This is to Chris Mooney (it is impossible to get your email address—- and as a newpaper blog writer, I know why)
I was just sent to your Mojo article. I have read much of your stuff and am mostly in synch with you and CFI. Most of this article has been discussed on my 2 ½ year old column/blog site at our internet newspaper in Seattle; http://blog.seattlepi.com/robertbrown/index.asp
One thing still missing from your article is a possible remedy for this current strain of anti-intellectualism in America. I have been engaged in this topic for decades now: I received a PhD in geophysics in 1969 at the Univ. of Wash. and proceeded to enter an M.A. English program with Prof. Wayne Burns, where the meaning-of-life philosophy was featured. I was co-author in his book: “The Panzaic Principle”. I went back to science in 1971 and became a writer of atmospheric science math textbooks. But I continued the study of “Sancho Panza’s approach”. I published a novel (to make the philosophy more palatable by wrapping it in sex & violence, as we learned in English novel writing classes) that dealt with the above sociology; and suggested one possible remedy: significant science education (University level), in “The Tree & the Panzaic Plea” at Amazon.com, 2005, shorter 2nd Ed. 2010. This is somewhat of an “intellectual cult” book, enjoyed by University Professor types, but also many others interested in our basic cultural problems. I haven’t pushed it much (enough) as I’m busy with my primary job—- Global Warming study. I think that you would really enjoy this book, and get a lot out of it. If you’d like, I’ll send you a copy.
The most extraordinary event in this American dichotomy was Obama’s election. He certainly can qualify as an intellectual, with great experiences. That he could be elected signaled that there exists a latent appreciation of intellectual thought and accomplishments in this country. I’ve seen other signs—- I was sent the result of a poll for most admired persons, and world famous scientist topped the list, even above rock star or famous actor/actress. The Tea Party is the natural reaction to this victory, and we’re in danger of losing the war. I appreciate your efforts and hope to be of some help.