Elite[s] and elitists, Cooper and Others

Sally Odgers sodgers at tassie.net.au
Tue Nov 4 20:48:23 EST 2003


> <Since I am in trouble for calling my 4th year
> class a bunch of ignoramuses
> for not having heard of Stephen J Gould, I am
> currently in a bit of hot
> water for being an intellectual elitist, myself.>

I hadn't heard of Stephen J Gould. Who he?

As for being "better", most people have at least one talent. I find the word
"clever" a problem. People tell me it's "clever" to write books. I don't see
it that way. I was born with the talent for writing books. Or else, with the
potential to develop it. I find it well within my capability. Therefore,
when I do it I'm not being "clever". Is a cockatoo clever when he stands on
one claw and manipulates an apple core in the other, while rolling a
doubtful eye at the person who donated the core? I think being "clever" is
doing something for which I wasn't born or fitted. If I could learn to
handle algabraic indicies (do you spell it that way?) I'd be being clever!

Ditto, kids who do well in exams are not especially clever or virtuous. They
were born with retentive memories and the ability to work well under stress.

I suppose rewarding people for acting according to their nature is as stupid
as punishing them for doing the same thing. Which is truly scary, since by
chasing up that idea we could argue against ever putting criminals in
gaol...

Sallyo.



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