The Pop-Intellectual

It has recently occurred to me that it may be time to further our distinctions of the types of intellectuals, or free-thinkers if you prefer *eyeroll*, that exist in today’s society. I believe we can now make three distinctions.

The Intellectual

Gazing into the intellectual abyss.

They tend to look like this dude and hang around libraries and university campuses. They tend to be gathering “data” in “the field” a lot. Often they’re professors or work at non-profit think tanks and research institutions. They like writing books and reeeeeeeealy long articles about reeeeeeally complex stuff and things, that most people don’t seem to care about, even though they probably should. They can be black too. They can be female as well. They can be non-binary. They tend not to have a lot of likes and and  followers, because, well, you don’t really get lots of likes for being an intellectual, and trying to further human thought. In fact, you generally get told you’re being negative, and should try some tummy tea, or re-aligning your chakras.

The Pseudo-Intellectual

I like to lump myself in here somewhere. Along with the knowledgeable artist , the investigative journalist, the weirdo activist at all the think tank events, who also raps, but also paints, and does community work in Mitchells Plain regularly.

Seeing as I’m making this up as I go, I should note here that when I define this, I’m not using the “Pseudo” part as an insult. It’s just to separate those who dabble in intellectualism (and dabble well), but don’t pursue it full time. You know, you’re Immortal Technique types. You’re highbrow creatives. People who engage with intellectualism regularly but don’t necessarily pursue it as a a career, and probably spend a little less time on campus and more on the internet selling you healthy super-foods, because they studied Botany in a past life or something. People in the economy of likes and followers, but not necessary down with it. People who write philosophical novels and stuff. That kind of thing.

Tariq’s new EP is a banger, and full of intellectual stuff and things.

The Pop-Intellectual

This is the designation I believe we used to give to the Pseudo-Intellectual, but the internet has given us a new breed of super super super mutant pseudo intellectuals, whom we shall refer to as Pop-Intellectuals.

The oh so desperate to be a free-thinker that I absorb everything pop culture tells me because I actually believe pop icons are intellectuals and/or free thinkers. Free thought can only come from those who are rich and famous. A professional philosopher could never have a free thought worth my time, but I better check Billboard’s No.1 pop track for my next dose of Epistemology.

The fake outragers. The, this deep issue is trending now, I better jump on it, and freak out on the internet quick, so I can get likes and more followers (okay fine, we all do that from time to time hehe).

The Pop-Intellectual in their natural habitat. Notice everything around them burns while they remain unperturbed. This is the blind confidence of one with complete faith in their favorite pop-icon, who has confirmed to them that everything is indeed, fine. No further research is required into the ramifications of being on fire if your pop-icon has confirmed to you that fire is harmless.

He Who Should Not Be Named and his cult following.  The type to  gleefully inform you that you can separate art from the artist, and think they’ve blown your mind. Really, I mean really? Wow I certainly never knew that, and I definitely don’t have my own mind, and my own thoughts that dictate when I will and will not decide to exercise my right to separate art from the artist. Oh yes I better listen to that thing you’re trying to force me to listen to, because, OMG, I can separate art from the artist. Amazing.

The Pop-Intellectual doesn’t seem to like books a lot, or the library, or even googling anything they talk about. This is because they apply no rigor to their alleged intellectualism. I mean, who needs research when celebrities are experts on every single topic that ever existed, like ever, since, like, the beginning of all time when the earth was flat and stuff.

They never dig their heels in on a single issue and see it through. They seem to believe they can solve complex issues like racism and sexism, by not going to Starbucks for a couple of days. They’re lazy about real issues. They need them to go away fast, so they can go back to posting about how woke they are, and throw in a misquote of a philosopher like a Ayn Rand (seriously…ewww, don’t abuse philosophy for your narcissism, it’s gross man).

As soon as their favorite pop-icon or corporation issues a weak apology, or new album, all is well, and justice has been restored to world. They take economic advice from famous fashion models. They take medical advice from reality stars. They always have the loudest mouth, but their utterings are void of substance. They’re, as Greg Puciato would say: a mouth without a heart – an action without meaning.

 

Advertisements

Social Media Rant

Creepily, Facebook just asked me if I think they’re making the world a better place. So I opted to go full rant in my response, and let it all hang out. Not because they’ll give a shit, but catharsis maybe?

I’m unsure what social media platforms are supposed to be at this stage. As a medium to interact and engage with friends, facebook isn’t that great anymore. As such it’s now more of a platform to market oneself and one’s products. However, in this regard Facebook has failed somewhat too, with the prioritization of big business and big budgets. It is no longer as effective as a small entrepreneur to market products, as big business can essentially always pay more for their products to bombard customers in every corner of the web.

This was not the case before, where small entrepreneurs used to stand a chance of having their products appear equally next to big business if people liked the product. This in essence defeats the previous open opportunity the internet and social media used to represent. It is all but monopolized now.

Monopolies breed inefficiency, laxity, and cut out innovation in favour of their own products and services, which often times are archaic, overpriced, and make use of excess slave labour. This is one way Facebook may not be making the world a better place.

Secondly, Facebook’s algorithms seem to place quantity over quality. Therefore, poorly researched and written fake news articles are more likely to become popular, despite them not even being factual. This may be a technical programming issue, however many minority activist, and intellectual groups view this as an active assault on intellectualism and minority views, with Facebook curating information in favour of privilege (again, returning to point one where he/she who pays most, appears most) .Thus Facebook could be seen to be promoting non-intellectualism, and poor quality literature.

On the plus side, Facebook is a great place to network with those in your field if you’re an introvert. Similarly, with some meticulous curating, socializing can be bearable on Facebook, and keep one in contact with those who are far away. Also, with much sifting and effort, one can occasionally use Facebook to find, and/or organize events, but the above caveats still apply.