I don’t really know who qualifies as an intellectual. Although the current climate in America seems deeply anti-intellectual, i cannot divorce myself of pop culture enough to embrace a rigorous intellectual life. Sorry.
However, i did vote in that deeply flawed Prospect poll for the Top 100 Intellectuals of the moment. I had never heard of quite a few of these people, and many of the ones that i’m most familiar with i’m baffled by their inclusion. (I too call bullshit on Christopher Hitchens with no hesitation.) My votes are for the most part little more than who i like, not people who i know are the most worthy. My picks are:
So screw that silly twit Tom Friedman and drunk Chris Hitchens. I know that there are plenty of other worhies on that list, and far more that were excluded. While i deny that i have any kind of pantheon of heroes, this list has me reassess that reaction.
(Oh, i missed Martin Rees earlier, although i still woudl have voted the same….)
As for who the prettiest intellectual is, i don’t care much. It will be amusing to see who the internet populace votes for though.