Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Public intellectuals

My friend Camilla who is my 'spiritual' cat sister wrote about 'Smarty Pants' a few days ago.

As she mentioned, Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines have compiled a list of who they think are the top 100 public intellectuals and have asked readers to nominate their top 5. And add in any name that was not included, who deserves the honour.

I love reading Prospect, and my human used to subscribe to Foreign Policy, although he reckons you should also read Foreign Affairs magazine as well.

Anyway, out of the list of 100, my human and I recognise 31 of the names. Some of these were very interesting:
Jagdish Bhagwati. Very smart man.
Noam Chomsky. Neocons hate him, so we like him.
Jared Diamond. If you haven't read Guns, Germs and Steel, do it now (it is brilliant).
Germaine Greer. Very very smart. Enough said.
Robert Hughes. My human told me he saw a clip of him as a very young man being interviewed about intellectualism, beat writers etc. Very impressive.
Peter Singer. I wrote about him back on 12 April. He's given people and smart kitties lots to think and argue about. A sign of a very intelligent person (or cat) is someone who can influence you to re-examine your values and to keep an open mind (as opposed to narrow or closed minded people, which is a sign of feeble mindedness, heh heh heh... zealots).

Of course, there were a couple more, but I won't mention them. We do have reservations about:
Jean Baudrillard. I mentioned him back in February. I think post-modernism is a crock. There are lots of other French intellectuals.
Francis Fukuyama. He was certainly very influential with the State Department crowd. However, his ideas may be a bit outdated, but don't tell him I said that.
Samuel Huntington. He is so very misguided and has caused enough angst already!

We think the following should have been considered:
Tim Flannery. He has challenged thinking on ecology.
Michel Houellebecq. He's a wonderful stirrer.
Paul Davies. I wrote about him back in April. He is definitely a thinker.

Ooh, my brain hurts now thinking about all this!

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


My other human came back early today and I had a nice nap with him in the afternoon. We were catching up on three months worth of cuddles.

Last night and tonight, I watched I, Robot with my human. We like Asimov, however, the movie was a very loose interpretation, but keeps with a theme of interest to my human. The same theme occurs in The Terminator movies, the new version of Battlestar Galactica etc.

Tonight we also watched another episode of Food Lovers' Guide to Australia. Those lotus plants are unreal.


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