Archangel Consolidated

Intellectual vs Pseudo-intellectual

Joel Fernandez

During these modern times, information is more readily available than ever. The internet in it’s current form enables people to search for information and find what they are looking for in a matter of seconds on virtually any topic imaginable. Therefore it stands to reason that on average, people should be more knowledgeable now than then they would have been in centuries past. However, one unfortunate side effect is that it is now easier than ever to pretend to know what we are talking about instead of actually knowing. Today’s conversation will be about how to spot the subtle difference in moments where it is not completely obvious.

The first thing that we must understand is that the pursuit of knowledge is something that a person either does or does not desire intrinsically. That subtle yet significant detail will ultimately mean the difference between reading for school and reading for the sake of actually knowing. Of course there are individuals who read both for school reasons as well as for the sake of insatiable curiosity. But for the purpose of this conversation, we will choose to focus on cases where the two concepts are mutually exclusive. The truth is that some people need to be spoon-fed the context in order to fully understand.

At any rate, there is one fool-proof way to understand the difference between the genuinely thoughtful and the pretentious. A person that is truly an intellectual will not feel the need aggrandize themselves at the expense of those that they feel are less intelligent. One could argue that such a tendency is denotes arrogance instead of ignorance. But any action that leads to an end that solves a personal problem while simultaneously causing another can and should be labeled as counterintuitive.

In other words, what good is aggrandizing oneself in the name of self-esteem if the byproduct is having developed a reputation of being an arrogant jerk? An intellectual would call such a chain of events a redundancy because developing a bad reputation will ultimately lead to the habitual offender’s feelings being hurt in one way or another. It is possible to move in circles where such deceptively vitriolic discourse is par for the course, but that is neither here nor there.

The pursuit of knowledge in and of itself is a noble goal. Engaging in leisure activities that cause intellectual stimulation will in turn lead to conversations that require comparable levels of stimulation in order for them to be interesting. In today’s day and age, it is simply not enough to get a degree in memorizing information that will be forgotten after graduation. In order to keep up with the current intellectual climate, one must be information literate. That is to research specific information in order to apply it to current situations. Anyone who fails to understand that principle will get left behind in the world of pretentious semantics.

That is why it is of the utmost importance to exercise discernment when absorbing information that is spoon-fed by way of television programs and news broadcasts. I order to truly gain understanding of any given topic one must analyze the information in it’s purest form without the subjective bias that is always attached to television or internet personalities.

In order to understand the chain of events that leads to an on-air personality dispensing carefully curated information, we must understand three key points. We must understand what happens, what the result is or will be; and we must try to fully comprehend why they think that the information given is essential to the conversation. If one can learn how to filter out the pseudo-intellectual clutter that is(more often than not) a means to an end, a genuinely interested person will be able to avoid being misled.

After all, nobody should want to be the last know in a chain of events that starts with wealthy corporations, is passed along to politicians who then give instructions to their politically affiliated media outlets; which then ends up being spoon-fed to the audience by the occasional pseudo-intellectual yet “mainstream” personality. It leads to a very insular perspective that is deliberately designed to be out of touch with the rest of the world. They always self-righteously proclaim the virtue of separation of church and state while presenting the blatant marriage of politics and media. No wonder the most powerful politicians in the world have developed the wretched habit of playing god.