV today is not about 30 minutes of thought provocation.

There is a you tube video where he explains to an audience what the scientific method is and what it isn't - should be compulsory watching for every RE class in the world.

I happen to think that Feynman was the individual who combined to the highest degree genius level thinking with a genius to educate.

At the risk of crossing topics, is the lack of such Stuff on western TV now one reason why other cultures view ours as so shallow and beneath contempt?

The UK is very anti-intellectual, sometimes a strength sometimes a weakness. As an example, it's almost impossible to understand the difference in thinking between Canada and the U.S. towards us without a cursory knowledge of their history. Yet I only learnt any of this stuff out of my own curiosity when I was working there.

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Sometimes a strength?

Have you been to france and met some of their intellectuals? In the UK we have never quite stooped to the levels of the french revolutions ideological terror.

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There is a you tube video where he explains to an audience what the scientific method is and what it isn't - should be compulsory watching for every RE class in the world.

I happen to think that Feynman was the individual who combined to the highest degree genius level thinking with a genius to educate.

My favourite bongo player, and he also knew physics too!

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