Saturday, June 19, 2021

Everywhere is a Backwater

Harvard is an intellectual backwater.

I grew up in a backwater of a backwater. A small town in not-America. I realized it was a backwater, based on the well-known rural ignorance theory. Surely, I thought, I would have to take charge of my own education so I wouldn't be horribly behind when I finally escaped the backwater. I overshot dramatically. Turns out my backwater of a backwater was roughly on par with Harvard. 

Was this because the rural ignorance theory was wrong? Was information flowing surprisingly well to my hick town? Nope. There's no way one idiot's thrashing can seriously challenge a locus of scholarship. It seems the modern world has no intellectual frontwaters. You have a wide selection of kinds of ignorance, and that's it. In retrospect, it is not surprising that religious fundamentalism is anti-scholar.

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